Toyota distributor UMW Toyota Motor is continuing its painfully slow tease of its upcoming CKD locally-assembled hybrids, finally confirming officially that it is reintroducing petrol-electric vehicles in Malaysia soon. The move is a long time coming, as it was made known as early as February.
This is, however, the first time it is communicating an impending launch in no uncertain terms, although it has revealed precious little in terms of actual details (i.e. not advertising fluff). What it did do is release a few teaser images that pretty much nail down the identity of the first model due to be sold here.
As you can see here, the photos show simple line drawings of the car, but the shape hints at it being an SUV. Then there are the identifying features such as the large grille, relatively big headlights and distinctive front and rear fender bulges that prove beyond all reasonable doubt that this is, in fact, the Corolla Cross Hybrid. Not surprising, given that petrol version is due to be assembled locally this year.
To recap, the Corolla Cross Hybrid pairs a 1.8 litre Atkinson-cycle four-cylinder petrol engine – which makes 98 PS at 5,200 rpm and 142 Nm at 3,600 rpm – to a 72 PS/163 Nm electric motor, resulting in a total system output of 122 PS. The car is already being sold in Thailand, Indonesia, the Philippines and Vietnam, so it is obviously very important to Toyota’s electrification plans in the region.
Aside from the Corolla Cross Hybrid, you can also expect the Corolla sedan (already spotted here in hybrid form two years ago) and Camry to get hybrid variants as soon as they are locally assembled. The news coincides with the 12th Malaysia Plan revealed today, which among others, confirms that the Low Carbon Mobility Blueprint will be implemented to promote the use of energy-efficient vehicles, hybrid and electric vehicles, so there’s likely a tie-in of some kind.
The official Toyota Malaysia website also teases a “Live Hybrid Film Premiere” in just under 17 days’ time, putting the reveal at October 14. Hopefully it will be an official launch instead of yet another teaser. As usual, we will bring you more news as we get them.
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