By on August 2, 2017

2018 Toyota Camry Georgetown Kentucky Production line - Image: ToyotaForget hybrids. Set aside, for this moment, plug-in hybrids as well. Ignore the EV hubbub and the pie-in-the-sky hydrogen fuel cells. While you’re at it, remove turbochargers and their accompanying displacement reductions from your memory, too.

The naturally aspirated internal combustion engine has legs. The proof is in the 2018 Toyota Camry’s 2.5-liter Dynamic Force four-cylinder. With no hybrid assist, no turbos, no cord that plugs into your garage wall, and no futuristic fuel source, the new Camry 2.5-liter produces 206 horsepower and hits 41 miles per gallon on the highway on regular 87 octane.

That’s 16-percent more power 24-percent more highway mpg than the 2017 Camry’s 2.5-liter four-cylinder. With improvements in conventional, naturally aspirated, gas-fired engines occurring in such leaps and bounds, it’s no wonder Toyota has bigger plans for the Dynamic Force blueprint.

2018 Toyota Camry 2.5 underhood - Image: ToyotaAccording to Ben Schlimme, Toyota’s executive program manager for powertrains, says “Dynamic Force is not solely aimed at the 2.5-liter engine.” According to Automotive News, Schlimme says the tech featured in the Camry’s 2.5 is destined for other segments, and V6 and V8 editions are now in concept form.

Getting the 2.5 to make substantially more power, without turbocharging and without harming efficiency, involved focusing on good ol’ fashioned fundamentals: friction, air flow, and cooling. Fundamental ideals for engineers, they may be, but enhancing the powerplant required new approaches: “high-speed combustion technology and a variable control system,” Toyota says, with a widened angle between intake and exhaust valves, a laser-cladded valve seat, and “strengthened tumble flow and high performance injector” which improve the fuel/air mixture, among other changes.2018 Camry 2.5 Dynamic Force - Image: ToyotaMuch of the work Toyota did to the 2.5-liter is based on the need to improve the efficiency of its hybrids. “Our electrification pathway relies on these improvements of our internal-combustion engine,” Schlimme says, “hence we put a lot of effort ensuring that this base engine delivers on those principles.”

It doesn’t sound like Toyota is preparing us for a 2025 in which there will be few dealers, a near-100-percent electric fleet, and extensive ride-sharing in autonomous Ubers. You’ll recall Mazda’s belief: internal combustion engines are in the works until at least 2050.

Whether Toyota takes conventional engines that far won’t soon be determined. But if the next iteration of the 2.5-liter Toyota four-cylinder makes similar advances, and if Toyota applies similar improvements to V6 and V8 engines, we won’t be disappointed by missing battery packs and absent turbochargers.

[Images: Toyota]

Timothy Cain is a contributing analyst at The Truth About Cars and Autofocus.ca and the founder and former editor of GoodCarBadCar.net. Follow on Twitter @timcaincars.

Get the latest TTAC e-Newsletter!

Recommended

102 Comments on “Don’t Go All Hybrid/Turbo/Electric/Fuel Cell Just Yet – Toyota V6 And V8 to Gain “Dynamic Force” Camry Engine Tech...”


  • avatar
    LeMansteve

    It’s mainly a valve and piston job. SO DYNAMIC

    Is the fuel efficiency increase due solely to DYNAMIC FORCE, or has the transmission gearing changed?

    • 0 avatar
      30-mile fetch

      Why the snark? It’s a base powertrain with natural aspiration, over 200hp, 40mpg, and no CVT. That’s fairly impressive and–lack of clutch pedal aside–I thought that was a winning combination for this crowd.

      I don’t care what they call it, the automotive lexicon is full of goofy powertrain names. Earth Dreams. Pure Drive. Ecoboost. Ecotec. Triton.

      • 0 avatar
        Lampredotto

        Skyactiv!

      • 0 avatar
        LeMansteve

        Exactly. Too many pumped-up, abstract marketing names flying around these days. The Skyactiv logos on my Mazda – what are they supposed to describe?

        While a 40mpg/200hp NA Camry is nice progress, let’s not dress it up too much.

      • 0 avatar
        neondart

        Looks like a great idea to me and the internal combustion engine and fossil fuel are my choice, and the best choice, in power plants. Anything else at this stage of development in transportation, is folly. I don’t care how professor snowflake is brainwashing his minions.

        Now……………..if they would only up production of manual transmissions for the real men behind the wheel.

    • 0 avatar
      Dan

      My expectations are low enough these days that something under the hood without some variation of “Eco” written on it already makes me happier than I was before.

      It’s no Rocket V8 but it’s a start.

    • 0 avatar
      toplessFC3Sman

      Once you’ve designed a combustion system that balances high levels of dilution, turbulent kinetic energy, heat losses, a high compression ratio, valve events, intake and exhaust flow management and direct injection mixing phenomenon, all while meeting incredibly tight emissions standards and producing the specific power and efficiency of this engine, then you can get snarky. Calling it a “valve and piston job” is incredibly simplistic.

    • 0 avatar
      tekdemon

      It’s the most thermally efficient production gasoline powered internal combustion engine in the world. Actually, it’s both the most efficient and second most efficient since it comes in 2 variants, with the hybrid version being 1% more efficient.
      What great engineering breakthroughs have you accomplished typing garbage on the keyboard?

  • avatar
    JimZ

    I’m sure the 8-speed transmission contributed a bit to the fuel economy gains.

