The movement to turbocharging has been underway for a few years now, as most major automakers have adopted some form of boost to increase efficiency without affecting performance. Toyota, however, has managed to fend off the demand for turbo by tweaking its naturally aspirated engines to deliver better fuel economy. According to a new report from Automotive News, this is all set to change very soon.
With Lexus (a subsidiary of Toyota) rolling out its new 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder in its NX 200t crossover and IS 200t Sedan, it has shown that a turbo-four will work for Toyota. According to the report, this turbocharged four-cylinder engine will eventually be the replacement for the aging 3.5-liter V-6 in the Camry.
In looking at the numbers, you’ll see that the 3.5-liter V-6 in the Camry lays down 268 horsepower and 248 pound-feet of torque, while the 2.0-liter turbocharged four-pot puts out 241 horsepower and 258 pound-feet of twist in the IS 200t. So, realistically, the Camry with the turbocharged four-cylinder engine shouldn’t have an issue delivering the same performance as the V-6 and significantly better fuel economy.
Unlike its Japanese rival, Honda, Toyota is not ready to replace all of its engines with smaller turbocharged powerplants. Instead, it will retain its existing lineup of four-bangers and work on advanced fuel injection, a more efficient Atkinson cycle, and extended use of continuously variable transmissions to enhance fuel economy. I look for this to change soon, as Honda’s movement to tiny turbocharged engines will likely result in huge mpg gaps between the two brands in the near future.
There is no exact timeframe for Toyota’s movement from V-6 to turbo-four power, but chances are that it’ll happen soon. We may even see them as soon as the 2017 model year, given the 2016 Lexus IS has already adopted this technology.
Stay tuned for more details.