Toyota has sat quietly on the sidelines as many of its competitors have armed themselves in recent years with lower-displacement turbocharged four-cylinder engines in an effort to gain better fuel efficiency numbers and flatter power curves. It's a strategy largely shared by fellow countryman Honda, who turned away from offering forced-induction four-cylinder models in North America after its first-generation Acura RDX failed to find buyers. Toyota itself has no lack of experience with turbo fours, having built some humdingers for cars like the MR2 and Celica All-Trac back in the 80s and 90s. It's also offered factory-warranted turbos through its TRD performance parts division more recently.

Now, Automotive News is reporting that the world's largest automaker is finally poised to rejoin the turbo-four production-car fray in North America, but it won't be a sports car that delivers the first force-fed punch, it will be a new small crossover model for Lexus. We first showed you spy shots of the NX last week in mule form, and Automotive News says the small softroader will carry a 2.0-liter turbo four in its engine bay when it rolls on to world markets in 2014 or early 2015. That model, the NX 200t, will be joined by the NX 300h, a hybrid variant. It isn't immediately clear when US buyers will see the turbo model, however, it's possible that the hybrid could bow first – the story quotes an anonymous company source suggesting that Americans might not see the engine offering until sometime in 2015.

AN further posits that the new 2.0-liter will likely supplant the company's 2.5-liter V6 in the IS sedan and the same-displacement four-cylinder in the Toyota RAV4, but does not indicate where the new engine will be built.


I'm reporting this comment as:

Reported comments and users are reviewed by Autoblog staff 24 hours a day, seven days a week to determine whether they violate Community Guideline. Accounts are penalized for Community Guidelines violations and serious or repeated violations can lead to account termination.


