Toyota has turned its popular Corolla family estate car into a fully fledged hybrid-powered commercial van. Based on the 1.8-litre hybrid Corolla Sports Tourer estate, the van model is expected to arrive in the UK next summer, with prices starting at just over £22,000 before VAT is applied.
Initially, Toyota plans to offer just one version of the new Corolla Commercial, which has been revealed at the 2021 Commercial Vehicle Show in Birmingham. And it will be built just down the road, at Toyota’s Burnaston plant in Derbyshire, alongside the passenger-carrying versions of the Corolla.
In effect, the new van will be a two-seat version of the Corolla Sports Tourer already on sale in five-seat guise. But the vehicle will have its tailgate glass and rear windows blanked out, while the rear seats will be removed and a flat floor laid in their place. Because of the car’s multi-link rear suspension design, the load bay will not be “compromised” by any mechanical components, leaving maximum carrying capacity.
A mesh bulkhead will separate the front seats from the load bay, but from the outside, the vehicle will look much like any other Corolla Sports Tourer. Rather than blanking out the windows with new metal panels, the windows simply have an opaque black covering that looks like tinted glass at a glance, but prevents anybody seeing into the load bay.
Toyota has not yet confirmed any specifications for the new Corolla Commercial, but the company says it will use the 1.8-litre hybrid powertrain, which should allow it to achieve something in the region of 55 to 63 mpg. Official CO2 emissions are expected to be between 102 and 115 g/km, while a towing capacity of 750 kg is also being mooted.
With only these launch images to go on, it seems the Commercial model will take similar equipment to entry-level Corolla passenger cars. Toyota’s pictures show steel wheels and cloth upholstery, but a touchscreen infotainment system, automatic climate control and push-button engine start all appear to feature.
“With its full hybrid powertrain, Corolla Commercial will give customers an exceptionally versatile vehicle that can be driven with zero emissions and fuel consumption during short urban runs while also giving the freedom to make longer journeys without the need for battery recharging,” said Mark Roden, operations director for Toyota’s British arm. “Toyota’s hybrid technology has well-proven reliability and delivers day-to-day savings on running costs with its fuel efficiency. It’s a unique addition to the Toyota Professional range and the wider light commercial vehicle market, and we’re confident it will attract strong interest.”
Although Toyota has not officially announced pricing for the new model, the company has given an “indicative” price of £22,134 plus VAT.