Toyota has developed a 2.0-litre engine that it claims is the most thermally efficient petrol unit in production.
The new four-cylinder engine is said to have a thermal efficiency of 40% – just 1% short of what the Toyota Prius offers with its 1.8-litre hybrid powertrain.
Toyota said the engine can achieve unparalleled levels of fuel economy as a result of new friction-reducing technology and more efficient exhaust and cooling systems.
It will be rolled out across Toyota’s new global architecture (TNGA) models in the coming years.
The new 2.0-litre petrol engine, which peaks at 169bhp, will also offered with hybrid electric power. In this guise, it will match the Prius’s 41% thermal efficiency but offers more performance thanks to its larger capacity.
It will be one of two hybrid powerplants offered in the new Auris, with the existing 1.8-litre hybrid powertrain remaining as the entry point, albeit in an updated form.
The expanded hybrid line-up created by the new 2.0-litre engine should partially fill the void left by the departed diesel Auris. Toyota dropped the diesel version of the Auris last year amid low demand, with just 651 examples sold in 2017.