RAC Cars News


New Toyota power trains to boost driver enjoyment

By raccars Published


New Toyota power trains set to lower emissions, improve fuel efficiency and driver enjoyment.

Toyota has augmented its engine range in a bid to create the perfect fit with the brand’s new TNGA underpinnings. In addition to complementing the Toyota New Global Architecture, the company also wants to enhance driver enjoyment and engagement whilst offering better fuel economy, more power and lower emissions.

Toyota claims that the changes to its range of power trains could improve fuel economy by as much as 20 per cent, whilst lowering emissions by 15 per cent or more and delivering ten per cent additional power. The company aims to introduce its new range from next year.

How do they work?

The improvements in efficiency of the new Toyota power trains result in no small part from the brand’s efforts to reduce the weight of its engines and to ensure that the cars in which they are fitted have their centre of gravity kept low. The manufacturer says that this new range of power trains has the ability to change the way in which Toyota cars drive.

The new engine options include an in-line four-cylinder direct-injection 2.5-litre petrol unit. This is part of what Toyota terms its ‘Dynamic Force Engines’ range. These use a variety of efficiency-enhancing techniques such as high-speed combustion.

Friction affecting moving parts has also been reduced in order to offer greater efficiency and Toyota is now claiming efficiency ratings of 41 per cent for petrol hybrid variants of the engine and 40 per cent for petrol units. There will be no diesel version offered.

The hybrid is an improved system, according to the company, and makes use of the logic which has been applied to the new Prius’ power train. Toyota also indicates that this can now be used for rear-wheel-drive vehicles.

The plug-in hybrid has also been refined, delivering more power. This is because the electric motor is now allowed to power the wheels as well. Further improvements have been made to the lithium ion battery to extend the pure electric range to as much as 37 miles.

Gearbox additions

In addition to the new engine, Toyota is introducing a pair of automatic transmissions; a ten- and an eight-speed direct-shift gearbox. These have been designed with the objective of reducing friction levels and are lighter and smaller than their current equivalents, according to the brand.

Toyota claims that the ten-speed transmission has one of the fastest shift speeds available, which helps to ensure a smooth drive. The manufacturer also says that the gearbox has been designed with flexibility in mind, making it just as suitable for motorway cruising as it is to urban driving.

Toyota’s plan for the future

Toyota’s drive train offensive will take the brand into 2021 and by then, 17 different variants of the nine-engine line-up should have been introduced, together with six hybrid systems offered in ten varieties.

Ten new gearboxes, including a CVT, are also set to make their debuts and the first should be fitted in a new model set for launch in 2017. The exact model has yet to be confirmed but it is believed that it will be the Lexus LS. This is amongst the oldest models in the Lexus and Toyota range.

Toyota is known to have adjusted its business focus to concentrate on long-range EVs. Akio Toyoda, CEO and the grandson of the founder of Toyota, is at the head of the brand’s vehicle strategy. Toyota is rearranging its hybrid operations and it is believed that the brand will increase its hybrid workforce by 30 per cent over the next half decade.

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