Saturday, November 23, 2013

Downsizing News from Japan: Toyota, Subaru and Honda Go Turbo

Toyota, which currently sells no turbocharged petrol engines in any of its vehicles, has used the 2013 Tokyo motor show as the venue of choice to reveal its plans for future use of downsized and turbocharged powerplants, with displacements ranging from 1.0- to 1.5-liter.

A larger 2.0-liter was revealed first, under the bonnet of the Lexus LF-NX, but according to Satoshi Ogiso, managing officer in charge of alternative vehicles, powertrains and chassis development, "in the near future we will use downsized turbochargers, also in the Toyota lineup."

While Toyota has not had a turbocharged engine in its range for years, Subaru is in more familiar territory here; however, it had not tried downsizing yet for its mainstream, non-sport models.

Now it has, with the 1.6-liter direct-injected unit that powers the newly-revealed (and awkwardly-named) Levrog wagon/estate. It promises better fuel efficiency than the 2.0-liter engine they use, yet provide as much oomph as the larger 2.5-liter, if we are to believe to Naoto Muto, executive vice president for global engineering.

Muto also told Autonews that they might follow GM’s example of replacing a (3.5-liter) V6 engine with a smaller 2.5-liter unit, explaining that they “are considering the same."

Honda also chose to announce its new range of downsized and turbocharged petrol engines early, ahead of the Tokyo show. The most powerful of these is the one that is to be used to power the new Civic Type-R hatch that could make close to 300 hp; there will be smaller units too, of course.

By Andrei Nedelea

Story References: Autonews



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