  • avatar
    SCE to AUX

    I would choose this over a hybrid just for the improved driveability. Very impressive.

    • 0 avatar
      HotPotato

      Wut? Drivability is the best reason to buy a hybrid. More torque, less vibration, no jerky gearshifting. (Unless it’s a Hyundai/Kia hybrid.)

      That said, I’ve never seen this combo of HP and MPG in a non-hybrid powertrain. Pretty amazing.

  • avatar
    volvo

    Why small displacement engines? Sort of unintended consequences when a number of European countries where tax/registration of autos was based on engine displacement not engine efficiency. To get power from these 1-1.4 liter engines the only answer was turbocharging.

    Toyota with a large sales base where power/mpg was more important to consumers obviously is vigorously pursuing efficiency. My 2009 V6 AWD RAV4 is rated at 260hp and gets combined 25mpg. The IL4 version is rated at 175hp and gets 26mpg combined. Larger displacement, real time computer adjustment of fuel ratios and transmission gearing can work wonders.

    It is always a contest between engineers, bean counters and marketing/PR. It seems that perhaps the engineers have decent budgets and input at Toyota.

    • 0 avatar
      bhtooefr

      For the European market, they did end up transitioning away from displacement taxes, to CO2 taxes.

      However, they had another problem – their fuel economy test cycle was designed so that literal 30 horsepower family cars could actually complete the test cycle without failing due to insufficient acceleration.

      So, this creates a way to game the test cycle. You take the same 50-60 hp naturally aspirated engines that you were building for the previous displacement tax regime, you optimize their efficiency (which may even reduce the power)… and then you turbocharge the fuck out of them, and you have acceptable power to replace your larger engines. Note that they get terrible fuel economy in the real world, but that doesn’t matter, only the test matters. (Except, of course, when you have companies like Toyota and Mazda selling things like part-time Atkinson-cycle naturally aspirated engines, and it’s a fuel cost-sensitive market, making the real-world fuel economy actually matter…)

  • avatar
    indi500fan

    Continuous improvement…just like Ed Deming taught.

    At 2 bucks a gallon, all the complexity of hybrids is driven by regulation, not economics.

    • 0 avatar
      PrincipalDan

      “Innovation will come from the producer, not the consumer.” W. Edwards Deming

      • 0 avatar
        Caboose

        …and, by inference, neither will innovation come from the regulator, whose mandate isn’t to innovate but rather to tell the innovative producer why his solution can’t work or won’t be allowed to work, and how big of a cut the government will demand for the solutions it mandates or allows.

        • 0 avatar
          sirwired

          It’s entirely possible that this innovation would not exist at all if not for EPA/CARB/EU fuel economy requirements, none of which specify specific solutions for hitting those targets.

          And I have no idea what you are referring to when you talk about a government “cut” for solutions… I was not aware the EPA levies a tax on vehicles that meet CAFE targets. (And it is, in fact, the opposite that is true.)

          • 0 avatar
            indi500fan

            Yes the Mobilgas Economy Run was secretly funded by covert EPA operatives decades before it officially existed.

        • 0 avatar
          bhtooefr

          Except, in this case, it was the regulator (the EPA) telling the “innovator” (the American automakers) to actually attempt to innovate in some way.

          They showed concepts that were actually innovative, Toyota panicked, fearing that the EPA would shut them out of the US market for not having such a concept, and designed their own production car to compete against those concepts.

          Then, the American automakers didn’t actually bring their “innovative” concepts to production, Toyota did, and the rest is history.

          So, the EPA may not have innovated, but their pressures created a market for innovations, which led to innovation happening.

    • 0 avatar
      stuki

      Plug in hybrids, with all-electric range a bit above common daily commuter usage, can be a good deal for lots of people for whom commuting is the main use of the car.

  • avatar
    Lou_BC

    Definition of Oxymoron – At Toyota, big improvements are on ICE ;)

  • avatar
    pmirp1

    Biggest loser is Honda with its Accord and other brands now carrying turbo small displacement engines, and losing V6, not to mention moving forward with CVTs. Hope Toyota captures more of the small and mid-size segments at the expense of Honda.

    • 0 avatar
      conundrum

      You do realize the 2,0t comes with a ten speed automatic, right?

    • 0 avatar
      conundrum

      You do realize the Accord 2.0t comes with a ten speed automatic, right? And a manual if you want one. Is that moving ahead with CVTs?

      Toyota puts CVTs in the Corolla and C-HR “couldn’t pull the skin off a rice pudding” 1.8 and 2.0l naturally aspirated motors they churn out. Dynamic Force can’t arrive too soon for those sluggards, pushing out a massive wrench the tires off with massive slugs of torque 132/144 hp sissy mills. The Civic’s base 2.0 l naturally aspirated engine puts out 158 hp.

      But of course acknowledging this would ruin your rant. And be no fun at all.

  • avatar
    gasser

    Wow. 206 hp and 41 mpg highway.
    This is slightly better than my 1968 Mercury Montego with the 302 and 2 barrel. It got about 18 mpg highway. I have no idea what the city mileage was, because gas was 23.9 cents per gallon and I never bothered to compute it!
    Whether or not this mileage is due to engine, transmission, tires or just good luck, 50 years ago we would not have been able to guess at such an achievement.

  • avatar
    arach

    Couple this with variable compression technology by infiniti, forced induction, and having good performing 50+ MPG is becoming realistic?

