Time and again, it is said that at Toyota, the only constant is change. This growing perception about Toyota appears to have been nurtured by innovative moves that the world's top carmaker has taken in a short span of time amid the virus pandemic.
Just recently, Toyota's Philippine unit staged one of the first virtual product launches in these parts, following it up with the opening of a digital showroom.
On Thursday, it marked another milepost by launching the hybrid version of the iconic Corolla which came as a fitting sequel to the series of Prius hybrid cars in the Toyota lineup.
With the rollout of the Corolla hybrid electric vehicle, Toyota just crossed over to a brave new world in defiance of a debilitating pandemic coupled with an economic slump.
Touted as a hyper-modern crossover car, the Toyota Corolla Cross HEV saw the light of day in this nation via a virtual launching held on Thursday, August 20, 2020. The upper crust of TMP executives led by Toyota president Atsuhiro Okamoto joined a video press conference in full force with dozens of motoring journalists taking part.
Explaining the choice of the iconic, 54-year-old brand as launching pad for the cross-over to the "new normal," Okamoto said: “Guided by our philosophy of making even-better cars, Toyota took the best of a trusted model, the Toyota Corolla, and turned it into a sleek and modern crossover.”
The Corolla Cross is designed to move you in comfort and style, whether you're seeking adventure, doing business, or simply spending time with people you love, Okamoto added.
A dazzling display of mobility featuring the Corolla Cross in action preceded the video conference with TMP executives Elijah Marcial, Nadinne Capistrano and Elvin Luciano taking turns at extolling the beauty and wondrous features of the new HEV.
A panel of high-echelon officers fielded questions from motoring journalists who until the launching hadn't tested the Corolla in its hybrid glory.
First revealed in its global premiere last month, the Corolla Cross is the latest addition to Toyota’s global bestselling Corolla series. Since its launch in Japan in 1966, the Corolla series has sold a total of 48 million units or more, in more than 150 countries and regions.
So far, what we learned about the Corolla Cross emanated from the insights and answers shared by the panelists, who included Jing Atienza, Rommel Gutierrez and Sherwin Chualim.
* The hybrid variant is powered by a 1.8L engine with Atkinson Cycle and gets 1,798 cc displacement which exudes 142 max. torque @3,600 rpm, and an electric motor which helps in providing a 120hp total system maximum output. Three driving modes (Eco, Power, and EV) are available.
The 1.8 G CVT variant gets 1,798cc displacement, 138hp total system maximum output, and 172Nm maximum torque @ 4,000 rpm with the 16-Valve DOHC, 4-Cylinder, In-line, Chain drive with Dual VVT-I engine.
* Exclusive to the hybrid variant are LED Light Curtain Daytime Running Lights and a subtle blue accent to the bi-beam LED headlamps which perfectly complements the blue Toyota logo.
Features include Smart Entry and Push Start System, power adjust with auto fold for the side mirrors, power windows, and speed-sensing door locks, and for the 1.8 V hybrid variant, rain-sensing windshield wipers.
Convenient steering wheel switches enable the driver to adjust Toyota Safety Sense (TSS) features and 7” multi-information display for the 1.8 V hybrid, and audio, and phone connectivity features for all variants. Apple Carplay and Android Auto compatible with the 1.8 V Hybrid’s display audio.
Similar to the Corolla Altis, the Corolla Cross has a MacPherson strut front suspension optimized for its SUV structure. The rear suspension features an all-new torsion beam design which helps improve the ride handling and reduce body roll.
Drivers' and passengers' safety features abound in the Corolla Cross.
* All variants are equipped with 7 SRS airbags, Anti-Lock Brake System with Brake Assist and Electronic Brake Force Distribution, Vehicle Stability Control with Traction Control, Hill Start Assist, and 3-point Emergency Locking Retractor (ELR) seatbelts for the driver and all passengers. The hybrid variant has two front and four rear clearance sonars, while the G CVT variant has 2 rear sonars, and reverse camera is available for all variants.
* The 1.8 Hybrid variant also has several active safety features such as the Pre-Collision System, Adaptive Cruise Control , Lane Departure Alert , Lane Tracing Assist, and Automatic High Beam.
* It also has Blind Spot Monitor and Rear Cross Traffic Alert. When turned on, this system detects vehicles approaching from the rear or vehicles which may not be fully visible through the side mirrors, and alerts the driver through visual and audio signals.
The New Corolla Cross with its 1.8 V Hybrid and 1.8 G CVT variants will be available at TMP dealerships nationwide from August 26, 2020 with prices ranging from P1.1M to P1.65M.
The Corolla Cross is geared toward an urban, relatively young market but there's nothing that can stop the “golden agers” from owning one.