Toyota Motor Corp. has unveiled two new base engines that will boost fuel economy by 10 percent. The 1.3-liter and 1.0-liter gasoline engines will serve as basis for 14 new engine variants that will be launched globally through 2015. Improved thermal efficiency was achieved by adapting a rapid combustion process, high compression ratio and an Atkinson burning cycle – which used to be reserved for Toyota’s hybrid vehicles.
This will be the first time that Toyota places an Atkinson cycle engine in a vehicle that is not a hybrid. While the Atkinson cycle enhances fuel efficiency by keeping the intake valves open briefly during the compression stroke, it power is reduced. Toyota uses the cycle in hybrids since the battery-powered electric motor can supplement the Atkinson engine’s lower output.
Toyota’s new approach targets to apply the Atkinson cycle on non-hybrids while boosting power through other methods. Shouji Adachi, project general manager of powertrain planning, remarked that they were able to resolve lower torque performance issues in newer engines.
The new base engines will be used to build bigger engines for luxury vehicles and hybrids, as well as engines employing direct-injection and turbocharging. The 14 new engine variants will cover around 30 percent of Toyota’s global nameplates when they are rolled out over the next two years.
The new engines indicate the future direction of drivetrains under the Toyota New Global Architecture, or TNGA, a new approach targeted at maximizing common parts. The first TNGA cars will arrive next year.
The new engines are first products of Toyota’s new Powertrain Joint Development Building, a new 12-story r&d center located at Toyota’s global headquarter in Toyota City.
The massive r&d center has a total floor space of 1 million square feet and allows stronger collaboration between powertrain, prototyping and production engineers by keeping them under one structure.