Arthur J. Villasanta – Fourth Estate Contributor
Tokyo, Japan (4E) – Toyota has developed a new 2.0-liter, four-cylinder, Dynamic Force Engine (DFE) for cars with a thermal efficiency (TE) of 40 percent, making it the world’s most thermally efficient engine at that displacement.
Fitted to a hybrid system, the new engine’s TE is boosted to 41 percent, matching that of the 1.8 liter hybrid unit in the Toyota Prius, a full hybrid electric automobile, but with a higher performance ceiling due to the larger displacement.
The engine is expected to make its first appearance on the new Corolla iM compact hatchback once known as the Toyota Auris. The third generation of the Auris will be based on the Toyota New Global Architecture (TNGA) platform and will debut sometime this year for the 2019 model year.
Over the next three years, Toyota plans to make 17 versions of nine engines; 10 versions of four transmissions, and 10 versions of six hybrid systems. The 2.0 liter DFE and hybrid, the continuously variable transmission (CVT), and the six-speed manual represent four of those mechanical improvements.
The 2.0 liter DFE exploits some of the advances made on the Prius’ 1.8 liter engine, including a larger valve angle, and a heat recovery system that reduces energy losses in the coolant and exhaust systems. It also has laser-clad valve seats for improved air/fuel mix; a mixing port and direct injection (depending on the load) for better fuel efficiency, and reducing friction losses overall.
The new engine can generate a maximum of 169 horsepower. The smaller, more economical hybrid engine means better thermal performance, and is programmed to draw more power from the battery under acceleration.
The Direct Shift CVT is the first of its kind in the world fitted with a launch gear used when accelerating from a stop and at low speeds. A gear performs that job more efficiently than the belt, resulting in more powerful acceleration.
The CVT alone increases fuel efficiency by six percent over the previous version. Intelligent Manual Transmission (iMT) software manages revs during shifts. The new E-Four system will be fitted to AWD hybrids and use electric motors to send 30 percent more torque to the rear wheels than in current all-paw Toyotas.
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