June 14, 2024

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Toyota, Mazda and Subaru join forces to produce new combustion engines

Toyota, Mazda and Subaru join forces to produce new combustion engines

The new engines will be compatible with carbon neutral fuel.

Toyota, Subaru, Mazda engines

While every other announcement an automaker makes these days is about an upcoming electric vehicle, that's not all. Toyota, Mazda and Subaru held a joint conference today in Japan to talk about new internal combustion engines. The three are collaborating to speed up the development process and reduce costs.

Instead of engineering a common engine used by the three companies, the trio will work on “signature engines” that represent their own brands. Specifically, Toyota is preparing new four-wheelers, Mazda is seeking to develop rotary engines, and Subaru is aiming to improve the horizontally opposed boxer. The new engines will be compatible with several carbon-neutral fuels: liquid hydrogen, biofuels and synthetic fuels.

Along with the announcement, there were some samples of future engines. Mazda has brought single and double rotor motors to electric vehicle applications. As seen in the MX-30 and the Iconic SP sports car concept, the rotary motor acts as a generator to charge the battery. It has no mechanical connection to the wheels. Mazda says the rotor is “currently used for generators,” which some may interpret as a sign that this may change in the future.

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Toyota showed off a pair of four-wheel drive engines in the works, a 1.5-litre unit it offered separately and also inside a prototype, as well as a larger 2.0-litre engine. The company didn't have much to say about them, except to point out that they both have “high production and high thermal efficiency.”

As for Subaru, it brought a next-generation hybrid system and placed it inside a camouflaged Crosstrek prototype as well. The third-generation model currently sold in the U.S. lacks a hybrid option, but the crossover comes with an electric setup in other markets. It combines a 2.0-liter boxer engine with a 12.3-kilowatt electric motor and a small lithium-ion battery pack.

Toyota, Mazda and Subaru have made it clear that they will remain competitors despite joining forces to develop more economical engines. Since these new engines will be smaller, the trio say future models will have fewer shrouds to improve efficiency and improve efficiency. At the same time, these changes will give designers more freedom.

Another common goal of the three brands is to integrate motors, batteries and other electric drive units into the next generation of internal combustion engines. Combustion engines are set to deliver better performance, so let's hope fun cars benefit from these new developments.

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