Looking Into The Future, Toyota Spots The Present

Edward Niedermeyer
by Edward Niedermeyer

When Autoweek asks the R&D boss at an alt-drivetrain leader like Toyota what the future of its powertrain development looks like, one tends to hope for something revelatory in his answer. Instead, we get

In the next five years, the general trend is downsizing of engines and the use of turbochargers. Another development will be direct fuel injection.Gosh, really? So Toyota is going to follow automakers like Fiat and Hyundai (not to mention the entire industry) when it comes to spotting and adopting engine technologies like gas direct injection (GDI) and strategies like downsizing and turbocharging? With a late start on EVs as well as the suite of ICE-improving technologies, Toyota had better hope that hybrid sales stay strong… and that its hydrogen technology is affordable by 2015. Otherwise, there are plenty of other firms ready to lead the industry…
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  • Tosh Tosh on Nov 23, 2010

    1. I thought the future of roller coasters was mag-lev? 2. Why has the engine size gone >up

    • Twin Cam Turdo Twin Cam Turdo on Apr 15, 2011

      The engine displacement increase on the Prius was to allow improved/continued expansion cycle (Atkinson) usage, allowing the engine to operate in a range that is more efficient than the previous engine at higher vehicle speeds.

  • JMII JMII on Nov 23, 2010

    I've own two turbo powered cars (a VW and a Mitsubishi) - both had the low end power (torque) and acceleration of a V6 but got the same mileage as your average 4 banger economy car (30 hwy). So I love turbos and wish more companies offered them. Honda has made some great turbos for their racing program (Indy and F1 years ago) but now their current offering is in a CUV with A on the grill. Still glad Toyota got the memo, or maybe they just found some of their old notes... filed under Supra.

  • Rfahey Rfahey on Nov 23, 2010

    Toyota didn't rush to market with the Prius, like Honda did with the Insight. Instead, it slowly and calmly drilled Honda a new bunghole that hasn't closed yet.

  • Joeveto3 Joeveto3 on Nov 24, 2010

    While I Agee turbo engines have their place, I'm not thrilled with the one in my wife's CX-7. It's noisy, rough, and not all that peppy or efficient. In return, we have then "pleasure" of paying for premium fuel and more frequent oil changes. (on a CAR/STATION WAGON that is difficult to perform an oil change, what with the faux bash plates, presumably to protect the front wheel drive components, and all their screws - what a freaking joke - and don't get me started on the filter element - rant off...sort of) I much prefer the 4.0 litre V-6 in my 4Runner. It's smooth, powerful, and a dream to work on (with 10k oil changes). It's pretty efficient to boot.

    • Quentin Quentin on Nov 24, 2010

      You must have the 1GR from the 4th gen T4R with the brilliant oil filter placement. The 1GR for the 5th gen, like mine, requires dropping the skidplate. Lots of cursing ensued when I did the first oil change*. Change number 2 is tomorrow or Friday. Hopefully things go better. * I changed at 5k for the first change. I will trial the 10k intervals after I get some oil analysis results back from the 2nd change. I fear that my short commute (6 mi each way, 55mph highway) is relatively hard on oil.