Toyota has taken the wraps off the prototype of the made-in-India Innova Hycross with a flex-fuel hybrid powertrain. The vehicle, which was unveiled by Union Minister of Road Transport and Highways Nitin Gadkari, could go on sale in the coming months, making it Toyota’s first car in India with a flex-fuel powertrain option. Toyota says this is world’s first BS6 Stage II-compliant flex-fuel vehicle.
This is the second flex-fuel vehicle showcased by Toyota in India. A few months ago, the carmaker had displayed a Corolla flex-fuel hybrid in sedan form as a pilot project that was testing flex fuel-powered cars in India.
Innova Hycross Flex-Fuel prototype: powertrain details
The Innova Hycross flex-fuel prototype comes with the same 2.0-litre Atkinson Cycle petrol engine coupled with an electric motor, similar to the standard Innova Hycross Hybrid. It is capable of performing to the same degree as the standard model, even with ethanol-blended petrol, which according to Toyota, can offer extremely low hydrocarbon emissions.
Toyota further says that this prototype is BS6 Phase II-compliant, and can run on petrol with ethanol blending of higher than 20 percent, which is currently the norm in India.
Being a strong hybrid, the Innova Hycross flex-fuel prototype operates 60 percent of the time on EV mode (utilising just the battery pack), while 40 percent of the energy consumed comes from the ethanol-powered engine, thereby claiming the lowest well-to-wheel emissions. The 2.0-litre, strong-hybrid engine gets different spark plugs, piston ring tops, as well as valve and valve seats, to make them water-resistant and prevent corrosion when running on ethanol.
Toyota has also included a three-way catalyst in the exhaust system to further reduce the hydrocarbon emissions. Multiple changes with respect to optimal functioning with ethanol have also been done to the vehicle's fuel filter, fuel pump, as well as fuel lines, which now have an ethanol sensor installed.
Innova Hycross Flex-Fuel prototype: launch timeline
As of now, Toyota will continue to test multiple units of the Innova Hycross Hybrid flex-fuel prototype in India. A market launch and price announcement timeline as not been announced as of now.
With inputs from Mayank Dingra