Toyota, backed by AU$63 million ($61.8 million U.S. at the current exchange rate) in funds from Australia's government and additional monetary support from the nation's second-most-populous state of Victoria, has officially announced plans to construct a car engine plant in Altona, a western suburb of Melbourne, Australia. Construction on the AU$300 million ($277 million U.S.) plant should begin immediately and plans call for the engine production facility to be fully operational by the second half of 2012.
Toyota states that the plant's production lines will be able to pump out more than 100,000 engines each year, but we're less concerned with volume and more intrigued by the company's announcement regarding the specific engines that will be produced at the Altona facility. According to Toyota, the plant's production will include hybrid powertrains and next-generation four-cylinder engines. We suspect that the Altona plant will help Toyota keep up with rising demand for its Hybrid Synergy Drive-equipped vehicles. But the company's tight-lipped approach means that little is known about the next-gen four-cylinder engine. That is, aside from Toyota's promise that it will deliver reduced carbon emissions and improved fuel consumption. Hat tip to AussieEVFan!