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Toyota introduces the future of auto production

New vehicles to be made using Toyota New Vehicle Architecture

The number one automaker in the world has just figured out a new way to make vehicles even better, inside and out.

Using the all-new Prius as the poster child of the new platform, Toyota Motor Corporation (TMC) brought the international media to Fuji International Speedway in Japan to officially introduce the Toyota New Global Architecture (TNGA).

TOYOTA NEW GLOBAL ARCHITECTURE

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The TNGA platform under the Prius, without the body panels. (Photos by ERIC TIPAN)

It sounds all fancy, but in a nutshell, the TNGA is a new development framework that will give TMC the freedom to accelerate research and development (R&D) in order to make all future vehicles more attractive in looks and performance, all while reducing cost so that each model may be priced more competitively. In other words, it is like having your cake and eating it too.

Sharing platforms or frameworks lets TMC improve basic performance and overall driving experience, enable ‘grouped development for strategic sharing of parts and major components,’ reduced cost for supplied parts, which in turn will enhance all the materials and equipment that goes into the vehicle for ‘improved product performance.’ (Editor’s Note: Toyota has already given consumers a taste of it in the form of the IMV platform under the Hilux, Fortuner and Innova.)

2016 Toyota Prius

2016 Toyota Prius

MORE CARS? NO PROBLEM

Even with automation and the use of robots on the production line, vehicle manufacturing on a global scale is downright taxing.

TMC currently has 14 types of platforms that yield a load of about 100 different models that vary in powertrain, chassis, transmission and other vehicle components.

That may seem overwhelming, but with the TNGA, Toyota can hike production up to 800 different types of vehicles, all stemming from 16 basic engine models.

And because of the TNGA, even with the new manufacturing load, Toyota can still focus on making each individual model even better because the shared platforms allow TMC to concentrate more on better R&D instead of dividing its resources between all the different frameworks.

 

IMPROVEMENTS

With the TNGA, TMC will usher in an all new era in vehicle production. The design will be more eye-catching than ever and new engines, transmission, and hybrid systems will be introduced.

 

POWERTRAIN AND PLATFORM

Current gasoline engines of Toyota are earmarked for 15-percent or more better drive performance and 25-percent or more fuel efficiency improvement due to the TNGA.

Hybrid powertrains will also be positively affected as Toyota targets at least 15-percent or better fuel consumption.

 

HANDLING AND DRIVE

The new chassis under the TNGA will have 30 to 65-percent better rigidity and it will also come with new suspensions as well.

The center-of-gravity (COG) of the entire vehicle will be lower than the current models and to also improve left and right roll, so will the COG of major components.

As parts under the hood move lower, it will increase forward visibility to make the driving experience easier.

 

OPTIMIZATION OF PRODUCTION

The best part about the TNGA is its ability let Toyota share functional parts between models, spanning multiple car types and platforms.

These include sideview mirrors, steering wheel, pedals and the infotainment system.

Even though ‘sharing’ is a term highly tossed around under this system, Toyota still guarantees that each model will come ‘individually optimized’ in order to provide a ‘look and feel that customers value.’

After the all-new Prius, expect half of Toyota’s lineup of vehicle to be manufactured under the TNGA by 2020.

 

“WHAT WOWS YOU?”

…..asked Toyota President and CEO, Akio Toyoda, at the Tokyo Motor Show.

With a bold shift in architecture to the TNGA for consistency and efficiency and the continued push to explore new and improved ways of mobility, Toyota sent us a resounding reply.

“The cars you see on display today all have something in common. Each of them represents an effort  backed by our heartfelt desire to make ever-better cars  to give form to our concept of ‘Wow!’

Here’s Toyota’s promise, written in stone: “We will keep making better cars, and we will make mobility more fun than ever,” said Toyoda.

Replying to the query he posed in the beginning, Toyoda closed the presentation by simply saying, “We’ll keep trying to answer that question the best we can.”