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Toyota May Be Taking A Page Out Of Honda's Book With Its New Engines

The new Toyota engines are smaller and will be extensively featured even in Lexus models.

Toyota is preparing to launch all-new engines for most of its models, and as we have stated before, the focus will be on hybrid powertrains. With this Toyota's engine offerings, at least as far as its light passenger vehicles are concerned, drop from six to just two. We are talking about a 1.5-liter and a 2.0-liter engine, the latter of which will be featured in the upcoming Toyota Celica. Both engines will be able to work on carbon-neutral fuels, which Toyota is co-developing with Exxon Mobile.

In a way, Toyota seems to be taking a page out of Honda's book, since most Honda cars feature similar engine options. Honda recently introduced the all-new Civic Hybrid, which features a surprisingly punchy powertrain. This may have prompted Toyota to get more serious with electrifying the Corolla and other models. 

Toyota's new 1.5-liter engine will replace a variety of Toyota engines, currently on offer

In some markets, Toyota Corolla already has the new 1.5-liter engine

Similar to how Honda has fitted a 1.5-liter, L15, inline-four engine to most of its compact and mid-size models, Toyota is now introducing a 1.5-liter engine to a wide variety of models, including Lexus. The 1.5-liter Toyota engine will have a naturally aspirated and turbocharged version, which will replace the 1.5-liter inline-three, on offer in the Euro-spec Toyota Corolla and Toyota Yaris. Currently, that's the only way to get the Corolla with a manual transmission, though I suspect it will not be the case for much longer. 

Japanese publication, Best Car Web quotes a figure of 130 horsepower for the naturally-aspirated 1.5-liter. Itt will be a part of a hybrid setup, offered in Toyota and Lexus models from the B and C segment, so those numbers would likely jump to over 200, in some applications. This includes the Corolla, Corolla Cross, Prius, and other compact models. 

The turbocharged variant of the 1.5-liter engine will be offered on C and D segment vehicles, including the Prius and RAV4 models. We know the upcoming Toyota RAV4 will be a hybrid-only model and now we know what the base engine will be.

I initially suspected Toyota would shoot for 150 to 200 horsepower from the engine alone, to make it more competitive. It turns out I am on point since Japanese reports indicate a horsepower figure of 180 for the 1.5-liter turbo-four engine. That's very similar to what Honda's 1.5-liter makes.

The 2.0-liter engine will pack a serious punch 

The Lexus IS will no longer feature a V-6 engine from 2025

As far as the company's more mainstream models go, Toyota is focusing on smaller internal combustion engines and more powerful electric motors for its hybrid powertrains. It is a similar story with Toyota's luxury arm as we recently learned that the Lexus IS is dropping the V-6 in favor of the same turbo-four that would be featured in the new Celica. Lexus ES will see a similar fate as the V-6 gives way to inline-four hybrid offerings. 

The newly-developed, 2.0-liter, turbocharged inline-four is the exception to the rule. In models like the GR Celica, it is said to develop as much as 400 horsepower. The same turbo-four engine is a good candidate for a future, more powerful GR Corolla. That said, this engine will also replace the familiar 8AR, which is also a 2.0-liter, turbo-four, so we will be seeing de-tuned variants of this engine developing anywhere from 250 to over 300 horsepower as part of a hybrid system.  

Actually, reports from Japan indicate that, both the 1.5-liter and 2.0-liter engines will be featured in FHEV and PHEV setups. We know the next-generation Toyota RAV4 Prime will feature a stronger electric motor, but it seems at least one of these new engines will be on offer as well. 

The new 1.5-liter engine will be mated to an eCVT transmission, at least in its less-potent variants while the 2.0-liter turbo-four hybrid will work with the company's eight-speed automatic. 

Better thermal efficiency and better reliability 

Aside from Toyota's recent hiccups surrounding the 3.4-liter V-6 engine, most Toyota and Lexus products still enjoy a near-spotless reliability record. The new powertrains are said to have improved thermal efficiency, which is now over 46 percent for the 15-liter unit - way above the average figure of around 30 percent.

Moreover, Toyota is axing a ton of engines in favor of these two new power plans, including the old 1.5 three-cylinder from the Yaris, the 1.8-liter engine, which is widely used, the 8AR 2.0-liter, and even the 3.5-liter 2GR-FSE V-6. Toyota aficionado and YouTube vlogger, Kirk Kreifels made a point that by focusing more efforts on fewer platforms, reliability should be improved. 

About the author

Dimitar Angelov's automotive interests made him an expert in a wide variety of vehicles. Japanese brands like Toyota are closest to his heart, although performance cars in general are his favorite segment, which is why he is constantly on the lookout for the best deals on the market. Dimitar Angelov's car passion and knack for the written word led him to complete a Master of Arts in Media and Communications, and classic car restoration. Dim is happy to get behind the wheel of any car and share his impressions. You can follow Dimitar on XLinked-inInstagram, and Facebook.

Image sources: 2024 Toyota GR Corolla, 2023 Toyota Corolla, 2024 Lexus IS 300