Published on March 28th, 2020 | by Daniel Sherman Fernandez0
Hybrid Expert For The New Corolla Hybrid Shares Some Facts
Interview done with HIROYUKI TSUKASHIMA. Light reading while under Covid-19 lockdown.
Late last year we spotted the Toyota Corolla Hybrid at the UMW Toyota headquarters car park. Sitting there with its hybrid badges and road registered for Malaysian use, we were quite sure this Corolla hybrid was about to be launched in Malaysia. However, circumstances around us is delaying its launch and meanwhile we have this interesting interview which was done with the hybrid engineer for this new Corolla Hybrid.
How do the 1.8 litre and 2.0 litre hybrid systems differ from each other; is it only the displacement of the combustion engine?
The 1.8 litre system was developed for customers who value fuel economy. And the 2.0 litre powertrain has been developed for customers who want more power and a more dynamic drive. But the difference between the two units is not limited to the displacement of the combustion engine; the latter is a completely new self-charging hybrid system that can offer both excellent fuel efficiency and enthusiastic driving.
Is the 1.8 litre hybrid powertrain identical to that of Prius and C-HR, or have there been any changes made in the mean time?
The 1.8 litre HV system is basically the same as that of Prius or C-HR but we made some small tuning changes to further refine the powertrain and enhance the driving experience.
What was your main challenge during the development of the new 2.0 litre hybrid system?
For the new 2.0 litre hybrid powertrain, we further developed not only the rate of acceleration but also the sense of acceleration. By suppressing the initial engine rpm by using more battery and electric motor power, we were able to realise a more linear feeling of engine and vehicle speeds matching during acceleration.
Is there a difference between the two hybrid powertrains when it comes to regenerating energy/charging the battery?
Since the 2.0 litre hybrid system has more battery cells compared to the 1.8 litre variant, it can develop both a greater output and offer more regenerative energy.
How is the gearbox of the 2.0 litre system different to that of the 1.8 litre system? Why does the former feature steering wheel-mounted shift paddles?
To be exact, the HV system does not have a gearbox; it features a transaxle. The difference between the 1.8 litre and 2.0 litre transaxles is in the size of the motor and gear. On the 2.0 litre Hybrid powertrain we offer shift paddles as it gives the driver more control and thus allows for a more enthusiastic driving experience.
“The 1.8 litre hybrid system was developed for customers who value fuel economy. And the 2.0 litre powertrain has been developed for customers who want more power and a more dynamic drive.”