    A 50 MPG car costs only about $3200 in gas over its life. Give me decent performance out of a 50 MPG car (I’m 100% happy with the performance on some of the 2.0Ts that are getting about 32 MPG) and Gas will be fighting back.

    I remember when, in the 90s, a 32 MPG car would get 105ish lb-ft of torque. You used to pray it could get up a hill. It was an awful tradeoff. Today you can get 260 lb-ft of torque at 1400 RPM on a car with 32 MPG. How insane is that. 2.5x the power, in a bigger heavier platform, with the same fuel economy.

    The Geo Metro put down like 58 lb-ft. It could barely move on a flat surface and was so tiny you couldn’t fit a family of 4 in it. Now the Prius puts down 105 lb-ft . The problem is, while some people are “OK” with that it still sucks.

    Get me Prius efficiency with 260 lb-ft of torque and I have a DD I can love!

    • 0 avatar
      gtemnykh

      “It could barely move on a flat surface ”

      Oh come on now.

    • 0 avatar
      JimZ

      “It could barely move on a flat surface”

      it was much quicker than the Iron Duke equipped Camaro and Firebird from a few years prior. Those cars were about 20 seconds 0-60, the Metro ripped through that at 13 seconds.

    • 0 avatar
      bikegoesbaa

      Not sure what you’re using as “life” and “cost of fuel” inputs, but if I understand your math right if a 50 mpg car costs $3,200 worth of fuel in its life then a 30 mpg car could be expected to cost $5,200 to cover the same distance.

      As this difference shakes out to about $300 per year I don’t see any reason why I should bother pursuing a 50 mpg car if satisfactory 30 mpg cars already exist.

      • 0 avatar
        HotPotato

        Yep. Without getting into the math, that’s why small-sounding MPG improvements on gas hogs are more important to eking out yet another MPG in a small car. People made fun of GM when they brought full-size hybrid SUVs to market because they didn’t get the MPG of a Prius or whatever, which totally misses the point…a few MPG more in a Tahoe seriously matters over the life of the car, while a few MPG more in a Prius kinda doesn’t.

  • avatar
    JimC2

    Unclear whether this uses direct injection or not- I suspect not.

  • avatar
    DeadWeight

    This is a case example where Toyota’s motor-engineering brilliance shines through.

    And the rewards will be many for Toyota in the coming decade, as other automakers’ reputation for reliability (including the once shining beacon that is Honda) either take massive hits or sink even further, in an era of smaller displacement, turbocharged motors propelling their cars, trucks and vans, in a quest to meet future EPA/CAFE targets.

    Toyota will easily meet those targets with simpler, more reliable, more durable powerplants, in many cases allowing its normally aspirated vehicles to match or significantly exceed horsepower AND fuel efficiency standards of rival automaker vehicles in the same segments, even though those vehicles will be propelled by problematic powerplants, in large manner caused by the side-effects of forced induction and cooling systems and other systems built-to-a-necessary price point that can’t cope (Toyota won’t have this problem).

    Yes, Virginia, the new era of the 200,000+ mile, relatively trouble-free motor, encased in affordable, plain commuter vehicles, may possibly be Toyota’s sole ground to snatch from all competitors.

    • 0 avatar
      sirwired

      I don’t understand the hate for turbochargers, or the dire predictions that they are sure to decrease reliability. The systems just aren’t that complicated. They consist of:
      – A turbine. By this point they are neither expensive nor is their lifetime any less than that of the rest of the engine.
      – A servomotor (for the wastegate)
      – A couple pneumatic valves
      – A couple sensors
      – Some vacuum check valves
      – Some tubing

      In Ye Olden Days (before modern computer control) turbocharged engines were fiendishly complicated for the same reason late-stage carburetors were; efficient analog-based fuel/air control can get hairy in a hurry. But once you shift the burden over to the computer (that you’ll need with or without a turbocharger), things get a lot simpler.

      • 0 avatar
        JimZ

        the hate comes from a couple of sources:

        1) people with a V8 fetish who don’t like them being supplanted by turbo V6s

        2) people who like revvy engines; most downsized turbo engines on the market are tuned for low- and mid-range power/torque, and the tiny fast-spooling turbos run out of airflow at higher rpms.

        The reliability worries are unfounded. every class 6, 7, and 8 truck on the road has had one or more turbochargers for decades and they run forever. IIRC most modern implementations water-cool the bearing section so cooking off the oil isn’t a concern either.

        • 0 avatar
          28-Cars-Later

          Those class 6, 7, and 8 trucks are turbo diesel though are they not?

          • 0 avatar
            JimZ

            what does that have to do with anything? turbochargers are turbochargers.

          • 0 avatar
            28-Cars-Later

            While the principle may be the same, do both turbo systems work in the same manner? No sarc.

          • 0 avatar
            JimZ

            yes, they do. exhaust gases from the engine drive a turbine, which is on a common shaft with a compressor impeller, which forces air into the engine’s intake. what fuel the engine burns is irrelevant.

            you’re here on a car enthusiast site and you don’t understand that?

          • 0 avatar
            28-Cars-Later

            I worked wholesale, and we always avoided gas turbo because it was always problematic. I do thank you for the explanation, but am so so so so sorry to not be up to your far superior level of technical understanding.

        • 0 avatar
          bhtooefr

          One huge difference, though, between turbodiesels in heavy duty trucks, and small displacement turbocharged engines in cars, is the duty cycle.