    • 1 Second Ago
  • 57 Comments
      • 1 Year Ago
      [blocked]
      rollie
      • 1 Year Ago
      We had some v-16's,...then some v-12's...and the v-8's of all grandeur. Sadly,...v-16's and v-12's were nevermore...v-8's surrendered to v-6's...followed by the 4 banger like those of yesteryear. Three cylinders lurk in our darkness, and 2 cylinders have a history. When the direct injected, turbo'd and supercharged 20 cubic inch single finally gets here,...Drano will be my cocktail.....
        cpmanx
        • 1 Year Ago
        @rollie
        So cylinder count is the only measure of quality? OK then, you take the AMC Gremlin V8 (150hp), I'll take the 4-cylinder Mercedes CLA45 (355hp), and we'll see who has more fun.
          Teleny411
          • 1 Year Ago
          @cpmanx
          Probably the Gremlin: people go nuts for goofy vintage cars. Plus vintage cars are way more fun to drive than anything modern. Faster doesn't always equal more fun or pleasurable.
      Teleny411
      • 1 Year Ago
      I hate turbo lag. They all say its gone and its always there.
      Myself
      • 1 Year Ago
      I'd choose a honest Japanese naturaly aspirated engine over undersized European turbo pots any time of the day and year. Call me old fashioned, but a) it has nothing to do with fashion, b) physics on my side. I hail from Europe, the continent is awashed with 1.2, 1.4 etc. turbo engines delivering insane HPs. Europe is also awashed with insanely unreliablie TSI engines from Volkswagen AG with reliability on par with you average TV shopping channel juice maker. What's this turbo craze about? You strap a TURBO, an old technology, on a run-of-the-mill small displacement engine block based on, you guessed it, old technology. Yes, you go faster, but thermodynamics cannot be cheated. If a 1.2 turbo engine has the power of a 2.0 liter non-turbo, it will ALWAYS have the same REAL fuel consumption. Period. Try running 1.2 liter turboed engine on an Autobahn. Turbo is always on, reliability plummets. And now take the Mazda's SkyActiv. I recently drove a 2.5 liter Automatic version of Mazda 6 sedan. 5 adults, fully loaded trunk, aircon on (35 Celsius, 95 Fahrenheit), highway in a hilly area (80 mph speed limit, rarely adhered to) and mountain roads - going uphill, overall 450 km/280 miles. Got 6.5 l/100 km, or 36.2 mpg. No wonder Mazda's European sales rose 29.8% in May year over year (industry average -5.9%), and in the year to date, the figure was +6.9% for Mazda, against -6.8% industry average. Sorry, but Turbos are a dead-end street.
        Teleny411
        • 1 Year Ago
        @Myself
        They are hard on motors and I don't trust manufacturers to use quality parts as they use that weight for electronic do-dads. Durability goes down, higher cost of ownership unless you are under warranty. An extra part to break. Ill have NA please....
          normc32
          • 1 Year Ago
          @Teleny411
          All Saabs sold in the US after year 2000 were turbo charged. They were old school iron block with poor government mandated pcv systems that caused allot of engine sludging for all manufacturers. Many turbo Saabs have eclipsed the 300,000 '8/3 mark and rolling.
        mylexicon
        • 1 Year Ago
        @Myself
        The benefits of turbo depend on the application. Turbo-diesel engines used in the US trucking industry are reliable and long-lived, but those engines are made from premium quality materials. Long-haul truck engines are also designed almost exclusively to provide extra low-end torque, not to pad horsepower figures. If you look at the turbo engines in GM's 'eco' passenger cars, they appear to be using this strategy. The 1.4T only makes as much power as the 1.8L naturally-aspirated engine. In theory, it should be reliable, and the EPA figures prove superior mileage when driven properly. Cheap passenger cars frequently have turbo problems b/c they are not well designed and they don't feature premium materials. The manufacturers wind them up to make nice horsepower figures, knowing full-well that the engines and electronics will bake in only 100,000 miles. SkyActiv isn't necessarily the solution, though. High static compression usually narrows the tolerances for the valvetrain, which increases maintenance expense. Time will tell whether Mazda got it right. The real benefits of turbocharging are for the manufacturers (of course). The new turbocharged I-4 engines replace V6 engines, which have complex engine blocks, an extra cylinder head, two extra cams, and two extra pistons, rods, etc. By adjusting the boost, the turbo I-4 can replace several naturally-aspirated V6s. This could actually work to the benefit of people who prefer naturally-aspirated reliability. If the new engines and transmissions are designed to take the punishment of turbocharging, the naturally aspirated variants should become even more reliable, right?
          icemilkcoffee
          • 1 Year Ago
          @mylexicon
          Why do you say high compression leads to valve train problems? Almost all production engines have hydraulic valve lifters, so it is not like you have to adjust the valves like you would on a motorcycle.
        Jamie Elmhirst
        • 1 Year Ago
        @Myself
        Well said. All of these turbo'ed engines supply plenty of power but simply do not live up to their fuel estimates in the real world.
        • 1 Year Ago
        @Myself
        [blocked]
          • 1 Year Ago
          [blocked]
        normc32
        • 1 Year Ago
        @Myself
        I agree the modern when made right like some are doing can match or beat hybrids on most levels that won't justify the added costs. I just did one week 2013 Buick Verano Turbo 6-speed of daily commuting of 120 miles and saw 39.3 mpg figure on paper, not the car's computer. I can get mid-40's on the highway at the speed limit with ac on in 85F heat. Now with an ECU by Trifecta my same size as your 2.0 has about double your Skyactiv torque. Guess which engine you would want fully loaded up with ac on merging onto the highway? Looks like Mazada might be last to show up with mainstream turbo?
      wilmisale
      • 1 Year Ago
      Have yet to see a turbo'd motor whose life expectancy wasn't halved by the device. Audi and BMW now seem to use turbos exclusively, and the 5-year plan will prove interesting, as will the warranty claims and questions about coverage. I see a lot of old Corollas on the road, but hardly any older A4's. As for Ford's Ecoboost Escape, when the manufacturer tells you not to drive the thing and the dealer will pick it up (hopefully before it self-combusts), it's enough to make a buyer think twice, and yet, sales are very strong, mostly due to the hype. Hopefully, Toyota will think twice before they go this route. The general public has been led to believe that turbocharging is the only way to have decent mileage with higher performance, and yet naturally aspirated motors seem able to equal and surpass these qualities. Extended warranties should be stressed as well. So far, the Japanese (Mazda in particular) show that there are simpler ways to achieve these goals with a little forward thinking. Reliability is just icing on the cake.
        icemilkcoffee
        • 1 Year Ago
        @wilmisale
        Agreed. Turbo gasoline motors are not know for longevity. Simply put- the exhaust manifold just gets way too hot. It tends to cook all the rubber pieces in the engine bay, even if it doesn\'t cook itself to death.
          550PlusX5
