Toyota has announced initial details of its new powertrain lineup that will be deployed in its Toyota New Global Architecture (TNGA) modular platform programme. The plan will see the introduction of 17 versions of nine engines, 10 versions of four transmissions – including multi-geared automatic transmissions and a new continuously variable transmission – as well as 10 versions of six hybrid systems over the next five years.
Developed along TNGA lines, the “Dynamic Force Engines” will be introduced starting from 2017, and the automaker says the new units are expected to feature in more than 60% of its vehicles sold annually in Japan, United States, Europe and China by 2021.
The new engines employ high-speed combustion technology and a variable control system. They also achieve greater thermal efficiency, resulting in high output, due to a reduction in energy losses associated with exhaust/cooling systems and the movement of mechanical parts, among other things. They will be around 10% more powerful and have around 20% better fuel economy.
The lineup will include a new 2.5 litre direct-injection four-cylinder engine, claimed to have one of the world’s best thermal efficiencies at 40% when used in gasoline-powered vehicles and 41% in hybrid vehicle applications.
Also announced at this initial stage were two new automatic transmissions, an eight-speed Direct Shift-8AT and a 10-speed Direct shift-10AT. The units feature widened gears and a newly-developed high-performance compact torque convertor, which offer a broader gear lockup range.
To minimise energy loss and heighten transmission efficiency, gear tooth surfaces were processed using a new technique for a lower coefficient of friction during gear engagement, and the configuration of the friction material used inside the clutch has been optimised to reduce clutch torque loss by approximately 50% during rotation when compared to a conventional six-speed transmission).
The automaker also revealed developments on its Hybrid Synergy Drive front with the introduction of a new, high-performance Multistage THS II system for rear-wheel-drive vehicles. Enhanced for 2.5 litre engine applications, the Multistage THS II will offer improved start-from-stop acceleration performance and a more direct feel.
The system for plug-in hybrid vehicles (PHEV) has also been enhanced. A new dual-mode drive system allows the electric motor – previously used only as a generator – to provide direct driving power, resulting in improved driving performance, even when in EV mode. A large-capacity lithium-ion battery that increases the EV-mode cruising range to 60 km or more is also part of the improvements.
Alongside the new TNGA power and drivetrain units, Toyota also anounced that it will be placing more emphasis on the development of hybrid technologies – it’s set to reorganise its development structure starting from next year and increase the number of hybrid technology development personnel by around 30% over the next five years.