Toyota shows new engines that can run on petrol, synthetic fuel or hydrogen

Toyota Compact Cruiser Concept used for representation only; new 2.0-litre (above) and 1.5-litre (below) engines.

Not too long after three Japanese brands announced their intent to develop a new range of combustion engines, Toyota has now revealed that it has made a new combustion engine that can be run on a variety of fuels. In order to achieve lower emissions and its goal of carbon neutrality, the Japanese company is using a “multi-pathway approach”, which includes EVs, hybrids, the new range of engines, and hydrogen-based powerplants.

  1. 1.5-litre NA, turbo, and 2.0-litre turbo engines have been developed
  2. Learnings from GR Corolla race car helped development of new engines
  3. Likely to be seen before Euro 7 emission norms begin in 2027

Toyota says that the furthering of hydrogen tech – which the brand uses in its GR Corolla race car – has resulted in the creation of a new family of thermally efficient engines that can run on conventional petrol, as well as carbon-neutral options such as synthetic e-fuels, biodiesel, and hydrogen.

Toyota internal combustion engine: new details

Toyota 1.5-litre engine

Toyota says the new engines can be 10 to 20 percent physically smaller than today's units but, vitally, are more fuel-efficient and have greater outputs. While the new engines can run on a variety of fuels, the short-term goal is to incorporate them into a hybrid drivetrain.

The brand says 1.5-litre naturally aspirated and turbocharged engines have been developed, along with 2.0-litre turbocharged unit. While the new engines will have shorter strokes and less torque – hence not rev as high as older engines – they’re designed to work in conjunction with a hybrid system, so the electric motors will fill in any gaps in output.

Toyota 2.0-litre engine

The specifications and outputs are still to be revealed, but the engines should make their production debut in European markets before Euro 7 emission norms come into effect on July 1, 2027. The long term plan is to develop an engine that runs on carbon-neutral fuels.

Toyota GR Corolla: the learnings

The GR Corolla that took part in the Japanese Super Taikyu racing series.

Toyota’s chairman and former CEO, Akio Toyoda, had pushed for the development of a hydrogen-powered racing car. Rather than creating a fuel-cell vehicle like the pioneering Mirai, Toyota’s engineers sought a way to make the concept viable in a combustion engine. They settled on the 1.6-litre three-cylinder engine used in the GR Corolla, which was later used in the Japanese Super Taikyu racing series.

Reportedly, one of the major challenges was balancing thermal efficiency, as hydrogen burns faster and hotter than petrol. However, using the lessons learned, Toyota’s engineers solved the issue, which helped immensly in the development of these more efficient engines.


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