Toyota has revealed improvements to its engine range to fit with its TNGA (Toyota New Global Architecture) underpinnings.
High amongst the list of prioritised changes is a focus upon driver engagement and enjoyment, in addition to better fuel economy by up to 20%, up to 15% lower emissions of at least 15 per cent, and 10% more power. Toyota aims to introduce the range from 2017 onwards.
This efficiency is partly due to Toyota’s measures employed to lighten the engines, and ensure that they give cars they're used in a low centre of gravity. The manufacturer claims that the new raft of engines could “change how Toyota cars drive”.
Included in this new raft of engines is a new, 2.5-litre direct-injection inline four-cylinder petrol engine, part of a range which Toyota calls ‘Dynamic Force Engines’, which use high-speed combustion and other efficiency-based technologies.
Lower friction has also been designed into moving parts for greater fuel efficiency; Toyota claims efficiency ratings of 40% and 41% for the petrol and petrol hybrid versions of this engine respectively. It will not be offered as a diesel.
The hybrid will be an improved system, using the logic applied to the powertrain of the new Prius. The brand also claims that this system is now also suitable for rear-wheel drive cars. The plug-in hybrid powertrain is also tweaked to give more power by allowing the previously generative electric motor to power the wheels too. The lithium ion battery has also been tweaked, to increase its electric-only driving range up to 37 miles.
On top of the new engine line-up is a duo of automatic transmissions; eight and ten-speed direct-shift units, which are also designed to experience low levels of friction, and are smaller lighter than equivalents, Toyota claims. For the ten-speed, ‘among the world’s quickest’ shift speeds contribute to a smooth drive, and is designed to be flexible and as suited to urban driving as it is motorway cruising.
Toyota’s drivetrain offensive carries it into 2021, by which time 17 variations of its nine-engine lineup will have been introduced, as well as six hybrid systems presented in ten versions.
Ten gearboxes, including a new CVT, will also make their respective debuts. The first of these will be on a new model being launched in 2017. Although not confirmed, this is likely to be the new Lexus LS, which is one of the oldest cars in the Toyota and Lexus range.
This comes as Toyota shifts its internal focus to one of long-range electric vehicles with the appointment of Akio Toyoda, CEO and grandson of Toyota’s founder, at the helm of its EV strategy. Toyota is rejigging its hybrid structure, and within five years will increase its hybrid workforce by 30% within the next five years.