Toyota to launch new hybrid model in Malaysia next year – Innova Zenix or all-new Vios?

As part of its November sales report, UMW Toyota Motor has announced that it will be unveiling a new hybrid-powered model to join the Corolla Cross Hybrid, among a gaggle of new cars that it has planned for next year.

While the company is more upfront about the other models by straight-up announcing during a recent media event that the GR Corolla, GR 86, and manual Supra will be launched in Malaysia next year, it is still remaining a little coy on the hybrid. So as any “responsible” publication would, we did some digging to try and work out what they meant.

The most obvious candidate is the all-new Toyota Innova Zenix, which just made its official debut in Indonesia last month. Built on the marque’s TNGA-C platform, the third-generation Innova (now with a new Zenix suffix) is offered in Indonesia with a hybrid powertrain option, consisting of a 2.0-litre naturally-aspirated Dynamic Force engine, paired to an electric motor to generate 186 hp.

The electric motor here makes 205 Nm of torque, but due to the series hybrid set-up with the peak torque of the engine and motor occuring at different engine speeds, Toyota doesn’t publish the system’s max torque output. It probably wouldn’t be too far off the motor’s figures, though.

READ MORE: All-new Toyota Innova Zenix brings touch of class, hybrid engine to the 7-seater MPV

Aside from the Innova Zenix, another possibility could be the all-new Toyota Vios, which was launched in Thailand back in August this year. While a hybrid model for the Vios (also known as the Yaris Ativ in the Land of Smiles) doesn’t officially exist just yet, AutoIndustriya reported that a hybrid variant for the compact sedan is already in the works, and could be unveiled next year.

In a first for Toyota, the all-new Vios is built on the DNGA platform, where the D stands for Daihatsu. The common platform opens the doors to the hybrid powertrain that’s used in the Toyota Raize/Daihatsu Rocky/Perodua Ativa Hybrid, consisting of a 1.2-litre three-cylinder engine and an electric motor, but arranged in a parallel hybrid configuration for a total system (motor) output of 106 hp and 170 Nm.

The two models cannot be more different than the other, but which will eventually make it into Malaysia? It’s anyone’s guess for now… except those in UMWT’s product planning team. Nevertheless, it is still exciting to see more electrified models being introduced here on our shores.

UMW Toyota announced a RM270 million investment into its Bukit Raja plant last year, in preparation for the local assembly of hybrid models here in Malaysia. The company said recently in a statement that hybrids are still the “most accessible and affordable option” for car owners looking to reduce their carbon footprint, at least until other forms of electrification becomes more accessible in the country.

ALSO WATCH: Video: 2022 Toyota Corolla Cross 1.8 Hybrid review – the everyday SUV



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