After posting a cryptic message on a product that contributes to sustainable motoring and relatively better for the environment plus added performance, UMW Toyota Motor has started the clock to the launch of their next-generation hybrid model on its website.

The countdown, which ends at 2:00 p.m. on the 14th of October 2021 (at the time of writing), briefly details the workings of the Toyota Hybrid System (THS), now in its fourth generation. If we were to take the silhouette of the model at “face level”, it looks like UMWT will be launching the Toyota Corolla Cross Hybrid.

A rear quarter and tail lamp that accurately traces the Corolla Cross

Check out Toyota’s next step forward in its electrification plans, the bZ4X EV Concept here!

The Toyota Corolla Cross Hybrid is powered by a 98 hp / 142 Nm naturally aspirated 1.8-litre paired to a sophisticated dual-motor-generator setup (72 hp / 163 Nm) with a power-split device (PSD) that functions as an electronic continuously variable transmission (ECVT). The combined system output is 122 hp whilst returning a fuel consumption of 4.3 litres per 100 km or 23.3 km/L. The powertrain first appeared in the fourth-generation Toyota Prius.

The nickel-metal hydride (Ni-MH) traction battery is now placed under the rear seats for maximum luggage space. Coupled with the compact torsion beam rear axle, the Toyota Corolla Cross Hybrid has a very spacious luggage area of at least 440 litres, which is class-leading.

In a short press release, UMW Toyota Motor, Deputy Chairman, Akio Takeyama said, “For the immediate future, we are absolutely positive that the HEV (hybrid electric vehicle) is the most accessible and realistic choice for Malaysian customers in terms of practicality and infrastructure, with an enormous potential in Malaysia. It is a realistic bridge towards vehicle electrification while efforts are still being undertaken to help realize enablers for BEV, such as cost reduction, energy mix improvement and infrastructure development,”

Toyota has already sold 15-million hybrid-electric vehicles globally, since the introduction of the first-gen Prius in 1997.

Toyota’s last hybrid representative in Malaysia was the Camry 2.5 Hybrid, which retailed for under RM170,000. With plans to locally assemble hybrid vehicles via a RM270 million investment, expect the Toyota Corolla Cross Hybrid to be competitively priced, perhaps under the RM140,000 mark?

The closest competitor, the Honda HR-V Hybrid, is meanwhile priced under RM114,000, while the standard Toyota Corolla Cross 1.8 are priced at RM124,000 and RM129,266 for the 1.8G and 1.8V respectively.