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Auto blogMon, 14 Oct 2013
Turbocharging isn't really Toyota's specialty, and the Japanese automaker isn't being shy about acknowledging it. Koei Saga, a senior managing officer in charge of drivetrain research and development, says that eschewing turbos and increasing displacement of engines using the Atkinson cycle can produce better power gains without sacrificing fuel economy, Automotive News reports.
Toyota is investing heavily in larger-displacement Atkinson-cycle engines in addition to turbocharged engines, but Saga doesn't think the automaker will use turbocharging across many product lines. He apparently remains unconvinced that the technology "makes the world better."
In Toyota's eyes then, Atkinson cycle engines do make the world better, and here's how. Their pistons complete four processes - intake, compression, power and exhaust - in one revolution of the crankshaft, and the power stroke is longer than the compression stroke. Traditional Otto cycle engines require two crankshaft revolutions to accomplish those same four operations and have equal-length compression and power strokes. Atkinson cycle engines are more efficient, but less power dense, though increasing displacement can offset that shortfall.
Toyota back on top, Barrett Jackson, Crowdsourcing your Dodge Dart payments, Nissan and Toyota double down on pickups
Episode #318 of the Autoblog Podcast is here, and this week, Dan Roth, Zach Bowman and Michael Harley talk about Toyota regaining the No. 1 sales crown, getting your friends and family to buy you a Dodge Dart, Barrett-Jackson, and Toyota and Nissan remaining committed to their pickup trucs. We wrap with your questions, and for those of you who hung with us live on our UStream channel, thanks for taking the time. Keep reading for our Q&A module for you to scroll through and follow along, too. Thanks for listening!
Autoblog Podcast #318:
As far as beasts of burden go, New York City's new - and much maligned - Nissan NV200 "Taxi of Tomorrow" isn't a bad one. It's space efficient, reasonably economical, and its simple construction should mean it's pretty robust over the long haul, too. But it lacks panache and a sense of occasion - let alone a sense of humor - three things this this Toyota JPN Taxi Concept we found at the Tokyo Motor Show has in spades.
Unfortunately, that's about all the information we have on this cheeky London-taxi-inspired showcar. Toyota hasn't provided much in the way of details, other than to proclaim that the five-seat JPN was "created with Japanese hospitality in mind" and it "aims to enliven city streets." Japan's livery landscape has long been occupied by traditional three-box sedans - models like the Toyota Crown and Nissan Cedric. The JPN Taxi at just over 171 inches would appear to offer both a tighter footprint and added whimsy, both of which are in the automaker's favor; we hear it hopes this concept will one day become the country's own version of America's yellow Crown Vic cab.
Toyota isn't providing powertrain specifications, but we like the airy feeling of the interior (Japanese cabs typically don't have cumbersome partitions between cabbie and passengers), the minimalist driver area with three screens, and the widescreen overhead video system for passengers that bookends the panoramic moonroof. Check it out in our gallery of live shots and let us know what you think in Comments.