Toyota has unveiled its new vehicle platform, Toyota New Global Architecture (TNGA). Toyota is taking a new, integrated approach to developing powertrain components and vehicle platforms, adopting measures which can also greatly improve the fundamental performance of its cars. By grouping vehicle development with strategic sharing of parts and powertrain elements, Toyota aims to reduce the call on its resources by 20 per cent or more. Toyota also intends to bring down costs further, making it possible to reinvest in developing advanced technologies and making its products even more attractive.
Toyota is focusing on the joint development of vehicle powertrains and platforms to secure a lower centre of gravity for its vehicles, to make components lighter and more compact and to create unified designs. Toyota claims that these factors can all contribute to better performance and fuel efficiency in cars that look more appealing and are more rewarding to drive. Toyota says that it has increased the overall fuel efficiency of its powertrains by about 25 per cent and overall power output by more than 15 per cent, which has been achieved by improving the thermal efficiency of its engines and the energy-relay efficiency of transmissions. Toyota will begin to introduce its new powertrains this year, while continuing to work on innovative hybrid systems, transmissions and engines.
Toyota is also using innovations in vehicle underbodies and suspension systems to develop new platforms. By repositioning and lowering the centre of gravity of its powertrain components, Toyota targets to produce cars with attractive, low-set designs, responsive handling, a better drive feel and improved collision performances. Toyota plans first to increase overall body rigidity by as much as 30 to 65 per cent, then to make further gains by using laser welding to join body components. It will begin to roll out its new platforms with the launch of a mid-size front-wheel drive model this year, followed by specific new platforms for compact and large FWD vehicles and for rear-wheel drive cars. Toyota expects that by 2020, half the vehicles it sells worldwide will use the new platforms.