Toyota's New 2020 Corolla Will Come As A Hybrid - Here's What That Means For Prius
The all-new 2020 Toyota Corolla launches next week with as much excitement as can be generated for a car that many love, but few lust after. The new Corolla gets the new Toyota/Lexus 2.0-liter drivetrain that is ready to go as a hybrid. It is now part of the Lexus UX line and the Corolla Hatchback gets the non-hybrid version. We are happy that Toyota has added one more hybrid to its deep bench, but what will this mean for the Prius going forward? That's easy to answer if you have been reading the tea leaves.
Up first will be an all-wheel drive Prius that will be revealed in about a week. That will make the Prius the first affordable hybrid car with all-wheel drive in America. It already is in other markets. This will give a boost to the Prius in northern states that are already focused on green cars and all-wheel drive. Do you think Impreza buyers are concerned about zero to sixty times?
Next up, the Prius will become an all-electric line in 2020 or so. Some Prius cars will be battery-electric and some will remain plug-in hybrid electric vehicles (PHEVs) like the Prime is now. The Prime is already the top-selling affordable electric car in America. Adding in the BEV will only help sales, even if it is a relatively short-range BEV sold only in EV-Target states. Don't take our word for it, read what Green Car Reports Jon Voelcker says on this subject. Toyota has been biding its time because it knows BEVs are overpriced and under-ranged. You get to take your time when you were twenty years ahead of every other automaker in the green car race.
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Another option for Toyota would be to retire the Prius name after this generation. That would only happen if the next EV from Toyota was a game-changer, and that is doubtful. As it stands now, the Prius name has a benefit.
Toyota has not announced the mileage yet for its new Corolla. The official MPG numbers are at least six months away. Maybe Toyota will throw us a hint at its extravaganza on the 28th. Don't bet on it.