Toyota models, already known for efficiency, are expected to get a big boost in fuel economy thanks to new engine technology and a significant drop in weight starting in 2015.
In two year’s time the world’s largest automaker will begin to roll out its first products based on a new Toyota New Global Architecture while making use of more efficient new engines.
The weight savings comes as a result of the TNGA architecture which according to Toyota R&D boss Mitsuhisa Kato would reduce overall vehicle weight by up to 20 percent.
While lighter vehicles will be naturally more efficient (and possibly allow for smaller engines to be used), further improvements in fuel economy will come thanks to power plants that are more thermally efficient.
Kato says new engines will achieve thermal efficiency rates above 40 percent. To put that into perspective, the most efficient engine in Toyota’s current lineup (that used in the Prius) has a thermal efficiency rating of 38.5 percent. The increase might not sound like much, but it could result in fuel economy improvements of almost 10 percent.
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And that’s just the start, with Toyota’s global product boss Satoshi Ogiso commenting that the brand’s new hybrid powertrain could see a thermal efficiency rating of 42 percent.
The improvements will come as a result of more complete combustion and reduced friction, allowing less energy to be lost as heat and more energy directed to the wheels.
According to Kato the first vehicle to showcase this new technology will be a small car riding on the next-generation Prius architecture.
Beyond that the TNGA architecture will be rolled out to other models, while new TNGA architectures are being developed for everything from subcompacts to pickup trucks, with the goal to completely implement the new plan by 2020.
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[Source: Automotive News]
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