Staff Writer - CheersandGears.com
October 17, 2013
The trend with powertrains is to do small-displacement engine with turbochargers to provide the performance of a larger engine with the fuel economy of the small engine. Toyota looks to be bucking the trend.
In a interview with Automotive News, Koei Saga, senior managing officer in charge of drivetrain research and development for Toyota said the company will be investing into turbocharged engines, but it will not "emphasize turbocharging across many product lines." Instead, Saga says the company believes that using large-displacement engines with the Atkinson cycle.
Here's why Toyota believes this is the right idea. Atkinson cycle engines keep the intake valves open longer than a normal gas engine, which cuts the length of the compression stroke and in turn cuts pumping losses. The end result is improve efficiency at the cost of torque. This is why you see Atkinson cycle engines used in hybrid vehicles since the electric motor can provide the low-end torque. When paired with a large-displacement engine, the hope is that you keep the efficiency while gaining back the loss in torque.
In addition to the large-displacement Atkinson cycle engines, Toyota will invest heavily into continuously variable and fixed-gear automatic transmissions, as well as its fuel-cell vehicle program.
Source: Automotive News (Subscription Required)