Last year marked another impressive level of growth for Toyota’s hybrid technology, with September turning into something of a milestone for the company when the two millionth hybrid electric vehicle was sold in Europe, 18 years since the original Prius was the first hybrid vehicle to enter that market. With Toyota Europe’s hybrid sales mix targeted to be 50% next year, the technology looks to be on equally solid footing for 2019 and beyond.
The introduction of the Worldwide Harmonised Light Vehicle Test Procedure (WLTP), designed to measure fuel consumption and CO2 emissions from new cars, is a step in the right direction in recognising the shift in consumer’s environmental concerns and their ability to now make a comparison between the different CO2 values of specific cars. It also feeds directly into that ongoing worldwide initiative to reduce vehicle carbon emissions in the coming decades.
Early 2019 ushers in the return and refresh of the iconic Corolla, with all three variants of the model – Corolla Hatchback, Touring Sports and Corolla Saloon - available with a 1.8 litre self-charging hybrid engine, or a choice of a brand-new performance-oriented 2.0 litre self-charging hybrid in the Hatchback and Touring Sports. A popular model from the Toyota family which first gained prominence several decades back, the Corolla’s latest hybrid upgrade and visual enhancements couldn’t come at a better time for those hankering for a piece of classic Toyota. Twenty-five years after its initial launch, the RAV4 has also been radically re-designed for 2019, pairing that 2.5-litre inline-four hybrid powertrain with an advanced new all-wheel-drive system and an eye-catching exterior modification.
These developments and Toyota’s two decade dominance of the hybrid market only help underscore the company’s firm commitment to their environmental philosophy. The introduction of these updated favourites from the Toyota range don’t skimp on style, either. The Corolla in particular is very enticing with its sleek profile and that striking front grille. All this points towards the idea of transitioning to hybrid becoming even more of a viable prospect for car owners, many of whom may not have ordinarily embraced the technology, and also for that all-important conquest customer.