          Heavy duty trucks are running for long durations typically (avoiding warm-up damage to the turbocharger), and work hard (heating things up enough to cycle things like variable vane mechanisms, although those are uncommon on gas car engines, but are very common on diesel car engines).

          Cars, on the other hand, are used on shorter trips (subjecting the turbo to significantly more issues with cold oil and thermal shock), and are driven with a much more variable duty cycle when they’re running (some people drive gently, so the turbo control systems aren’t exercised properly, some people drive aggressively, which is fine once it’s warmed up, but very much not fine when it’s cold, and many people don’t have a chance to reach sustained high load).

      • 0 avatar
        volvo

        The short answer is many owner’s long term experience with turbochargers.
        You forgot to add cooling for the turbo setting another failure point for engine coolant failure. Also additional stress on the engine. Any given engine will be less stressed NA rather than boosted.

        And I think most manufacturers put turbos in the category of expected wear items similar to radiators, master cylinders, PS pumps. The engine is expected to outlast them.

        The best example that comes to my mind is the turbocharged Volvo red block engine. The system was computer controlled, had a wastegate and was not complicated Addition of a turbo shortened the life of this very durable engine. Just look at prices for late series Volvos with the red block. Clean Non turbo examples cost 2-3X the same vehicle with a turbo.

        • 0 avatar
          JimZ

          “And I think most manufacturers put turbos in the category of expected wear items similar to radiators, master cylinders, PS pumps. The engine is expected to outlast them.”

          And what leads you to think that?

          • 0 avatar
            volvo

            I guess you are right. If the engine self destructs just beyond time/milage warranty period then the engine also is an expected wear item.

            My personal experience only involved Volvo and Subaru turbos where the turbos required rebuild before engine end of life and engine longevity was shorter than their non turbo brethren. But perhaps driving style plays a part in that.

          • 0 avatar
            JimZ

            so basically you just want to toss out conjecture and be taken seriously?

        • 0 avatar
          sirwired

          @Volvo: Cooling a turbo is a “failure point”? How does that work? The turbo’s cooling system consists of a couple of coolant lines and a cast-in cooling passage; it doesn’t even have a head gasket like the engine itself does…

          And yes, for engines where the manufacturer just stuck a turbo to an existing design, that’s fraught with peril. But modern turbocharged engine designs have the turbo built in from the start.

          If the “best example” of a turbo hurting an engine you can think of is a design that went out of production nearly 20 years ago, I don’t think modern turbocharged engine owners have much to fear.

          • 0 avatar
            DeadWeight

            But we (life-experienced) people know that few, if any, automakers are going to do the type of additional things necessary to combat the much higher pressures and temperatures that will result from adding turbocharging small displacement engines; things such as adding extra oil cooler lines, having auxiliary cooling installed and more substantial radiators, beefing up other components, etc.

            JimZ’s statement that “commercial diesel trucks have been turbocharged with few problems” is a misleading, tired trope used by many.

            It’s one thing to design a commercial-rated diesel truck motor, ground up, with heavier block (thermal), reams more cooling capacity (through heavy duty fans and many more meters of oil cooler lines) and other such measures, designed to be rebuilt at 400,000 mile and 500,000 mile markers – it’s quite another thing for auto companies to spend even 15% more on a proportional basis (vehicle price) to similarly beef up commuter vehicle engines with even 1/10th the additional “stuff” to ensure the higher compression and much higher temps don’t pre-doom a Cruze, Civic, whatever motor to a much shorter total useful life versus naturally aspirated engines of the past.

            I know…I know…they will spend the extra dough necessary to bullet-proof these 1.5nliter and 1.4 liter and 2.0 liter snail motors…they know what they’re doing…thes isn’t the 90s anymore….Consumer Report’s reams of data already sowing problems with such engines is somehow flawed…..taxa yada

          • 0 avatar
            tresmonos

            DW – Toyota averted massive costs by not utilizing turbos.

            I agree on your foundations. Less heat, complexity, etc.

            As for CR – I got a subscription to it. I think it f*cking blows *ss. It did not help me make an educated decision on kitchen appliances. I think it was severely lacking in good data. Put a damned temperature probe in the damned ovens and tell me how their thermocouples / heating elements graph out!

          • 0 avatar
            sirwired

            @DW But modern automakers DO design the engines specifically to be turbocharged, with the turbocharged versions sharing few, if any, parts with their NA cousins, even those with the same displacement.

          • 0 avatar
            sirwired

            @Volvo: What’s this about 10,000 parts vs, 1,000 parts? A turbocharger adds very little mechanical complexity to a modern engine. (The control mechanisms are much more mechanically simple than in the past.)

            And certainly stretching an NA engine to it’s limits of power and efficiency is not without consequence.

      • 0 avatar
        slavuta

        Ok , here. Imagine that you and another 3 fellows are trying to do some illegal stuff. What is the chance that someone is a snitch? And imagine same thing only 10 people know about this time. the more people know, more chances someone will tell someone else, more chances to fail.

        Same with turbos and additional things they require. Don’t go far, look under hood of 1.5T Civic. Dude, something is gonna give there. Look under hood of Civic with 2L – this is ZEN! I can fix it.

