Toyota to introduce new series of fuel-efficient engines

Toyota to introduce new series of fuel-efficient engines Japan-based Toyota Motor Corp. has announced its plans to introduce a new series of fuel-efficient engines that will cut fuel costs for vehicle owners and help manufacturers meet tighter emissions regulations.

Toyota said it would introduce a total of 14 engine models in the new series fuel-efficient engines over the next couple of years.  The new series start off with 1.0 and 1.3 litre gasoline engines.

Over the last many years, Toyota concentrated on gasoline-electric hybrid engines to improve fuel efficiency, but outside conventional engines remained more popular than hybrid engines in the global market.  For instance, Ford Motor Co, Honda Motor Co and Volkswagen AG focused more on small engines with additional features, such as turbochargers.

Shouji Adachi, an engineer in the powertrain planning department of Toyota, said the company needed to do something about making hybrids more popular.

Speaking on the topic, Adachi said, "We have been prioritising hybrids but there are still customers seeking cars that are not hybrids.  Meanwhile other car makers without hybrid technology are becoming more competitive in that area and we need to do something about that."

Toyota is the world's biggest carmaker by account of volume sales, but hybrid vehicles like the Prius, accounted for just around 14 per cent of its total sales.

Separately, Toyota added pre-2010 versions of the RAV4 SUV to the list of vehicles that it is recalling in South Africa to fix a potential design fault.

The company has admitted that certain models of its vehicles like the Yaris, Hilux, Fortuner, Innova and RAV4, could potentially have faulty rails that are used to make adjustments in the position of front seats.  In case adjustments are made frequently, the springs may weaken and break, which could accidents on the road.