Toyota could soon join the new wave of carmakers targeting low fuel consumption and emissions figures by mating small direct-injected petrol engines with turbochargers, according to reports out of the US this week.
The carmaker already counts a host of hybridised models in its current line-up, but according to The Detroit Bureau, a new project will see it team with long-time racing partner Gazoo Racing on the new engines.
Expanding its engine options to include small-displacement turbocharged petrol engines would give Toyota a boost as it faces off challenges in the hybrid market from the likes of Volkswagen, Ford and GM.
While the pairing of turbochargers and small petrol engines is unlikely to match the fuel efficiency of an equivalent hybrid arrangement, it is expected that the option will prove appealing for buyers seeking more performance, while bringing the carmaker's average fleet consumption and emissions figures down.
The report adds that the first of the new engines are expected to debut as early as 2013 in the Japanese market, appearing in the local Auris (Corolla) small car and even the larger Crown sedan.
The volume-selling Camry sedan could also gain a small turbocharged and direct-injected engine. In Australia, the 2.5 litre four-cylinder Camry produces 133kW and 231Nm of torque, with fuel consumption listed at 7.8 l/100km.
The 2012 Hybrid Camry is expected to offer better than the 6.0 l/100km of the current model, and a turbocharged small-displacement model could fit between the Hybrid and regular models for both power and fuel consumption.