        Besides, we already talked about http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/08/qotd-are-all-these-turbocharged-cars-going-to-last/

        • 0 avatar
          JimZ

          will you nattering nabobs just STFU already? when I sold my SRT-4, its turbocharged engine was doing just fine at 168,000 miles with no engine problems whatsoever. 168,000 miles on conventional (non-synthetic) motor oil, no notable oil consumption (less than 1/8″ down on the dipstick after 5,000 miles) and last I checked it’s still puttering around downriver.

          get it out of your damn heads that the engineers working at the automakers are just a bunch of idiots who slavishly cower before beancounters, and all of you Internet Car Bullshi**ers have everything figured out.

          YOU DON’T KNOW AS MUCH AS YOU THINK YOU KNOW. And you don’t know enough to know that. maybe when even one of you actually design and build anything of value to others, you get to criticize.

        • 0 avatar
          bikegoesbaa

          “And imagine same thing only 10 people know about this time. the more people know, more chances someone will tell someone else, more chances to fail.”

          This mindset is common-sense, widely held, and provably wrong.

          There is no inherent correlation between number of parts and complexity and reliability of the final product.

          Example: The total parts count and overall complexity of motor vehicles increased every decade between 1970 and today. Reliability increased along with it.

          Example: Modern aircraft are far more complex than their equivalents from 40 years ago They are also much more reliable.

          Example: LED lightbulbs have more components and more complex components than traditional incandescent bulbs. They are also vastly longer-lived and more reliable.

          There are certainly examples where complexity increases as reliability decreases. However, the fact that the opposite can occur is sufficient to prove that there is no direct relationship between complexity and reliability.

          Reliability engineering is a well-established discipline. No reliability engineers anywhere just use aggregate parts count (or even “moving parts”) as an indicator of or surrogate for actual reliability. The only people who do this are technological muggles who only know enough to make fools of themselves.

          • 0 avatar
            volvo

            I do not disagree that current autos are more reliable and longer lived that those of 40 years ago

            However is a machine that has 10,000 critical parts each part having MTBF of 5,000 hrs more reliable than a similar machine that has 1000 parts with the same MTBF? What is the probability that there will be critical failure between the two machines?

            I believe that improvement in materials, use of more micro circuitry (which either fails soon or last very long), and reasonably worker independent construction accounts for the increased reliability of newer cars.

            As for aircraft I believe you are mistaken. The critical components of modern aircraft (airframe and engines) while technologically highly advanced are less complex and simpler in design than earlier aircraft. Again enormous improvements in material and design play an important role. Electronics and avionics while in a sense more complex that is really at a design level and reflects the overall reliability of semiconductors compared to older technology (vacuum tubes)

          • 0 avatar
            DeadWeight

            I will make this SUPER simple for JimZ and bikegoesbaa –

            1) Dieselturbos used in commercial trucks operate within a relatively low and narrow envelope internal temperature envelope/range compared to commercial passenger vehicle, gasoline powered, turbo engines.

            2) Dieselturbos used in commercial trucks have engine blocks, cooling systems, oil cooling systems, and other systems specifically designed to be far more capable of lasting over a long-mileage and running-time (even idling) lifespan, and the cost of that goodness is high, which is why these motors are both reliable, and why the engines are rebuilt at 500,000 and even 1 million mile usage intervals (that’s how well-engineered and robustly built they are).

            3) Given that most commercial truck manufacturers are building a much higher priced vehicle, and the turbodiesel engine in those vehicles has a much longer duty-life, and even then, is rebuilt rather than a “throw-away,” at the end of its duty life, the engine costs more as a % of the total vehicle, compared to turbocharged gasoline motors powering commuter vehicles such as Chevy Cruzes and such.

            4) Conversely, gasoline, small displacement, turbocharged engines found in passenger vehicles are not built to anywhere near an exacting robustness or duty life expectation; this is already being proven to be true even in the latest/greatest TURBO POWER coupes, sedans, etc., as the warranty work on these vehicles due to high compression rates and thermal temperatures leading to all manner of component failures (not =just the turbo units themselves) is high, and automakers are essentially adopting a plug-and-play toss out the old component and replace with new component while the vehicle is still under new vehicle warranty coverage.

            5) If either of you two believe that the vehicles now being turbocharged, having gasoline, high compression, high temperature-inclined engines, are also having the same attention, cost and engineering details baked into them as heavy duty turbodiesel engines used in commercial trucks, given than the former basically break even or lose money as is, and that the automakers are going to spend the requisite $$$ to ensure they are anywhere near as reliable as turbodiesel trucks used in commercial applications, you’re even more obtuse than I originally assumed.

            *JimZ’s anectdotal experience of a sample size of 1 in turbocharged, gasoline-powered passenger vehicles notwithstanding.

          • 0 avatar
            jthorner

            “Reliability engineering is a well-established discipline. No reliability engineers anywhere just use aggregate parts count (or even “moving parts”) as an indicator of or surrogate for actual reliability. The only people who do this are technological muggles who only know enough to make fools of themselves.”

            Having made a living as a product and reliability engineer I can say that you are overstating your case. At any point in time and for a given level of technology, materials, design criteria and manufacturing repeat-ability: More parts correlates to lower reliability. There are, as you say, numerous factors and it isn’t true that a modern product with more parts is necessarily less reliable than an older technology product with fewer parts. But, you took it too far.

          • 0 avatar
            bikegoesbaa

            “At any point in time and for a given level of technology, materials, design criteria and manufacturing repeat-ability: More parts correlates to lower reliability.”

            In your experience have you ever seen a competent engineer simply compare two machines or systems by totalizing their respective parts counts and declaring “X has fewer parts than Y and is therefore more reliable?”

