Australia's most popular car is about to get some more green credentials in the form of a hybrid petrol-electric drivetrain. The new Toyota Corolla, set to debut in the middle of the year, will use a third less fuel than the already efficient petrol-only hatchback, and marks the fifth vehicle in Toyota's Aussie line-up to get an electric boost.
The Corolla has been sold for 50 years continuously in Australia, and from 2012 onwards has well and truly been Australia's most popular car. The new mid-year update will add the first hybrid drivetrain to the nameplate; previous models in recent years have used a 1.8-litre in-line petrol four cylinder producing 103kW. The new nickel-metal hydride battery system and 60kW electric motor will be mated to a continously variable transmission, and with a lower-powered 73kW 1.8-litre petrol motor will produce 100kW total with significantly lower emissions.
Don't think you'll be able to drive it far on the electric battery alone, though — it'll discharge after only two kilometres of electric-only travel. The new hybrid Corolla will be offered in a single spec level with in-dash satellite navigation, LED headlights and dual-zone air conditioning. It's set to become the most popular hybrid in Australia, surpassing Toyota's own Camry, which sold 5881 units in 2015.