Recently, Toyota outlined its "eco-car" future, which includes the launch of 11 new or redesigned vehicles by 2012. The majority of the automaker's upcoming vehicle introductions will be conventional hybrid versions of existing models. Toyota's drive to increase the fuel efficiency of its model lineup does not end at hybrids, however, and the automaker is eying ways to improve the efficiency of gasoline engines. To that end, Toyota sees turbocharging, direct fuel injection and start-stop technology in its future.
Though there's no word on which Toyota models will be first in line to get turbo'd, direct-injected or fitted with the mild hybrid treatment, reports suggest that the technology will trickle down through the model lineup – eventually reaching some of the automaker's best-selling four-cylinder models like the Corolla and Camry. Turbocharging and direct-injection are technologies that many other automakers already employ. Toyota may be ahead in the hybrid race, but it is lagging behind much of its competition and must act fast to catch up.