A hybrid hot hatch? It could happen with the 2019 Toyota Corolla.
The current-generation Toyota Corolla, as we’ve demonstrated on the track, isn’t exactly hot. With a whopping 140 naturally-aspirated horsepower mated to a CVT, performance is underwhelming even against the Corolla’s standard competition. For quite awhile, the Toyota Corolla has went without a real performance variant to match cars like the Volkswagen GTI or Honda Civic Si.
With the 2019 Corolla Hatchback, however, Toyota may have a winner on its hands. It certainly looks more aggressive than even the outgoing Corolla iM, and it does have more power. Toyota’s new Dynamic Force 2.0-liter engine makes 168 horsepower and 151 lb-ft of torque. Since the Corolla Hatchback lacks forced induction, that’s still not in Civic Si or GTI territory, but Toyota may have a solution for that. Drive in Australia hinted that electrification could be the key to a “hot” Corolla Hatch.
Is a wink as good as a nod?
According to their report, chief engineer Yasushi Ueda acknowledged the company may expand the Corolla lineup. With regard to a hybrid version, he said the idea “sounds very good to me.” Given Toyota’s inclination toward hybrids, it would make sense for the company to build a hybrid version of the Corolla Hatch. If that were to happen, a hybrid Corolla Hatch could be all-wheel drive, with the electric motor powering the rear wheels.
The Toyota Corolla Hatchback will hit the market soon with a base price of $19,990 with a six speed manual transmission. For $1,100 more, you can get the car with a CVT instead. Pricing tops out at $24,090 for the XSE model. If a hot, hybridized version of the Corolla hatch arrives, it’s also likely to come mated to that CVT transmission. Even with the launch gear, we’ll have to see how that combination works against the likes of the car’s turbocharged competition.