            There are many easily-approachable examples where adding parts increases reliability. A caster with rolling element bearings has many more discrete parts than one with sleeve bearings. It is also more reliable.

          • 0 avatar
            slavuta

            Little bit of fallacy here, comparing today and 40 years ago. Lets compare only today, one with more parts, and one with less parts.

          • 0 avatar
            slavuta

            “There are many easily-approachable examples where adding parts increases reliability. A caster with rolling element bearings has many more discrete parts than one with sleeve bearings. It is also more reliable.”

            What is more reliable, an electric meat grinder or the one where you turn the handle? I bet you that manual one will last hundreds of years while electric one will fail in 10.

            This is elementary. More parts = more processes, more assembly, more materials. More places where things can fail. We don’t say it WILL fail. We say, there are more chances it will fail. Some people don’t want these chances.

          • 0 avatar
            DeadWeight

            Again, this is not a case about the reliability of the turbocharger unit.

            This is about whether the automaker that’s producing relatively light-block, GASOLINE (not diesel) fueled, turbocharged motors is doing enough and spending enough on oil cooling components, engine cooling components, other metallurgy, hose/coupling/connector materials relating to much higher compression and heat that GASOLINE TURBOCHARGED ENGINES produce versus naturally aspirated ones, in order to keep the former free from compression and heat related problems (in all aspects of the motor and cooling system and other system in that tightly packed space beneath the hood) over the intermediate and long term.

            This is not about coked-up turbochargers like it was in the 80s and 90s; it’s about whether the bean-counters authorized sufficient expenditures on the thermal dynamic qualities of the engine block, gaskets, manifolds, cooling systems, oiling and oil cooling etc., systems on $17,000 and up commuter vehicles (these are not $120,000 to $380,000 turbodiesel powered, heavy duty vehicles meant to log a million miles easily if not two million before being retired from fleet service).

            Guess what? In the consumer market the bean counters (per orders up on high) will win, and the consumer will suffer for it.

          • 0 avatar
            bikegoesbaa

            “This is elementary. More parts = more processes, more assembly, more materials. More places where things can fail. We don’t say it WILL fail. We say, there are more chances it will fail. Some people don’t want these chances.”

            Again, this is elementary but it is also wrong.

            There are many examples where adding components increases reliability of the system.

            For example, installing an expansion tank on a water heater adds parts, failure modes, and leak points.

            If installed properly the expansion tank still increases reliability and durability because its benefits outweigh its drawbacks.

            If I understand your mindset correctly you would look at two water heaters:
            (a) With no expansion tank
            (b) Identical to (a) but with an expansion tank
            and expect (a) to be more reliable because it has “fewer parts”.

            Do I understand you correctly? If so, do you think this conclusion is accurate in the water heater example?

          • 0 avatar
            HotPotato

            Serious request: Please explain why aggregate parts count isn’t an indicator or surrogate for actual reliability. On the surface it seems to make sense. I have asked two statistics professors this and neither gave a real answer.

            Edit: oops, you kind of just did. Albeit without math (good!) and in the presence of fairly compelling counterexamples (bad!).

          • 0 avatar
            bikegoesbaa

            There are *definitely* cases where complexity is negatively correlated to reliability.

            My point is that this is not necessarily the case. There are absolutely cases where the correlation is positive or nonexistent.

            Therefore, we cannot conclude that solely because “X is more complicated than Y” or “X has more parts than Y” that “X is less reliable than Y”.

        • 0 avatar
          sirwired

          @Slavuta I have a CR-V with the 1.5T. It doesn’t look overly-complicated or difficult to service at all. The turbo charger adds very few parts, and not much complexity to the engine.

          (The turbo itself, oil and coolant lines, an electrical connector for the wastegate servo, a couple sensors near the throttle body for temperature and pressure, the diverter valve, and a handful of standard vacuum check valves.) You talk as if it’s a rats nest of tubing and electrical cables.

      • 0 avatar
        jthorner

        Turbo chargers aren’t horrible, but if you can get the job done without them you have reduced complexity and the number of moving parts. Doing so is generally good for long term durability.

  • avatar
    John R

    (more cynicism than i expected regarding this in the comments…)

    Kudos to Toyota for, ostensibly, doing their damnedest to keep natural aspiration alive.

    • 0 avatar
      MrGreenMan

      I agree with this. More power and efficiency out of simpler technology is a win.

      • 0 avatar
        joeaverage

        Power without a detailed maintenance regimen is the important thing in my mind.

        While you and I (car enthusiasts) can make a machine like this last, I worry about the average consumer who doesn’t let it warm up before they ask for boost, who doesn’t let it cool down after a hard interstate run, and chooses oil and filters that fit a budget rather than what’s best for the car long term.

        The first owner will have a happy time, I’d worry about being the second owner only b/c the first owner was disinterested in maintenance.

    • 0 avatar
      slavuta

      “Kudos to Toyota … ” And Mazda. Next gen sky activ https://www.autoblog.com/2017/01/16/mazda-skyactiv-engines-hcci-2018/

  • avatar
    28-Cars-Later

    Toyota is going to get tired from all the winning.

    • 0 avatar
      30-mile fetch

      Heavy lies the crown.

      But don’t worry, there shortly will be plenty of people conflating front fascia styling and fleet percentages with vehicle quality.

    • 0 avatar
      ajla

      I try to have optimism, then I remember the upcoming LS sedan with mad turbozzzz sure to proliferate across the entire brand and I have doubts Toyota is the savior I’m looking for.

