Toyota Motor Company, the world’s largest automaker by global volume and usually one of the leading players in any market in which it has a presence, announced its future engine strategy to Automotive News. The company plans on downsizing its engine lineup, as well as adding features such as direct-injection and turbocharging to its engine lineup. Although the company claims the move will “catapult Toyota ahead of rivals,” to some outsiders, it looks like a game of catch-up, as many other automakers started aggressively developing and promoting gasoline direct-injection (GDI) and turbocharging technology several years ago.

So far, the main recipients of the new engine family will be Toyota’s sub-compact through midsize passenger cars, with the Japanese domestic-market Passo being the first recipient of the new engine family with a 1.0L powerplant. The Camry was also named as a possible recipient of an I-4 GDI turbo to replace the current 3.5L V-6 offered as the optional engine. Rivals Hyundai and Ford dropped optional V-6 engines several years ago in favor of turbocharged I-4s in their midsize sedans.

Not mentioned in the story was how this strategy would affect Toyota’s trucks and SUVs. Toyota has stuck with proven engines for the Tacoma and Tundra, with the most recent debut being the 5.7L iForce V-8 in the 2007 Tundra. The 4.0L V-6 offered in the Tacoma, 4Runner, and the base Tundra was first introduced for the 2005 model year. Aside from some variations in tuning and output, the engine has not seen any major changes since its debut.

Ford is aggressively promoting its brand of EcoBoost GDI turbo engines across its lineup, from the subcompact Fiesta, all the way to its fullsize F-150 and Transit van. For the 2015 F-150, Ford is doubling down on its EcoBoost offerings with a new 2.7L V-6 in addition to the existing 3.5L engine.

Source: Automotive News