Toyota Planning New Engine Families, Turbocharging On The Cards Photo:
Tony O'Kane | Jul, 15 2014 | 11 Comments

Toyota is planning to slash the cost of developing and manufacturing its next-generation range of engines, while simultaneously lifting fuel economy and opening up the possibility of turbocharging.

While many of the world's car makers have embraced forced induction and smaller displacement motors, Toyota has instead focused its engineering efforts on hybrid powertrain technology.

But that's all set to change.

By designing its future engines with a maximum number of common parts, Toyota hopes to significantly reduce manufacturing costs, allowing it to direct those savings toward developing more high-tech features like turbocharging, direct-injection and engine start-stop.

14 new engines will be released next year using this approach - dubbed Toyota New Global Architecture (TNGA) - the first being a start-stop equipped 1.0 litre petrol engine for the Japanese-market Toyota Passo/Daihatsu Boon light car that boasts 30 percent greater efficiency than before.

The TNGA engines will power Toyota's road cars for the next 10 to 15 years, and will also include hybrid options.

Not everything will feature turbocharging, direct-injection or even start-stop (at least, not initially), so don't expect a Volkswagen-esque range of all-turbo powerplants from Toyota just yet.

But products like the Lexus NX200t show the way forward for the brand, and it shouldn't take long for the technology in that car's turbocharged 2.0 litre inline four to trickle down to cars wearing the humble Toyota badge.

And one of those cars could include the Aurion.

Toyota is mulling over replacing the 3.5 litre V6 in its US-market Camry (the same V6 used by the Australian-market Aurion, itself based on the Camry) with a turbocharged and direct-injected inline four.

Speaking to Automotive News, Toyota's senior managing officer in charge of powertrain development Koei Saga said that a turbo Camry would be perfectly feasible - as well as more affordable under the TNGA system.

"It might be able to replace a six-cylinder with a four-cylinder plus turbo plus direct injection," Saga said.

"Compared to a V-6, we think this solution will be less costly."

Could it pave the way for sportier offerings from the conservative Japanese brand? The oft-rumoured turbo 86 perhaps? A successor to the legendary Toyota Supra? Maybe a forced-induction Corolla to rival the VW Golf GTI?

Toyota is no stranger to turbocharging, having high-output versions of the Supra, MR2 and Celica - as well as a full range of turbo large sedans in Japan - in the 1990s, but will the TNGA approach help the Japanese auto giant rediscover its mojo?

We'll find out over the next 10 to 15 years.

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