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Toyota to downsize with next-gen engines

Pioneer: The Japanese-market Toyota Passo has become the first car to employ’s Toyota’s new-generation engine technology from a family of powertrains that will grow to 14 in 12 months.

New family of fuel-efficient engines on the way as Toyota plays catch-up

16 Jul 2014

TOYOTA is developing a new, more efficient modular petrol engine family after years focussing on hybrids, according to United States-based industry publication Automotive News.

The report says the company will use common powertrain elements across a number of engines in a bid to reduce manufacturing costs by up to 50 per cent while cutting fuel consumption by up to 30 per cent.

Toyota has slipped behind its rivals in recent years when it comes to developing smaller capacity, fuel-efficient internal combustion engines.

European and America brands have successfully downsized engines by using turbocharging and direct injection, while Mazda has rolled out its fuel-saving SkyActiv petrol and diesel engines across its passenger car range.

Honda's Earth Dreams family of fuel efficient powertrains uses direct injection and turbocharging for both petrol and diesel engines and is available on several models in its portfolio, including the Civic diesel hatch in Australia.

The new engine family will form a part of Toyota's wider product development strategy, dubbed Toyota New Global Architecture (TNGA), in which the company will use common parts and platforms across a variety of models.

Automotive News reports that the first TNGA vehicles will arrive in 2015, apparently starting with the next-generation petrol-electric hybrid Prius.

The report also says that 14 new engines will be introduced in the next 12 months across 30 per cent of the company's global nameplates, and that the new powertrian family will underpin Toyota's line-up for 10 to 15 years.

One of the new-generation engines is already in service under the bonnet of the Japanese-market Passo hatch. The 1.0-litre petrol engine powering that vehicle is equipped with idle stop and has reduced fuel use by 30 per cent over the outgoing model.

The next Prius, as well as the next-generation Camry mid-sizer, due in 2016-17, are likely to feature the new fuel efficient engines.

In an interview at the company's global headquarters in Japan last week, Toyota Motor Corporation senior managing officer in charge of powertrain development Koei Saga said the new engines would help the car-maker maintain its global market leadership.

"We would like to achieve number-one performance in fuel economy and cost for all the engines that we will be developing," he said.

"We are spending more time concentrating on improving the basic performance of engines. That means we can maintain leadership in the market for a long time."

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