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Toyota planning 2.0T, more CVTs among other powertrain developments

Posted Oct 2nd 2012 7:00PM

2013 Toyota Venza live at NY Auto Show reveal

Aside from its hybrid technology, Toyota has fallen behind the competition in terms of vehicle powertrains which could leave popular cars like the Toyota Camry and Toyota RAV4 lagging behind the competition. While most of its rivals have started using gasoline direct injection, turbochargers and some have moved to Continuously Variable Transmissions (CVT) to balance performance and fuel economy, many Toyota models are still using underpowered engines and outdated transmission technology. According to a report in Autoweek, Toyota is finally going to start dabbling in all of these technologies over the next couple years.

In North America, Toyota only currently uses direct injection on the Scion FR-S, Lexus GS and Lexus LS, but AW says it will be introducing two new GDI engines over the next two years: a 2.5-litre Atkinson cycle engine for its hybrids next year and a sportier 2.0-litre turbocharged mill a year later. It sounds like Toyota is also looking to convert its AR family engines to direct injection as early as next year for use in cars like the Venza and Lexus RX, but it won't be used on the Prius due to higher cost that would likely only return an "incremental benefit." The 2.0-litre turbo engine would be a derivative of the 2.5-litre AR engine, but there is no word as to what models this would go into. Based on the success of the Ford EcoBoost engines, we'd have to guess at least the Camry, RAV4 and Highlander.

Toyota's transmission lineup will also get some much-needed updating with wider-spread use of CVTs and six- and eight-speed transmissions for its bigger cars. Toyota is one of the few remaining automakers still using a four-speed automatic on its small cars, and this is rumored to be ending with the next-generation Corolla receiving a new CVT.
Related Gallery2013 Toyota Venza


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Companies that offer only a CVT in their vehicles are the ones that have fallen behind... in terms of engaging drivers and driving enjoyment. This is exactly why Nissan is off my radar, their obsession with the CVT and boring driving dynamics in most of their range means I don't even consider their products. The vehicles they make without a CVT like the 370 and the Infiniti line are nice though. The fact that a car has a CVT is a Major deterrent in my books.

October 03 2012 at 1:04 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply