Toyota Pulls Back the Wraps on Two New Small Engines

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Toyota (NYSE:TM) announced on Friday that it has been working on two new small-displacement engines, which will soon be found in vehicles around the world. They come in both 1.0 liter and 1.3 liter flavors, are naturally aspirated, and interestingly, do not feature direct injection — a popular trait found in today’s engines. However, Toyota says the new units “achieve outstanding thermal efficiency and fuel efficiency improvements of at least 10 percent,” so the engineers obviously did something right.

The first engine is a 1.3 liter gasoline engine, which runs on the Atkinson cycle that’s normally used in dedicated hybrid vehicles, Toyota explains. It achieves a maximum thermal efficiency of 38 percent, on the top-level among mass-produced engines, the company added. In an Atkinson cycle engine, the power and exhaust strokes are longer than the intake and compression strokes, making the engine more efficient, though to the detriment of power — making it ideal for hybrids, where the electric motor can offset the power loss.

The second is a 1.0 liter gasoline engine, jointly developed with Daihatsu Motor Co., that has achieved maximum thermal efficiency of 37 percent.

By next year, Toyota says that fourteen different variations of the two engines will be available globally. This will undoubtably include a new set of hybrid vehicles, and it’s also likely that Toyota will slip them into its super compact offerings, like the Scion iQ (the Toyota iQ everywhere else) or the Toyota Yaris. All told, the units will be applicable to about 30 percent of Toyota’s global range.

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