If there is one brand that has opted for hybrid cars, it is Toyota. Already in 1997, the first generation of the Prius was launched, one of the most important cars in the automotive industry.
Since then, the brand has gone from a single hybrid model to models with this technology across virtually the entire range. They have abandoned diesel (in cars and SUVs, it is still in SUVs and commercials) and there are already many models sold only with this powertrain that combines two engines.
The millions of vehicles HEV hybrids (Hybrid Electric Vehicle) sold around the world demonstrates that Takeshi Uchiyamada’s strategy to develop vehicles that reduce emissions proved successful. Its beginnings coincided with the Kyoto Protocol and today they help the brand achieve environmental goals … and do not leave out passionate products.
Currently, in 2023, the brand offers the fourth evolution of its hybrid system (it will soon reach the fifth). The TNGA platform has made it possible to move to a large number of models and bodies, and to enter the world of plug-in hybrids. Here are the ones they use today:
Toyota Hybrid Cars -Conventional Hybrids
There are currently different combinations of petrol and electric motor. They are distinguished by their reliability and low consumption in the city. Over the years, the brand has refined them so that they continue to spend little and, above all, drive more pleasantly.
It is the combination that mounts the Toyota Yaris where the system reaches 116 hp (85 kW) power. A figure that could be higher, but it’s a car that wants to spend (and pollute) little. Combines
- Petrol engine three-cylinder 1.5 Atkinson cycle which delivers 93 hp and 120 Nm. It has a thermal efficiency of 40%, which is a lot.
- Two electric motors, placed in parallel. One is responsible for moving the car (80 hp -59 kW) and the other charges the battery and starts the combustion engine.
In electric mode, the Yaris can reach up to 130 km / h … until the energy is stored in its 0.8 kWh lithium-ion battery capacity. The previous generation Yaris had heavier metal hydride batteries.
There is one of this 1.5 VVT-I HEV engine variant AWD-i found in the four-wheel drive versions of the Toyota Yaris Cross. In this case, a second electric motor will be installed on the rear axle.
It’s not very big, it barely yields 3.9 kW and 52 Nm torque. But the power doesn’t match that of the main engine, it helps to overcome obstacles at low speeds and improves traction on slippery terrain (with snow or trail modes).
Toyota 125 H
We could say it’s the original formula…evolved. In fact, it was released by the 2016 Prius. 122 hp total combined power (The previous generation had 136 horsepower but here you are looking for more efficiency and a more linear power delivery). We have tested it and it stands out for its low consumption. Here are the main elements:
- Engine of 98 hp 1.8 liter VVT-i Atkinson cycle petrol .
- Hybrid transect, housing two electric motor generators. One serves as a generator that converts excess power from the gasoline engine into electricity and stores it in the battery. The second, from 53 kW (72 hp) is responsible for moving the car.
The same system is fitted to the three Corolla bodies (five-door, Touring Sports and the Corolla Sedan) and the Toyota CH-R. They were later launches and the brand made some adjustments to optimize its operation.
It combines the same 1,798 cc four-cylinder engine (internal code 2ZR-FXE) delivering 98 hp and 142 Nm of torque at 3,600 rpm, with a 53 kW (72.1 hp) electric motor that develops maximum torque of 163 Nm from zero revolutions. The total power of the system is, as we said, 122 hp (90 kW).
The combustion engine is powered by gasoline stored in its 43-litre tank, this permanent magnet synchronous motor is powered by a lithium-ion battery under the rear seat, with 0.745 kWh capacity.
Available in the Toyota Corolla 5-door, Sports Tourer and Toyoya CH-R, this engine combination was developed with drivers seeking more power and dynamic handling, as we saw in the Toyota Corolla GR Sport test:
Deliver 184 hp and 190 Nm torque, thanks to this combination:
- engine 2.0 Hybrid Dynamic Power, a 2.0-litre four-cylinder Atkinson cycle petrol that delivers 152 hp at 6,000 rpm and 190 Nm of torque. get one 41% thermal efficiency (more than 1.8 liters thanks to an improved intake with D-4S systems -direct and indirect injection- and double VVT-i that adjusts the opening and closing times of the intake and exhaust valves.