      • 0 avatar
        28-Cars-Later

        Toyota is also the primary owner of the hybrid space, for whatever reason they are choosing to offer N/A, hybrid/phev, and turbo drivetrains depending on model and brand. I seriously applaud them for giving their customers so much choice. Given this direction, until the headwinds change Toyota is still willing to sell you what you want to a point.

  • avatar
    stingray65

    People that think the future is electric often forget how much improvement has been made and continues to be made in gasoline and diesel engines, especially when combined with more efficient gearboxes. If automakers wanted to make a mid-sized car with 11 second 0-60 and .70g skidpad performance utilizing a modest 4 cylinder gasoline motor and CVT, electric A/C and power steering, lightweight materials, maximum aero, skinny low rolling resistance tires, and stop-start technology(i.e. a Prius without the hybrid stuff), I’m sure the MPG and emission ratings would be 95% of the Prius. The problem is nobody is willing to pay extra for the higher costs involved in making such an ugly, slow, poor handling car unless they think they are saving the world with a battery and electric motor.

    • 0 avatar
      Lampredotto

      Yes. That non-hybrid powertrain would probably be 600 lbs lighter, for one thing.

      And I would wager that the average sedan/crossover driver seldom, if ever, probes the last third of accelerator pedal travel.

      • 0 avatar
        brandloyalty

        @Lampredotto
        “Yes. That non-hybrid powertrain would probably be 600 lbs lighter, for one thing”

        So you believe hybrid batteries plus two electric motors weigh 600lb? Do you know how big a Prius transmission is?

      • 0 avatar
        bhtooefr

        I’m gonna say no.

        So, the 2011-2015 Prius and the 2014-present Corolla are essentially the same car mechanically, and similar dimensionally, just the Prius has an Atkinson-cycle version of the Corolla engine with a power split device, and the Corolla has a 4-speed automatic, a CVT, or a manual. There may be some slight weight penalties against the Prius due to it being a liftback, too, but those will be fairly minor. So, let’s use 2014 vs. 2014.

        A 2014 Prius had a curb weight of 3042 lbs.

        The 2014 Corolla LE and LE Eco with CVT both are rated at 2855 lbs.

        That’s a 187 pound penalty for the hybrid system.

        Alternately, let’s look at two models that are mechanically even closer, but one has more luxury crap – the 2017 Corolla iM and the 2017 Lexus CT 200h.

        The 2017 Lexus CT 200h is 3130 lbs. (Independent rear suspension makes it heavier than the Prius.)

        The 2017 Corolla iM with CVT is 3031 lbs. (Similarly, this also has IRS, and that’s why it’s heavier than the Corolla.)

        There, the penalty is a mere 99 lbs.

        Unfortunately, there’s nothing easy to compare with the TNGA-era hybrid systems – best bet would be something like a US-spec C-HR 2.0 CVT FWD against a Euro-spec C-HR 1.8 hybrid FWD, but you’d have to compensate for the differences in how Europeans count weight, too – Americans use 100% fuel, whereas Europeans use 90% fuel plus 75 kg for driver and personal items.

    • 0 avatar
      brandloyalty

      @stingray65
      Maybe at constant speed on a flat highway. All you’ve eliminated is regenerative braking, and the idea regenerative braking provides only a 5% mileage benefit is preposterous. Or that all car use is at constant speed on flat highways. Let’s talk about the real world.

      And if you want to talk about expensive and ugly, we can talk about the cost of seawalls and how ugly storm surges can be.

    • 0 avatar
      bhtooefr

      Eh, the hybrid system does quite a few things for you, though.

      First off, it makes up for a lower-torque, more efficient engine’s lack of output – basically, the Prius’s engine is going to be more efficient than your concept’s engine.

      Second, I suspect that the power split device is a more efficient, faster-responding, better-behaved transmission than your concept’s CVT.

      Third… others have commented on the regenerative braking benefit, but there’s more than that, too. BSFC optimization is a huge part of what the Prius transmission does – larger acceleration events can be kept in the optimum BSFC range by using electrical assistance, and low power demands can cycle the engine between charging the battery at optimum BSFC, and running off the battery alone. Those regimes are where a Prius will beat the crap out of your “modest 4 cylinder gasoline motor and CVT” version.

      Oh, and they do a hell of a lot better than .70 g on the skidpad nowadays. (Ironically, the “sportiest” model, the Touring models, handle the worst, at .79 g per C&D. The least sporty model, the Two Eco, did .84 g, despite even more efficiency-focused rubber… but less weight helped a lot.)

  • avatar
    derekson

    I wonder if any of this came back from their partnership with Mazda. The approach seems very similar to Mazda’s SkyActive strategy.

    I’m not antiturbo but it is nice to have some choice in the market. Ultimately I think 48V mild hybrids combined with NA engines of this caliber and also with turbos by other companies will extend the life of the ICE far beyond what most people currently expect.

  • avatar
    mchan1

    The Honda accord and Nissan altima already have engines that can do ~40mpg highway and in low 30s city with a lower HP engine.

    The question is… how much more fuel efficient can the automakers make their engines without compromising overall quality of their vehicles?

    Many have lowered (cheapened) the features or interior quality to help reduce costs yet their prices have risen over the past few years.

    Also, many of those vehicles don’t excite auto enthusiasts but they’re not the target audience as it’s the general population instead.

    ICE vehicles aren’t dead by a long shot as it’ll stay until other technology can replace it without something better while staying affordable.

