Mike Stevens | Nov 26, 2010

In recent years, the focus at Toyota has been on achieving optimum efficiency through the use of hybrid drivetrains, pairing petrol engines with electric motors in myriad capacities and outputs.

This year has seen the Japanese giant team-up with Tesla, a small but rapidly growing US-based electric vehicle company, on the development of an all-electric version of its RAV4 compact SUV.

With all of this in mind, you'd be forgiven for thinking that by 2020, there won't be a single conventionally-powered Toyota on the road.

But in fact, Toyota's R&D boss Takeshi Uchiyamada says only 10 to 20 percent of its new car sales in 2020 will be hybrid models, confirming that 'regular' engines will continue to play a big role in the carmaker's line-up.

"In the next five years, the general trend is downsizing of engines and the use of turbochargers," Uchiyamada told Autoweek. "Another development will be direct fuel injection."

Uchiyamada, development boss for the first-generation Prius, added that the Toyota range will eventually see "significant numbers" of models equipped with turbochargers and smaller engines - particularly the top-selling Corolla and Camry.

Toyota's future engines will be developed with a special focus on ultra-low fuel consumption, including expanded use of stop-start technology (which switches the engine off while idle) and further improvements in variable valve systems.

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