Toyota has unveiled a new global vehicle architecture that the company says will "greatly improve vehicle performance and product appeal", as well as cutting development costs and massively reducing the complexity of its current global model range.
Known as the Toyota New Global Architecture (TNGA), the system is a kit of "lighter, more compact" components that will be used for a new generation of vehicles covering front and rear-wheel drive and a new, "much higher efficiency" powertrain family.
The Japanese car maker also promises much-improved handling, thanks to a lower-mounted powertrain. This, according to Toyota, endows TNGA cars with the lowest centre of gravity of any mainstream rival.
As many as 50% of all Toyota’s output by 2020 will use the TNGA architecture. This will offer a huge cost saving and reduction in complexity for Toyota, which says it currently has around "100 platforms and sub-platforms".
Toyota says the TNGA structures will be 30-65% stiffer than today’s models. That should feed into better ride and handling as well as improved crash safety.
The new TNGA engines are "much more" thermally efficient, offering around 15% more power and - in conjunction with more efficient automatic and CVT transmissions – offer as much as 25% better fuel economy.
The "fifth generation" hybrid powertrain that is bundled with TNGA is claimed to be 15% more economical than today’s Toyota hybrid models.
This new powertain family will also reduce the huge complexity of Toyota’s global engine line-up. The company estimates that, taking into account different emissions regulations and way the units are mounted in a particular platform, it has around 800 different engines.