          • 1 Year Ago
          @icemilkcoffee
          Not exactly true. In the past, it wasn't the engines that would fail, but the turbo's themselves would fail because what would happen is someone would drive the car hard, and shut the engine down right away. Most cars didn't have an afterrun pump so the oil would just sit there and because the turbo was hot (in many cases glowing red/orange), it would literally cook the oil that wasn't moving...The oil would turn into sludge or worse, and after years of use, the turbo would stop spinning more or less. A lot of factors went caused this issue, and a lot of things are done/can be done to minimize this. For starters, most cars these day use more advanced oil (synthetic,etc) so breakdown isn't as easy. Most turbo engines these days in stock are light boost turbos. Third, some cars do have an afterrun pump/cooling. The I believe most BMW V8TT do, while the V6 do not. Also, most people don't drive with a lead foot. And lastly, if you are a person like me that drives with a lead foot and modify the crap out of your FI motor, you would also be smart enough to take it easy right before you took the key out of the ignition, or for the lazy stick in a turbo timer. Oh, and you wouldn't be cheap and skimp on maintenence.
        404 not found
        • 1 Year Ago
        @wilmisale
        I've seen several MKIV twin turbo Supras with 150k - 200k miles on their clocks. But then again that motor was a freak of nature.
        merlot066
        • 1 Year Ago
        @wilmisale
        Will a N/A engine not catch fire if the fuel lines have tears from the factory? That's what happened with the Escape. Fuel injection was thought of in a similar regard when it was first introduced and early uses like GM's CrossFire injection system performed worse than carbureted engines. Direct Injection is also a new technology that is more complicated than most people realize but people don't have a problem adopting that.
          chanonissan
          • 1 Year Ago
          @merlot066
          Direct injection is not a new tech, but as you say it is complicated, nissan ( dd series) and mitsubishi (GDI series) has been using direct injection gasoline from the 90"s, infact hyundai i am sure and I think volvo, license the tech from mitsubishi.
        550PlusX5
        • 1 Year Ago
        @wilmisale
        It's really not an issue with a modern turbo and synthetic. My 12-13 year old Audi with a turbo is still running great...Of course, I ran full synthetic (Castrol 5w30 or Mobil 1 0w40 or Motul ,well you get the point) and did a oil changes every 5000 miles, plus I also had a turbo timer. Then again, my audi's not exactly stock either...I think the only cars that had major issues with those that abused the hell out of their cars and skimped on maintanance, which is why I personally would NOT buy a used/preowned FI car without knowing who and how they took car of it . I think you got other bigger issues to worry about versus the turbo's going...Like direct injection screwing up the oil and/or high pressure fuel pumps crapping out....Or in the case of modern diesels, fuel contamination at the gas station that results in a f'ed up fuel pump or worse.
        chanonissan
        • 1 Year Ago
        @wilmisale
        I mean 300, 000 Km.
      • 1 Year Ago
      [blocked]
        • 1 Year Ago
        [blocked]
        • 1 Year Ago
        [blocked]
          • 1 Year Ago
          [blocked]
        BF4ALTF
        • 1 Year Ago
        Not my way. I quit buying GM's vehicles. My last new car purchase was a Toyota. Much much better. Never been bored by it, but being bored would be much better than the problems drama I was used too.
      Master Austin
      • 1 Year Ago
      Well when Toyota finally debuts it's turbo engines, Ford, Hyundai, GM would be on it's 2/3rd generations of their boosted engines and without 28 year old 4 speed transmissions as Toyota might. And while Toyota debuts it's Entune system on more vehicles, Ford/GM/Chrysler would be on their 2/3rd generation of their Infotainment systems. Yes, they are moving forward alright.
        wilmisale
        • 1 Year Ago
        @Master Austin
        Let's not forget that Toyota's global operation has featured turbos (and diesels) for many years. The tech isn't new to them, they just didn't see the need for this market (since the turbo Supra, Celica, 4Runner, and MR2 sold well enough, but answered a question few American buyers were asking). As far as the 4-speed automatic, I'll take a 4-speed that keeps working over a 6,7, or 8-speed that cooks itself post-warranty, or sooner. Just noting the stats.
          Alfonso T. Alvarez
          • 1 Year Ago
          @wilmisale
          Sorry, there is no statistical data that shows Toyota's four speed automatics are in any way, shape or form superior in reliability to ANY other OEM's six speed auto's - too soon to compare to seven or eight speeds, but likely there will not be any data worth noting there either!! Sounds like you are making up BS just to try to bolster Toyota, which, as many of us on this forum know, has had a LOT OF SERIOUS ISSUES with their engine sludge issues, let alone everything else that has proven to be substandard in their vehicles!! Sorry, Toyota doesn't get a free pass based upon their marketing any more - they have had a HUGE amount of issues that were under-reported in the mainstream media, but those of us who are knowledgeable of the truth don't buy your nonsensical garbage!!
      Jamie Elmhirst
      • 1 Year Ago
      Well, we'll see if Toyota has any better luck supplying "more power and better fuel economy" with their turbos. Has been more power with disappointing fuel economy from everyone else.
        normc32
        • 1 Year Ago
        @Jamie Elmhirst
        Yes, we"ll see how that "ledgenary fuel economy" holds up now they have to make torque. Something that was amiss previously.
      icemilkcoffee
      • 1 Year Ago
      Correct me if I am wrong, but didnt Toyota release a turbocharged Echo hatchback in Canada around 10 years ago? If so, Toyota would be ahead of the curve.
        wilmisale
        • 1 Year Ago
        @icemilkcoffee
        Also in the US - MR2, 4Runner, Celica, and Supra in the late '80's/early 90's. All available with turbos, all deemed relatively reliable, but ultimately deemed unnecessary by buyers. Still sold overseas, though, where larger displacements are taxed higher, and a turbo on a smaller engine is an alternative, not a choice.
      mikeybyte1
      • 1 Year Ago
      My hunch is Toyota has taken a longer time to jump into the turbo 4cyl arena until they could best maximize power and efficiency. Ford is taking a beating over Ecoboost, although the sub-par MPG real world results do not seem to be impacting sales. A 2.0 4cyl turbo or a hybrid as the engine options? Interesting approach. I have a feeling this is exactly what Lincoln is planning with the upcoming MKC compact crossover. If they do, I look forward to a comparison test.
      Zeta
      • 1 Year Ago
      Looks like a Venza with a smaller turbo engine.
        cpmanx
        • 1 Year Ago
        @Zeta
        Yeah, and that paint scheme is crazy...there's some kind of paper or tape over part of the rear window...the front end doesn't even have Lexus styling cues. It's almost as if this were some kind of...I don't know...engineering mule or something.
      JTBradford006
      • 1 Year Ago
      That's a Lexus CT.
    • Load More Comments