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Turbos are our future - Toyota

2010-11-23 07:11

CHARGING AHEAD: Forget about the turbodiesels, in future most of Toyota's products (petrol or diesel) will be fed a boost regime for added power and efficiency.

Toyota will not be able to circumvent current engineering trends, according to its research and development boss.

Takeshi Uchiyamada - who was lead engineer on the first-generation Prius - has stated that despite the company planning to introduce 11 hybrid packages to its product portfolio by 2012, it will not neglect the internal combustion side of its business.

Uchiyamada is very aware of the challenges facing Toyota’s mechanical engineers. "In the next five years, the general trend is downsizing of engines and the use of turbochargers. Another development will be direct fuel injection."

To this end Uchiyamada is expected to steer the company research and development program towards adding forced-induction direct-injection engines throughout the Toyota line-up.

COUNTER NEEDED

Even the company's traditionally conservative offerings such as the four-cylinder Corolla and Camry models will feature a range of turbocharged engines in future.

With Hyundai able to offer V6 power (200kW) and 1.6-litre economy (seven litres/100km) with its Theta II direct-injection turbocharged two-litre engine, Toyota knows it must find a counter – swiftly.

The hybrid side of the business remains strong, with Toyota having sold 530 000 hybrid vehicles last year – a number expect to swell to 1m units by 2015.

Toyota does not expect hybrids to affect on its American market activities, where a doubling of current volume would only constitute 20% of its total sales.

To appease the American market it needs a powerful, fuel-efficient internal combustion engine to counter Hyundai’s latest offering.

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