A mere 60 days until the local release of the much anticipated new Toyota Corolla Cross. The Corolla is a household name in South Africa, with its rich history spanning over 12 generations. This being the first SUV adaption of the Corolla.
The Toyota Cross is currently being built at Toyota’s local plant in Prospecton close to Durban in KwaZulu-Natal. This is also the first time that Toyota has locally manufactured a Hybrid Vehicle powertrain. This speaks volumes about the significant investment the company has made locally in infrastructure and skills training, to enable Toyota South Africa and its employees to compete on global scale.
Toyota is committed to embracing the global shift to greener and electronic vehicles as a result we see one of the engine options available for the Toyota Corolla Cross a Hybrid, this hybrid engine is vastly similar to that which can be found in the Toyota Prius, Corolla Hybrid and the C-HR Hybrid. The engine delivers 72kw and 142 NM of torque from its 1.8l in pure combustion mode, with an additional 53kw and 163nm available from the electric motor at full capacity.
It has to be noted that this powertrain has a world leading thermal efficiency figure of 40% (for a petrol engine). The gas flow, combustion, cooling and knock control were all improved and much more effective use has been made of exhaust gas recirculation. Toyota has developed a heat recovery system that uses spent exhaust gas to speed up the warming of engine coolant. This means fuel can be saved because the hybrid system is able to stop the engine earlier and more often when it isn’t needed to power the vehicle.
The other engine option provided for the Toyota Corolla Cross is the respected 1.8-litre 2ZR-FE mill, which is also found in the current generation Corolla Quest.
Outputs are pegged at 103kW at 6000 rpm and 173Nm at 4400 rpm, while being mated to a 7-step CVT transmission. The CVT provides enhanced efficiency by automatically selecting the ideal “gear ratio” for the operating conditions and providing smooth acceleration. The transmission logic also provides a manual mode with seven pre-programmed gear ratios – allowing drivers some manual control when demanded.
The efficiency of the powertrain is evidenced by a frugal 6.8 litres per 100 kilometre fuel Index, with CO2 emissions checking in at 154 g/km.
Toyota revealed that various exterior accessory packages – catering to everything from rugged, adventure-themed variants, to sporty urban enhancements. Pricing is estimated to be between that of the RAV4 which is starts at R482 400 and the C-HR R402 300.
As seen in the month of August, Toyota South Africa sold 10543 units, this leaves little doubt that as with the various other offerings by the manufacturer that the Corolla Cross will be a force to be reckoned with by its competitors such as the Kia Seltos, Hyundai Creta and VW T-Cross.