Toyota plans to have big MPG increases for its 2015 model year vehicles thanks to significant vehicle weight reductions brought on by improved technology.
The company believes it will be able to cut the weight of its vehicles by an incredible 20% thanks to what they are calling Toyota New Global Architecture (TNGA). This is according to statements made in advance of the Tokyo Auto Show by Mitsuhisa Kato, Executive Vice President in charge of global R&D.
Toyota says it also expects big improvements in its thermal efficiency ratings in its new TNGA engines. They’re predicting a 40% thermal efficiency rate with these engines which is higher than the 38.5% they get in their most efficient vehicles today, like the Prius and Crown hybrids.
A higher thermal efficiency rating means capturing more of the energy created by thermal combustion and losing less of that energy due to heat loss. How does that translate at the pump? Toyota estimates that if they can get their thermal efficiency ratings up over the 40% mark, it could mean fuel efficiency increases of as much as 10%.
There’s also a hybrid version of their new TNGA engine coming down the pike. This engine is expected to achieve thermal efficiency rates of about 42% which puts it nicely over their goal. Currently, Toyota’s best gasoline engines are below their goal coming in around 37%.
The first Toyota vehicles with the new TNGA overhaul will be based on the same platform currently used in the Prius. There was no word on exactly what badge that car would own.
The shift to new TNGA technologies is beginning with the 2015 model year, but it’s one that won’t happen overnight. They are working to streamline their production process and allow for more sharing of components between vehicles but the whole process is expected to take years.
Toyota doesn’t expect to have its entire vehicle line switched to the TNGA technologies until the year 2020.
Nicole Wakelin fell in love with cars as a teenager when she got to go for a ride in a Ferrari. It was red and it was fast and that was all that mattered. Game over. She considers things a bit more carefully now, but still has a weakness for fast, beautiful cars. Nicole also writes for NerdApproved and GeekMom.