The Toyota Innova, for the first time in history, will dump the diesel engine entirely and go hybrid, petrol-hybrid to be specific. Toyota India has confirmed that the upcoming Innova HyCross will get a strong hybrid powertrain along with a naturally aspirated petrol engine on the lower trims. The HyCross will be launched in India at the 2023 Indian Auto Expo, which is also when the price announcement will happen. However, an official unveil is much closer, on the 25th of November 2022. The MPV will be first shown in Indonesia though, on the 21st of November. In Indonesia, the HyCross will be called the Innova Zenix, and will be positioned as a crossover.
Petrol Strong Hybrid Powertrain
Toyota has been no stranger to strong hybrids. In fact, the Japanese automaker has been a world leader in hybrid technology, with the Prius sedan being one of the world’s best selling hybrid cars. In India, Toyota introduced the strong hybrid to the mass market through the Hyryder compact SUV. The Innova HyCross will become the second mass market Toyota to feature strong hybrid technology in the Indian market. While the Hyryder uses a 1.5 liter-3 cylinder naturally aspirated petrol engine paired with an electric motor, the HyCross will use a larger 2 liter-4 cylinder naturally aspirated petrol engine mated to an electric motor. A CVT automatic gearbox will transmit torque to the front wheels of the HyCross.
First Innova to go front wheel drive
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This is another big development, and a change from the norm. Across two generations, the Toyota Innova line-up has been sold as a body-on-ladder MPV with a rear wheel drive layout. With the HyCross, Toyota is breaking from this tradition, giving the new MPV a monocoque chassis and a front wheel drive layout. Both the front wheel drive layout and monocoque chassis will make the Innova lighter than ever before, and also more car-like to drive. Toyota is expected to target private car buyers with the new Innova HyCross, which will sell alongside the Innova Crysta. The Innova Crysta is likely to be pushed towards the cab market.
ADAS tech coming
The Innova HyCross is also expected to be the first Toyota in India to feature advanced driver assistance system (ADAS). ADAS is a new safety technology that combines a suite of radar-based features such as autonomous braking, lane keep assist, lane change warning, adaptive cruise control and more. ADAS not only makes cars safer but also reduces the effort required to drive a car. By offering ADAS on the Innova HyCross, Toyota will be the first brand to offer this feature on a MPV sold in India.
Less MPV and more of a crossover
Styling cues of the Innova HyCross suggest that the new vehicle will be positioned as a crossover than a MPV. Key design highlights include flared wheel arches, a prominent character line on the doors, an aggressive front end with honeycomb grille and a massive panoramic sunroof.
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