While forced induction is an option to get more oomph out of the agile Toyota 86, it has recently been divulged that a hybrid powertrain could be the way forward
“I’ve been asked a lot about turbocharging,” Toyota chief engineer Tetsuya Tada told Autocar. “We are already working on a mid-life facelift for the car, and we are investigating both turbocharging and supercharging too,” he added. “But an electric motor assistance solution is also possible, and would bring benefits that forced induction does not.”
The system could be similar to Honda’s Integrated Motor Assist (IMA), which provides substantial torque boost without the excessive additional weight and negative impact on throttle response that can sometimes affect parallel hybrid powertrains. This setup also aids in improving fuel consumption and reducing emissions.
Such a system will also prove considerably cheaper than the more complex parallel hybrid powertrain in the Prius, while the battery pack could also be sited in such a way that it could potentially lower the car’s centre of gravity.
Although a hybrid system, no matter how well implemented, will inevitably incur a weight penalty, Tada claims that Toyota’s TRD department has developed means by which 100 kg can be shaved off the car’s kerb weight while aerodynamic underbody developments could also offset any weight-related performance issues.