Toyota announces new TNGA-based transmissions, engines and all-wheel drive systems

Toyota has announced that it has developed a new continuously variable transmission (CVT), six-speed manual transmission, 2.0-litre engine, 2.0-litre hybrid electric system and all-wheel drive systems based on the Toyota New Global Architecture (TNGA), its framework for making ever-better cars. The new technologies it is deploying offer both improved driving and environmental performance.

The new CVT is the world’s first to feature a launch gear, which significantly improves transmission efficiency at low speeds. It delivers direct and smooth response to the driver’s use of the accelerator pedal, and superior fuel efficiency.

Click here for more information on the development of the new powertrains

Direct Shift-CVT: a new type of continuously variable transmission

The basic functions of any transmission are to achieve efficient operation, maintain the engine within its most efficient speed ranges and effect highly responsive gear changes. To improve these functions, Toyota has worked to reduce mechanical losses, adopt a wider gear range and improve shift tracking. This results in a direct, smooth driving experience with superior fuel efficiency – improved by six percent compared to the current Toyota CVT.

Reduced mechanical losses
The new unit marks a world-first for a CVT in a passenger vehicle by using a launch gear. This secures more efficient operation in lower gear ratios where belt efficiency is typically poor. The system uses gear drive when starting from stationary, giving powerful acceleration and resolving the momentary sluggish feeling that can occur under acceleration. Launch performance is thus made smooth and comfortable. When switching from gear drive to belt drive, the transmission uses highly responsive gear change control technologies, developed from those used in automatic transmissions.

Conversion to wider gear ranges
In line with the use of a launch gear, belt drive is specified for higher gear ratios. This new set-up not only improves the efficiency of belt use, but also allows wider gear ranges to be adopted. This delivers a class-leading1 gear ratio range for 2.0-litre powertrains of 7.5.

 Improved shift tracking
The use of launch gears reduces input load, which in turn means that the size of the belt and the pulley components can be reduced. The belt angle has been made narrower and pulley diameters have been made smaller, resulting in shift speeds that are 20 per cent faster. This helps secure powerful, rhythmic acceleration

Click here for more information on the Direct Shift-CVT

Six-speed manual transmission

Toyota has also developed a new manual transmission, responding to global needs, particularly in Europe. Compared to the existing unit, the new system is 7kg lighter and is shorter by 24mm, making it one of the world’s smallest transmissions and contributing to improved fuel efficiency. It achieves world-leading transmission efficiency, while the use of iMT (intelligent manual transmission) automatically adjusts engine revs when changing gear to ensure smooth shifts, free from uncomfortable recoil.

Click here for more information on the new six-speed manual transmission

2.0-litre Dynamic Force engine: a new in-line four-cylinder direct injection petrol engine

Toyota’s new Dynamic Force engine uses high-speed combustion technologies and a variable control system. It has been engineered to achieve higher thermal efficiency, with a reduction in the losses associated with exhaust and cooling systems, the friction between moving parts and other operating aspects.

As a result, the new 2.0-litre engine achieves world-leading thermal efficiency of 40% in a petrol vehicle and 41% in a hybrid electric vehicle. In addition, compared to existing engines, the new units deliver higher torque at all engine speeds and will comply ahead of time with expected future exhaust regulations in all countries where they will be sold.

Click here for more information on the Dynamic Force engine

2.0-litre Toyota Hybrid System (THS II)

Toyota has developed a new hybrid petrol-electric system for 2.0-litre engines, using the same size, weight and loss-reducing technologies applied in the current, fourth-generation Prius. The new system gives improved driving performance while maintaining superior fuel efficiency. Under acceleration, the hybrid system reduces engine revs while drawing increased electric power from the battery.

Click here for  more information on the 2.0-litre Toyota Hybrid System

Dynamic Torque Vectoring AWD and E-Four AWD systems

Toyota has developed two new all-wheel drive systems with the aim of improving fuel efficiency and achieving high levels of AWD handling, stability and off-road performance.

The new Dynamic Torque Vectoring AWD system is designed for use in petrol-powered vehicles. It uses a torque vectoring mechanism that independently distributes torque to the left and right wheels according to prevailing conditions, allowing the driver to steer the vehicle exactly as intended. It also achieves high off-road performance, even in the toughest conditions.

The system incorporates a disconnect system, which features the world’s first ratchet-type dog clutch for both the front and rear wheel shafts. These clutches stop rotation of the drive system, which transmits driving force to the rear wheels when in two-wheel drive mode. This significantly reduces energy losses and improves fuel efficiency.

The new E-Four system will be used in hybrid electric vehicles. It delivers 30% more total torque to the electrically driven rear wheels than the current version. By using a new control system that optimally distributes torque to the rear wheels, it delivers a high level of off-road performance, handling and stability.

Furthermore, both the Dynamic Torque Vectoring AWD and E-Four systems benefit from AWD Integrated Management (AIM), which harmonises engine, transmission, braking and AWD systems to gain excellent handling and stability, regardless of road surface conditions.

Click here for  more information on these chassis systems

Market introduction and anticipated environmental benefit

Toyota intends to expand the number of models equipped with the new powertrain units from spring 2018 onwards.

