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Larger displacement Atkinson cycle engines may be in the future for Toyota

A number of automotive manufacturers have begun to move away from larger displacement naturally aspirated engines to smaller displacement turbocharged engines. The general idea was that smaller and lighter engines would use less fuel while offering the same sort of performance thanks to the addition of a turbocharger. However, in the real world many drivers have discovered that turbocharged small displacement engines are often unable to deliver on their fuel efficiency claims.

Toyota is considering bucking the industry trend and rather than going with smaller turbocharged engines, is considering larger naturally aspirated engines to improve fuel efficiency. Senior managing officer in charge of drivetrain R&D for Toyota Koei Saga recently said that Toyota believes gasoline engines could benefit more from upsizing capacity in conjunction with Atkinson combustion cycles than going smaller with turbochargers.
Atkinson engines today are typically only used in hybrid vehicles like the Prius, Ford Fusion Hybrid, Hyundai Sonata Hybrid, and Honda Accord Hybrid.

Toyota Camry
Increasing the displacement of an engine using the Atkinson cycle would deliver a specific output less than that of similarly sized conventional combustion cycle engines, but fuel economy would be better. Toyota believes that fuel economy would be better than the smaller engines they replace.
Toyota has offered no timeframe for bringing larger displacement Atkinson cycle engines to market and hasn't hinted at which models might get the Atkinson cycle engines.
Mazda experimented with similar “delayed valve” Miller Cycle technology over a decade ago in the Millenia midsize sedan. But instead of using electric motors to make up for the reduced power density like today’s Atkinson-engine hybrid vehicles, the Millenia used a supercharger.
Saga also talked a bit about the next generation Toyota Prius saying that the vehicle will use a mixture of battery technology including lithium-ion and nickel batteries. The reason for mixing battery types is that lithium-ion batteries are better for performance, but the durability and lifespan is better for nickel batteries. 

Source: Green Car Reports

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Toyota is right
By chillingrsx on 10/16/2013 11:31:50 AM , Rating: 2
From my knowledge. Honda was the first to go smaller engine for turbo when they came out with the RDX back in early 2000. So guess what, in 2013, they switch to a V6 and I'm loving everything about it. I currently own one. During the test drive, I test drove both model, the turbo and the naturally aspirated V6. It's much smoother and linear. I believe N/a is the way to go, less maintenance and better gas mileage. What they should focus on is reducing the weight. I believe any turbo engine will not have the same reliability as a n/a engine.

RE: Toyota is right
By DT_Reader on 10/16/2013 4:46:23 PM , Rating: 2
Honda was not first. Volvo did this decades ago. Their turbo 4 had more horsepower and better mileage than their 6.

The number one factor in gas mileage is vehicle weight. If a turbo 4 weighs less than the equivalent 6, the vehicle will get better gas mileage.

Why doesn't anyone make a diesel hybrid? Maybe they do in Europe, but why not here? Why isn't the Chevy Volt a diesel? Makes no sense to me. The five to ten cent/gallon cost premium is more than offset by the increased efficiency.

RE: Toyota is right
By twhittet on 10/16/2013 6:23:20 PM , Rating: 2
You mean 50 cent diesel premium over regular gas?

RE: Toyota is right
By silverblue on 10/18/2013 9:04:13 AM , Rating: 2
PSA do in Europe, along with Volvo, Mercedes and VW:

RE: Toyota is right
By inperfectdarkness on 10/18/2013 4:13:06 AM , Rating: 2

Toyota has had several small, boosted engines. The MR2 comes to mind. They are trying to BS people into believing that LIFETIME operating costs of hybrids are lower than a comperable turbocharged engine. Again, BS. Lithium batteries don't come cheap.

As far as reliability? Turbos have come a LONG, LONG way since the 80's. Materials have vastly improved. Ford's Eco-Boost v6 has made a believer out of millions--and there's a reason for that. Yes, N/A's will have a more linear power-curve. That said, to deliver any given amount of power, you can almost always do it with less weight on a smaller, boosted engine--than you can on a larger, naturally aspirated engine.

I'll swear by turbos. They deliver an altogether more enjoyable driving experince. It's no less visceral than that of the individuals who swear by manuals over automatics.

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