- Work with a hybrid transaxle redesigned, integrating two small electric motors (a generator and a traction motor that yields) 109 hp –80 kW– and 202 Nm maximum torque), in addition to the planetary gear transmission, known at Toyota as e-CVT.
The energy generated during braking and deceleration is stored in a nickel-metal hydride battery with 1.4 kWh capacity and higher rated voltage. It consists of 180 cells and is rated at 216 V.
With the same combination comes the fifth generation of the hybrid system, with which the Toyota Corolla Cross debuts. With the same engine combination, the 4×2 variant 199 hp total power of the system. New lubrication system to reduce friction losses by using lower viscosity oils and other innovations in the electronic part.
Another novelty is the lithium ion battery, now, which saves 40% in weight and is also more powerful.
The Corolla Cross also introduces the ability to AWD-i all-wheel drive. Adding to all of the above is an electric motor that acts on the rear axle and produces 30.6 kW (41.6 hp). The total power is the same, 199 hp (It is powered by the same battery).
Toyota 2.5 Hybrid
This combination can be found in the Camry and the Toyota RAV 4 (also in other Group models, such as the Lexus ES). These are the engines he combines to get the full power from the fuel system. 218 hp (160 kW):
- Atkinson cycle with direct injection, naturally aspirated four-cylinder in-line petrol with 2,487 cc 178 hp power at 5,700 rpm and 221 Nm of torque.
- Permanent Magnet Synchronous Electric Motor 120 hp (88 kW) and 202 Nm of torque.
It is powered by nickel hydride batteries 1.59 kWh. In the large SUV of the brand you can choose with AWD-i, a four-wheel drive system that manages to move the rear axle thanks to a second 54 hp (40 kW) electric motor, which we tested.
A variant of this system is the system used by the Toyota Highlander, although in this case it 248 hp and 270 Nm torque, a 26 horsepower increase that helps move this bigger car:
- 2.5 liter Atkinson cycle petrol engine. Delivery 190 hp (140 kW), 16 more than in a RAV4, at 6,000 rpm.
- Front electric motor: much more powerful because it performs 182 hp (134 kW) and 270 Nm torque
- Rear electric motor: Remains as in a RAV4, with 54 hp (40kW).
Toyota plug-in hybrids
It seemed that Toyota didn’t pay much interest in these types of engines. But on the Spanish market, they are already offering variants of their successful conventional hybrids, with higher capacity batteries that can be connected to the network:
Prius plug-in hybrid
Launched in 2017, it achieves: 122 hp (90 kW) of joint force, the result of the combination of two propellants:
- Atkinson cycle 1.8 four-cylinder petrol engine of 98 hp (72 kW) at 5200 rpm.
- Two small electric blocks, one with 72 hp 53 kW– and the other with 31 hp –23 kW–.
In the rear position it has lithium-ion batteries with a capacity of 8.8 kWh, giving it performance 45 km of electric autonomy. It can be charged at speeds up to 3.3 kW in alternating current.
The Solar version adds a photovoltaic cell on the roof to take advantage of energy from the sun, with a charging power of 180 W and can be used in two ways, as we explained in our in-depth test.
Toyota RAV4 plug-in hybrid
This plug-in hybrid SUV has a system that is very similar to that of the RAV4 Hybrid. Of course it delivers more power, or 306 hp (225 kW), due to some differences:
- Internal combustion engine is gasoline, a 2.5 four cylinder Atkinson cycle, which delivers: 185 hp in this case at 6000 rpm. It is slightly more powerful than in the hybrid (which produces 178 hp).
- Front electric motor 182 hp(134 kW). It is noticeably more capable than the hybrid RAV4, which remains at 120 PS (88 kW)
- 54 hp (40 kW) tarsero electric motor, in this case identical to that of the RAV4 AWD-i.
The electric drives are powered by a 18.1 kWh capacity battery announcing 75 km of autonomy. It has a built-in charger that supports charging up to 6.6 kW.