By 2012, Toyota Motor Corp. intends to debut 11 new or redesigned hybrid vehicles; however, this doesn’t mean that it has neglected the internal combustion engine.
Takeshi Uchiyamada, executive vice president in charge of r&d, said that Toyota aims to boost the fleet's fuel efficiency by equipping smaller vehicles with turbochargers and direct fuel injection.
In an interview, Uchiyamada said that in the next five years, carmakers will follow the general trend of downsizing of engines and using turbochargers.
He said that direct fuel injection is also being developed. He said that turbos and direct fuel injection will be added across Toyota's lineup--even in four-cylinder engines and models such as the Corolla and Camry.
Uchiyamada, who served as the chief engineer of the first-generation Prius, said that eventually, there will be a considerable number of vehicles that will be powered by engines with turbochargers.
There are other modifications, including expanded use of idle-stop technology (which saves fuel by turning off the engine when the car stops) as well as advances in variable valve systems.
To keep its edge against competitors such as Hyundai Motor Co., Toyota will need to adopt new technologies. Uchiyamada said that four of the 11 upcoming hybrids will be model changes of existing hybrids.
Seven will be new models and these would either be stand-alone hybrids or hybrid versions of vehicles that didn't have a gasoline-electric option previously. [via autonews - sub. required]