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You are currently browsing the Toyota of Tampa Bay Newsletter archives for June, 2014 .

Archive for June, 2014

Toyota finds 10% MPG improvement in hybrid PCU

Wednesday, June 4th, 2014

Keeping up its from-all-angles approach to efficiency, Toyota has found yet another way to eke out up to ten percent more precious MPGs in its hybrid vehicles, this time electronically. The automaker has announced the development of new silicon carbide (SiC) power semiconductors for use in power control units, which it will begin testing on Japanese roads within the next year.

Toyota PCU with silicon power semiconductors

The PCU using the silicon carbide compound offers less electrical resistance, which improves efficiency when passing current between the battery and electric motor. It also loses less power after shutting off, and can operate at a higher frequency. The net power loss of the new PCU is just one-tenth of the current silicone-only version (the latter accounting for 20 percent of total electrical power loss in today’s hybrids). The result, so far, is a claimed five-percent improvement in fuel economy in test vehicles, with the potential of ten percent by the time the new SiC power semiconductor comes to market.

Additionally, the carbide wafers allow for smaller a power module, coil and capacitor, thus allowing the entire PCU to be 80 percent smaller (see the side-by-side comparison in the accompanying photo, which you can click to enlarge).

We’ve got a while to wait before we start to see the carbide technology to start making a real-world impact. Toyota aims to begin using the SiC units in 2020.

Source: [AutoBlog.com]

Posted in Automotive News |

Toyota launches updated Verso-S in Europe

Wednesday, June 4th, 2014

Globally, the Toyota Yaris has bred more variants than we can shake a stick at. It’s been known in different markets as the Vitz, the Platz, the Bella, the Vios and, to us, as the Echo. The first-generation model bred a small cargo van called the Yaris Verso – a mini minivan riding on the shortest wheelbase in its class – which was renamed the Verso-S for Europe and alternatively known as the Space Verso, the Ractis, the Ractis Verso and even the Subaru Trezia in certain markets. And now Toyota has launched a revised version of its Verso-S in Europe.

Arriving as a mid-life facelift after three years on the market, the new Toyota Verso-S has been reinterpreted through the “Keen Look” design language that’s been distinguishing the latest generation of Toyotas, particularly in the European market. That means new projector-beam headlights and LED daytime running lights, a reshaped grille with chrome surround, more LEDs around back, a fresh set of 16-inch alloys and new color options.

The interior has likewise been spruced up with new trim and color choices, as well as a tire pressure monitor fitted as standard. There’s a new touchscreen display with more connectivity options, upgraded nav and a rearview camera as well. Since Toyota’s made no mention of engine upgrades, until we hear back, we have to assume the 1.3-liter inline-four and 1.4-liter diesel engines carry over unchanged with the buyer’s choice of either a six-speed manual or continuously variable transmission.

Source: [AutoBlog.com]

Posted in Automotive News |

Toyota mints 10-millionth vehicle in Kentucky

Wednesday, June 4th, 2014

In 26 years, from 1988 up to now, the Toyota Motor Manufacturing Kentucky plant in Georgetown has built ten million vehicles – nearly enough for every citizen of Seoul, Korea or the nation of Hungary. The first car to roll off the line back when the claymation California Raisins were singing old Marvin Gaye hits and everybody wanted to know Who Framed Roger Rabbit? was a white Camry. The ten-millionth car to roll off the line among the Avalons and Venzas also produced there: a white Camry Hybrid.

Toyota has put $5.9 billion into the site since its inception, employment is up to 7,000 associates and will grow when Lexus ES350 assembly begins next year. Whereas car number one is a showpiece for the ages, one of the automaker’s current associates will get to win the ten-millionth car in a blind drawing to be held this summer.

Source: [AutoBlog.com]

Posted in Automotive News |

Toyota, Honda, Nissan and more collaborating to increase fuel efficiency

Wednesday, June 4th, 2014

Toyota, Honda, Mazda, Nissan, Subaru, Mitsubishi, Suzuki and Daihatsu have announced an alliance that will see a push to improve fuel economy from both gas-powered and diesel-powered engines by as much as 30 percent before the end of the decade.

The newly assembled Research Association of Automotive Internal Combustion Engines put the roughly $20-million project together, with the Japanese government committing to half the cost while the eight manufacturers will chip in the rest.

According to Automotive News, the automakers will team up and share basic research on internal-combustion engines in a bid to cut costs. Eventually, the results of the research will find its way into a production vehicle, although it’s unclear just when we’ll see the fruits of this partnership on the road.

While the manufacturers have aimed to make improvements by 2020, that goal is part of a larger, 10-year road map, which aims to improve the thermal efficiency of internal combustion engines to 50 percent. Currently, thermal efficiency in gas engines is at 39 percent while diesel is at 42.

The actual targets of improvements will be quite different based on the type of engine. Diesel mills, traditionally a weak point for Japanese manufacturers, will see a focus on reducing NOX emissions and particulate matter, while gas engines will aim for more complete combustion cycles while reducing knock.

Source: [AutoBlog.com]

Posted in Automotive News |

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