  • avatar
    krhodes1

    205hp, fine. How much torque and at what rpm(s)? And what is the city mpg? You can make just about anything do OK on the highway with sky high gearing. See Corvettes and Crown Bricks.

    Not to belittle their accomplishment too much, but I doubt this is as satisfying to drive as a really good 2.0T which will make more power, and a lot more torque. Plus this is bolted into a Camry, so bound to be meh anyway.

    • 0 avatar
      ajla

      This is the base engine in the Camry. 2.0T engines are generally placed as 6-cylinder alternatives not as the basic I4 replacement.

      A better comparison would be to the various 1.4T and 1.5T offerings.

      • 0 avatar
        krhodes1

        Doesn’t negate my point. This posting only gives 1/2 the relevant info, and I would say the less important half.

        • 0 avatar
          ajla

          It’s 203hp@6600 and 185lb-ft@5000. City fuel economy is 29. Combined is 34. Final drive is 3.63, 8th is .67, and 6th is 1:1.

          • 0 avatar
            krhodes1

            Thank you! So a bit weak in the knees, but the 8spd box will largely negate that. 29 city on the test is impressive. Will be interesting to see if the real world figures jive with it.

          • 0 avatar
            28-Cars-Later

            Max torque at 5000 is actually impressive to me for OHC, if only max horsepower were the same. What do ya think this redlines at, 6700?

          • 0 avatar
            derekson

            Compare to the 1.5T in the new Accord: 192 HP @ 5500 RPM & 192 lb-ft on a flat plateau from 1500-5000 RPM. Too bad the auto for this engine is the CVT, but it is available with a stick unlike the Camry.

      • 0 avatar
        28-Cars-Later

        No I4 should go below 2.0L IMO, its just insulting. In my mind, go hybrid if you need fuel economy beyond what the 2.0 delivers (or like the rest of ‘murica, lose some weight).

  • avatar
    brandloyalty

    Most comments here overlook crucial issues. Humanity has a pressing need to burn less fossil fuel. Light vehicles is an application where fossil fuel use can be eliminated 100%. Not tomorrow, but eventually. Without making much of a difference to how people live. Except for the unfortunate few whose lives would be meaningless without a “crude” musclecar.

    Save fuel use for where it is more difficult or impossible to replace, such as agriculture or plastics.

    In the meantime, sure, make hybrids’ engines as efficient and clean as possible.

  • avatar
    brandloyalty

    How does the Atkinson cycle factor into this engine news?

    • 0 avatar
      bhtooefr

      It has wide-authority VVT and can enter Atkinson cycle operation under light load, although it’s not the first Toyota engine to have that capability.

  • avatar
    brn

    This is why I’m upset with Ford for going the ecoboost route. They were very close to this years ago. Their 3.5L put out 290hp and managed some very impressive MPG in sedans. The 2.5 was a little behind, but could have been brought up to the same level. It would have had very similar HP and MPG to what we’re seeing in the Camry now. Instead, Ford de-tuned the 2.5 and pushed ecoboost.

    I’m quite bummed.

  • avatar
    jthorner

    This is great news. I’m not a big fan of the additional complexity turbochargers add. Getting the job done without them is terrific engineering.

  • avatar
    Jerome10

    Ties right into what Mazda was saying.

    And I like this. Still predicting the simplicity of the new Camry, the almost guaranteed better long term reliability…is gonna kill it in this segment. And I generally detest Toyota vehicles.

  • avatar
    turbo_awd

    Good on you, Toyota. Now get some of this tech over to Subaru – they need some help with their 2.5i. +30 hp and +5-10 mpg would be huge..

  • avatar
    turbo_awd

    Also, definitely turbos can cause issues – talk to any 4th gen Legacy GT owner.. There was a RASH of vf40s dying around 50-60k miles due to clogged oil passages. And when the turbo died, it usually shot metal bits into the engine, so that unless you REALLY cleaned it out well, the next turbo would die in a few thousand miles as well, etc.. There’s a reason they sent out a TSB saying “everyone change oil at 3750 miles, not 7500 like we said before”, etc.

    And it’s not like this was one of Subaru’s first turbos..

  • avatar
    John

    While I wouldn’t want to deprive the TTAC keyboard warriors the delight they attain in demeaning each other, I wonder if anyone has done an actual study comparing similar turbocharged and non-turbocharged engines?

    I’m old enough to remember when engines needed to be rebuilt at the 80-100,000 mile mark, and automakers struggled to achieve 20mpg in economy cars, with engines that produced double digit horsepower. However you look at it, this is a stunning achievement for Toyota.

  • avatar
    andreroy55

    “a laser-cladded valve seat”?? Just what the flip is that? Sounds like something taken from the promotional material.


Back to TopLeave a Reply

You must be logged in to post a comment.

Recent Comments

  • Chocolatedeath: I am going to go out on a limb and say that the Kia Sedona does not get redesigned. I will also go...
  • Zackman: I’d have to say smart fortwo. It began life here in the dork age and is still in it. If I had to...
  • MrGrieves: BMW during the initial Christopher Bangle styling days (maybe 2002-2006)? Specifically the E65 7-series,...
  • FormerFF: The thing about street racing that makes me have so much contempt for it, is that not only is it dangerous...
  • FormerFF: Sounds good. If you’re ever in north Georgia, be sure to try out Atlanta Motorsports Park’s...

New Car Research

Get a Free Dealer Quote

Staff