Chief project engineer explains why electric boost may make more sense than turbocharging or supercharging

A high-performance petrol-electric hybrid version of the GT86 sports car is under consideration at Toyota, Autocar can reveal. 

According to chief engineer Tetsuya Tada, all routes remain open to conjuring more performance from the rear-driven two-seater, with an eye on the creation of a faster and more focussed version of the acclaimed rear-drive coupe to be released later in the car’s lifecycle. 

“I’ve been asked a lot about a turbocharging,” Tada told us. “We are already working on a mid-life facelift for the car, and we are investigating both turbocharging and supercharging too,” he added. “But an electric motor assistance solution is also possible, and would bring benefits that forced induction does not.”

Toyota took the wraps off a conceptual convertible version of the GT86 at the Geneva show, which is almost certain to make production. It nearly didn't, however. “The management considered the GT86 very risky,” Tada said. “They wanted proof that the ’86 coupe would hit its sales targets before they would sign off on a convertible.

"Now that they have that proof, we can begin to think about other development ideas for the car. But we must guard against compromising any of the key virtues of the standard GT86 in the pursuit of more power.”

An electric motor assist solution, Tada suggested, could provide a substantial low-rpm torque boost for the naturally aspirated engine without affecting throttle response or compromising on fuel economy or emissions. 

Similar to the ‘IMA’ system used on the Honda CRZ, the hybrid system would be much cheaper and simpler than the one used on the Prius economy car. The batteries, meanwhile, could be used to lower the car’s centre of gravity even further.

The Toyota engineer suggested that the weight added by such a system could at least partly be offset, and that experimental underbody aerodynamic parts could be used to adjust the car’s handling balance should weight distribution be affected.

“Our TRD tuning department has found it easy to take 100kg out of the kerbweight, and have developed certain underbody fins and plates that can be employed to alter the dynamic balance of the car, to increase or reduce oversteer at medium and high speeds. They have quite a pronounced effect,” he said.

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This light, uncomplicated coupé promises so much. Can the Toyota GT86 deliver?

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Comments
10

6 March 2013

Interesting proposition if it adds speed without adding too much weight.

I would strongly hope though that Toyota sticks with the manual gearbox.

Autoboxes and DCTs are good for rich kids but nothing matches the manual.

7 March 2013

Don't like their loaded lne of thinking. If they can take off 100kgs of kerbweight then just do that and dont add anything else.

That will totaly make the economy even better, the tax cheaper, wear and tear parts cheaper, the handling even better. The car even faster...

I am dissapointed in them unless they make the 197bhp 2.0 with 100kgs less weight now. Seeing as they have just announced they CAN do it.

 

 

 

 

 

7 March 2013

Yes pls Toyota... do make a hybrid version... in my country Malaysia, imported hybrid cars below 2.0 litre get 100% tax exemption... currently the normal GT86 is wayyyy too expensive... a tax free one will surely have more widespread appeal.

I hope Toyota are quietly listening...

7 March 2013

Agreed this is a great idea provided there is no weight penalty. I suspect that some if not most of the 100kg weight saving mentioned is a result of deleting the starter motor, alternator and heavy 12 volt battery - all items which could be redundant with a well designed hybrid.

If the company can save the 100kg elsewhere, then bring on the ligtweight GT86 right away - they could even learn from Porsche and charge a premium for it!  

7 March 2013

My knee jerk reaction was to be negative about the idea but if they can keep the weight down, it could be a far better solution compared to turbo charging.

Instant response, more torque and no negative fuel effects this could be quite an interesting route for Toyota to take.

I realise it is only one option they are exploring but I'd quite like to see it make production.

 

 

It's all about the twisties........

7 March 2013

I am sure Toyota could have a turbocharged version,but with the company's lead in Hybrid technology im sure a hybrid will appear regardless.Toyota should let TRD loose on some of their mainstream cars now to bring a little of the GT86 excitement to their driving dynamics.

22 June 2013

Cool car but hybrids to lack what the old cars lacked and thats real grunt, gone are the days of Cosworth and the real Evo's and Suburus's Beee car detailing

3 July 2013

Interesting proposition if it adds speed without adding too much weight.

I would strongly hope though that Toyota sticks with the manual gearbox.

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14 July 2014
I think that hybrids are not the future of car industry. In fact electro mobiles are. Yesterday I was having conversation with my brother in law who works in car industry and he said that almost every car brand is developing car which would in the future be able to drive without driver. I like Toyota but I wouldn´t buy hybrid car today...

23 November 2014
Hi, Since I saw the first Hybrid Car in an auto expo, I've become a fan of Hybrid Cars. I find the looks of Hybrid cars better compare to the petrol only cars and the fuel efficiency is awesome. All it could say is that it is the future.

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