Toyota Not Ready to Jump on Small Displacement, Turbo Engine Bandwagon
October 16, 2013 9:26 AM
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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
Honda Accord Hybrid
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.
Green Car Reports
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RE: Toyota is right
10/16/2013 4:46:23 PM
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
10/16/2013 6:23:20 PM
You mean 50 cent diesel premium over regular gas?
RE: Toyota is right
10/18/2013 9:04:13 AM
PSA do in Europe, along with Volvo, Mercedes and VW:
"What would I do? I'd shut it down and give the money back to the shareholders." -- Michael Dell, after being asked what to do with Apple Computer in 1997
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