A top Toyota executive has reconfirmed their plan to overhaul their engine lineup with new turbocharged and fuel saving options. What this means for trucks isn’t clear, but it is likely there will be a turbocharged engine option in the future.
You may have seen a rash of stories on Toyota’s new engine overhaul strategy (for example this TruckTrend story). All of these stories are coming from this AutoNews.com story and is basically just another spokesperson confirming this story we ran in December.
In short, Toyota is planning to radically change up its engine lineup in sedans and cars with smaller displacement turbocharged engines. This is a shift from their long-time strategy of putting hybrids above all else.
According to AutoNews.com, the future will be for the base engines to take Toyota’s take multi-pronged approach to better fuel economy:
- Lean-burning Atkinson cycle combustion in regular cars, not only hybrids.
- New intake ports create a vertical air-fuel swirl for more rapid combustion.
- Expanded variable valve timing improves combustion efficiency.
- A high compression ratio improves power and efficiency.
The first engine developed for this purpose was recently unveiled in the new Lexus NX. This SUV is powered by a turbocharged engine utilizing both the Atkinson and Otto engine cycle. By using both of these systems, Toyota is betting their turbocharged engine will be the best on the market.
It also seems incredibly likely the Camry will be next on the list to get a new turbocharged engine.
Truck Engines Future
What does this have to do with trucks? Simple. These engines will eventually make their way into trucks in some form. For example, it is easy to see Toyota dropping it into the Tacoma. It is also feasible for the Tundra to have an “EcoBoost” like engine.
The problem for trucks is still the “work” aspect of using this type of engine. While Ford has turned many people on to their turbochargers, there is still a significant amount of truck buyers who simply don’t buy into it.
Also, the Atkinson cycle has been regulated to only hybrids for years. It has never really been used in a different application like the Lexus NX. Will it be a problem? Probably not, but we really don’t know yet.
Ultimately, these engines are still 10 to 15 years away from being offered throughout Toyota’s lineup. This means, it will be more likely Toyota will offer one for the Tundra sometime in the 2020s – right before the 2025 CAFE requirements hit.
North Texas Toyota dealers have an interesting take on the corporate companies relocation to that area. They hope Toyota executives see first-hand all the full-size trucks on the road and this will spur them to commit more resources to the Tundra.
Recently at a Ford media event, I was able to talk with a representative who drove the new F-150 with the 2.7L EcoBoost. While, he was short on specifics, the engine has created a lot of questions for truck fans. Is the engine simply a fuel-economy gimmick? Let’s discuss.
The sales growth of Ram Trucks is a good/bad news scenario for Chrysler. Why? The convoluted system of EPA credits, CAFE fuel economy targets and Chrysler’s failure to sell small, fuel-efficient cars. This system means long-term the FCA is in trouble. Here’s why.Read more…