Toyota, Mazda, Subaru to develop new combustion engine range

    New-generation engines from all three brands will adopt electrification and run on carbon-neutral fuels.

    Published On May 29, 2024 01:17:00 PM

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    Toyota, Mazda and Subaru have committed to developing new generations of internal combustion engines in an attempt to de-carbonise ICE cars, with a renewed focus on hybridisation and carbon-neutral fuels. The allied Japanese brands jointly confirmed they would “aim to optimise” engines with electric motors, electric drive units and batteries, which goes against the trend of brands transforming entirely to EV-only line-ups.

    1. Each company will develop its own ‘signature’ powertrain
    2. To adopt ‘multi-pathway’ approach towards future fuels
    3. New engines will be more compact, efficient and therefore, cleaner

    New engines to adopt electrification, alternate fuels  

    The trio said the decision was driven by “a deep understanding of their customers’ diverse lifestyles” as well as a belief of a future for ICE. In their pursuit of carbon neutrality, they will also “revolutionise” engine packaging. Compact engines, they said, will mean smaller vehicles and in turn better aerodynamics and fuel efficiency, while complying with increasingly stringent emissions regulations.

    The engines won’t be purely petrol-fuelled, either, as three brands will also major on alternative fuels, such as biofuels, synthetic e-fuels and hydrogen. This ‘multi-pathway’ approach comes amidst a global EV slowdown, showing that combustion engines will have a longer life in the automotive world than previously envisaged.  

    Each company will keep developing its own ‘signature’ powertrain, which means Toyota will continue to have an in-line four, Subaru will continue to have a boxer engine and Mazda will also keep its rotary engine alive. The new combustion engines will be tailored to electrification while being compatible with different types of carbon-neutral fuels. There will be sharing of technology between all three brands with Toyota having a stake in both Subaru and Mazda.

    “We will continue to offer customers exciting cars by honing internal combustion engines for the electrification era and expanding the multi-pathway possibilities for achieving carbon neutrality,” said Mazda president and CEO Masahiro Moro.

    “In order to provide our customers with diverse options to achieve carbon neutrality, it is necessary to take on the challenge of evolving engines that are in tune with the energy environment of the future,” said Toyota president and CEO Koji Sato.

    All brands still committed to EVs

    Despite this announcement, Toyota is still heavily backing EVs. It's aiming to launch at least 30 new electric models by 2030, with the goal of selling 3.5 million EVs around the world each year. However, smaller cars, such as the Aygo, won't switch to electric power, as battery costs have been deemed too expensive.

    Meanwhile, Mazda is targeting a spend of GBP 8.7 billion (Rs 7,250 crore approximately) on electrifying its model line-up by 2028 and Subaru plans to have an eight-strong EV line-up by then.

    Also see:

    New Swift 100kg lighter than first-gen: Maruti's CV Raman

    Mahindra XUV.e8 interior patents confirm a three-screen setup

    Toyota Cars

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