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Print 55 comment(s) - last by EricMartello.. on Oct 5 at 10:40 AM


Toyota Camry SE
Toyota is finally going to catch up to the competition

Toyota is known for producing boring family sedans and SUVs that appeal to a large audience. The company is also known for its fuel efficient Prius family of hybrid vehicles. Vehicles like the Prius/Prius c manage to achieve 50mpg on the highway thanks to a fuel-sipping gasoline engine backed with a continuously variable transmission (CVT) and an electric motor/battery.

Toyota has largely ignored making significant advances in its traditional gasoline engine/powertrain department; with efficient transmission/engine offerings lagging the competition (the Toyota Corolla still uses a 4-speed automatic transmission when the competition has moved to 6-speed units and CVTs).

However, no longer will its traditional vehicles take a backseat to its hybrids according to Takeshi Uchiyamada, Toyota's product development chief. "By 2015, through improvement in the engine and powertrain alone, we aim to achieve a fuel-efficiency improvement of 10 percent to 20 percent on the models adopting the improvements," said Uchiyamada.


The Toyota Corolla still uses an archaic four-speed automatic transmission and lags behind the competition in fuel economy

Competitors like Ford have already embraced direct injection and turbocharging across much of the produce range (see EcoBoost), and Toyota is following suit. Toyota plans to introduce a direct injection version of its 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine (this new engine will first see duty in hybrid models). The engine will also find its way into vehicles like the Camry, RAV4, and Venza.

In addition, Toyota will also introduce a 2.0-liter, turbocharged four-cylinder engine that will likely take the place of the 3.5-liter V6 currently found in midsize Toyota sedans and crossovers.

Toyota is also looking to add 6- and 8-speed automatic transmission to its vehicles. This should help vehicles like that aforementioned Corolla with its archaic transmission boost fuel efficiency ratings. The company will also add CVTs to more of its models, a move that has long been championed by Nissan. Nissan provides CVTs in everything from its tiny Versa subcompact to the large Pathfinder crossover.

All of these moves largely see Toyota playing catch-up with the rest of the automotive industry. Toyota has for too long placed all of its fuel efficiency eggs in the hybrid basket, while neglecting its bread and butter vehicles. With the competition now fiercer than ever, it now looks as though Toyota has finally realized that not everyone wants to purchase a hybrid in order to get increased fuel efficiency.

Source: AutoWeek



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By EricMartello on 10/5/2012 10:40:53 AM , Rating: 2
quote:
The footprint applies to trucks too because there is quite a difference between the Colorado and the 3500. Now Chevy doesn't have to sell three Colorado to every one 3500 to meet the standard just like they don't need to sell 4 Aveo for every Camaro. That is how the footprint method applies. Read up on it.


You're really off-topic here and don't seem to pick up on the fact that I'm not interested in this minutia about how the CAFE standard is applied.

The original point I made and maintain is that even seemingly small improvements in fuel economy become increasingly more difficult to realize as the size/quality level of a vehicle increases.

Getting a full size pickup truck to deliver 25 MPG would be quite a feat in itself if you want to do this without compromising its capabilities to tow or haul cargo. Get it? Most full-size trucks, even something like the Ford F150 with turbo V6, gets 15-19 MPG. Taking it to 20-25 MPG would mean a 20% improvement - that's not small.

quote:
Why don't you? Then you can see how it was $4 per gallon right before it plummeted to $2, along with the economy. Wow! Now I understand what you mean, the best way to get gas down to $2 is to crash our economy and kill demand, right?


I did, and I also said that the average price of fuel was lower under Bush than it has been under Obama - which it was. You're hinging on the last 6 months of a campaign year and ignoring the preceding 7.5 years of relatively low gas prices as if you're making some "brilliant" point.

quote:
So we can violate the world trade agreement we signed onto and pay fines to oil producing countries? You can't go protective like you're talking about while remaining part of the WTO.


What do you think they're going to do if we don't pay fines? These are "games" we play with countries that think they're big sh1t because they happen to live on top of a much-needed resource. We let them sell that oil to us, but if we wanted to, we could just take it...in fact, we probably did to some extent. The wars you hear about on TV are not necessarily clear cut.

quote:
You're excellent idea is not possible with our economy. As I mentioned earlier, it's simple economics with a demand and supply curve dictated by the rise in demand in China and the limiting of supply by OPEC.


It's absolutely possible...and if the US starts supply themselves with oil, China becomes OPEC's only big customer and I don't think China is going to play as nice with them as we have. IN fact, if we dropped OPEC altogether China and Russia would probably move in and take over. Speculative, but likely.

My point remains - we could get gas down to $2/gallon again even in this economy and without a recession...so what if the method requires a bit of creativity.

quote:
The engines are not investments that can be applied to all vehicles because you would be stupid to put a 426hp engine in a Malibu.


Actually, you'd be surprised to learn that engine technology is largely transferable between various car models and their varying engine types.

For example you would not put the V8 into a Malibu, but the principles learned in squeezing more power out of the V8 can be applied to a V6 and in some cases an I4.

The shape of the intake/exhaust ports, the materials used, variable valve-train calibrations...these things can be transposed across an entire product line.

quote:
You are comparing a V8 super car to an anemic I4. My original example was a 150hp vs a 300hp. So a better comparison would be your V6 Camaro and the I4 Accent. You add 50% more weight for 60% increase in hp and torque. If there were better examples.I would use them but they are a rough selection. Ofcourse a 425hp car is going to beat a 100hp car unless it is 4 times the weight. I never said an econobox with near equal weight and a quarter of the power would be the same. Your example is more like comparing a Veyron to a Prius.


I'm comparing two real cars - your main thing was that the lighter econo car would "feel the same" as the heavier, but more powerful, sports car. You were claiming that nobody would notice the difference at low RPM and I completely disagree with that assessment.

V6 engines are quite torque-y, that was one of their big selling points when cars were either I4 or V8. They were touted as being efficient like an I4 with the power of a V8...and in some instances it is true.

The bottom line is that a NA 4-cyl engine has steep HP/TQ curves and a narrow power band. Both V6 and V8 engines have broader power bands and are noticeably more responsive at lower RPMs.

quote:
I've driven a Mustang GT, a Corvette coupe, a WRX STI, and Dodge Charger. I know what cars drive like, and I could easily tell the difference between the Charger and the Corvette based primarily because of the weight difference. Now if you drive those vehicles outside of their proper power bands like 2500 rpms vs 4500 rpms, they feel sluggish like driving a normal mid size car within its power band. That is the point I am trying to make. Any car outside its power band will always feel sluggish because you are slinging a car with little torque relative to its weight.


Sorry but no dice here. You're not selling me on this one. Driving a Corvette slowly doesn't feel "sluggish" because at any moment you want to drop the hammer you are going to break the rear end...and if you gain traction you will be firmly planted back in your seat as you accelerate with ferocious vigor - that's not sluggish and you need to exercise restraint while driving slowly.

Do the same thing in your Honda Fit - the car rattles and whines but you barely feel anything. As you scream past 35 MPH you feel like you may doze off. Once you pass 35 MPH the car struggles to 60 MPH after which its acceleration can be measured in minutes rather than seconds - THIS is what we could call sluggish.


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