Filed under: Technology , Toyota 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(CVT) to balance performance and fuel economy, many Toyota models are still using underpowered engines and outdated transmission technology.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 the States, 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-liter Atkinson cycle engine for its hybrids next year and a sportier 2.0-liter 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-liter turbo engine would be a derivative of the 2.5-liter 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. Toyota planning 2.0T, more CVTs among other powertrain developments originally appeared on Autoblog on Tue, 02 Oct 2012 16:31:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds .
Filed under: Sedan , Honda , Nissan , Toyota Belts and pulleys will continue to replace traditional gears in the coming years as more carmakers turn to Continuously Variable Transmissions to suck the fun out of future machines increase fuel economy. According to a new Automotive News report, by the numbers, about one percent of new vehicles were equipped with a CVT in 2005. By 2010, that number of new vehicles in the U.S. grew to seven percent, thanks largely to Nissan , not to mention an increase in the number of hybrid models sold in America (most of which are fitted with the technology). Experts at IHS Automotive now predict that percentage will more than double by 2016 to 16 percent. The belt-and-pulley transmission can adjust to an engine’s torque in an infinite number of ways, making it more efficient than traditional gearboxes. But CVTs have become the bane of many enthusiasts and critics because of a number of undesirable characteristics – namely the unpleasant ‘rubber band’ sound they emit under hard acceleration. According to Automotive News , Japanese carmakers appear especially interested in adding CVTs to their lineups. Honda is widely expected to offer a CVT on its next-generation four-cylinder Accord , Toyota may include a CVT on its future Corolla , and the CVT stalwarts at Nissan introduced its 2013 Altima earlier this year with an upgraded CVT that helps it achieve 38 miles per gallon on the highway. While CVTs continue to improve, some providing faux programed “shift points” through sport programs or paddle shifters, they remain a non-starter with most enthusiasts we talk to.