These powertrains will not only contribute to improved environmental and driving performance in conventional petrol engine vehicles but their core technologies will also support improved performance in electrified vehicles. In this way, these technologies have a role to play in Toyota’s efforts to popularise electrified vehicles.

Where TNGA-based powertrains are concerned, Toyota has already announced plans to introduce 17 versions of nine engines, ten versions of four transmissions and ten versions of six hybrid systems by the end of 2021. The new CVT, six-speed manual transmission, 2.0-litre petrol engine and 2.0-litre hybrid petrol-electric system are four of the planned components.

Within the next five years, Toyota aims to have TNGA powertrain units installed in approximately 80% of all Toyota and Lexus vehicles sold each year in Europe, Japan, the USA and China. It forecasts that these units alone will improve fuel efficiency sufficiently to reduce the CO2 emissions from Toyota vehicles by more than 18%.


  1. It’s me again, wanting to know about the C-HR Hy Power, that Toyota said would be revealed, “early 2018”. Now that you have announced new engines is it safe to assume the 2.0 litre will be the actual engine, or have I got to wait for an already overdue statement. As stated in my previous requests we love our current C-HR and would be very keen to know what the new spec will be and when it will be available. Any news?

    1. Hi Rob,
      Thanks for getting in touch. Unfortunately, we have no information available at this time. Please keep an eye on our social media channels and the blog for the latest updates. Thanks.

  2. It would be great if the new Direct Shift-CVT box could be retro-fitted as an upgrade to the 2017 Prius Plug In, as I have to go full electric every time I need instant response at places such as blind junctions and short slip roads. Otherwise, I love my Prius and intend keeping it for many years to come.

    1. Hi John,
      Thanks for getting in touch. Its great to hear how much you love your Prius and we have passed your comments on to our product department. Thanks.

  3. I had a general question about CVT. My understanding is that CVT steel belts would write off an engine IF it failed. If this is possible, what would be the anticipated longevity of a cvt transmission belt in miles, and do Toyota have a guideline as to when it should bw replaced?

    Thank you for your time.

  4. Hi James,

    Thanks for getting in touch. CVTs are very reliable and failures are rare on any Toyota model. Due to this, there are no specific servicing guidelines for the replacement of internal components and the transmission fluid may also be lifetime filled from factory, not necessarily requiring an oil change. Please however consult your local Toyota Centre for servicing schedules specific to your vehicle.

    This also doesn’t mean failures can’t occur but again, these are rare.

    Generally problems will result in a reduction or loss of drive, rather than subsequent damage to the engine as well as the transmission. Due to the varying driving and usage conditions, we cannot provide any further advice other than to have the vehicle inspected by your local Toyota Centre for peace of mind.

    Hope this helps.

  5. Whilst I am very impressed with Toyota CHR in general I am concerned about complaints about cracking windscreens and other defects in driving aids. Toyota Australia refuses to acknowledge these, which i think is a very bad publicity move.Seeing as they are spread over the internet. We know most cars emerge with unseen faults, we’d like to know how they rectify them – not As Chrysler did by lying and refusing free replacement – yes exploding alternators. Come on Toyota, be free with the truth we won’t eat you, we just want to see good old Japanese technological solutions to problems. We don’t want syrupy platitudes, we are enthusiast’s wanting serious conversation and information.

  6. Hi, I own a 2010 RAV4 2.2 D4D 2 wheel drive with a 2AD-FTV engine and 6 speed manual transmission. The owners manual says the Transmission oil is LV API GL-4 SAE 75W and that “Generally, it is necessary to change manual transmission oil only if your vehicle is driven under one of the Special Operating Conditions listed in your “Toyota Service Booklet” or “Toyota Booklet”. I have been through these booklets and cannot see the Special Operating Conditions. Could you let me know what these are? Also if the vehicle is not driven under the Special Operating Conditions should the Transmission oil only be checked every 40,000 miles and topped up if necessary?


    1. Hi David,

      Thanks for getting in touch. Could you please provide us with your reg or VIN? We can then take a further look into this for you.


      1. Hi David,

        Thanks for getting back to us with these details. The severe operating conditions are as below:

        A: Road conditions
        1, Operating on rough or muddy roads, or roads with melted snow.
        2, Operating on dusty roads. (Roads in areas where their pavement rate is low, or a cloud of dust often arises and the air is dry.)
        3, Operating on road which has road salt applied.
        4, Operating frequently on 2,000 m (6,562 ft. ) above sea. ( Vehicle with high altitude compensator or EFI diesel engine.)
        5, Operating frequently on 700 m (2,297 ft. ) above sea. ( Vehicle without high altitude compensator or EFI diesel engine.)

        B: Driving conditions
        1, Heavily loaded vehicle. (Example : Towing a trailer, using a camper, using a car top carrier, etc.)
        2, Repeated short trips less than 8 km (5 miles) and outside temperatures remain below freezing. (Engine temperature will not reach to normal temperature.)
        3, Repeated short trips less than 15 km (9 miles). (Engine temperature will not reach to normal temperature.)
        4. Extensive idling and / or low speed driving for a long distance such as police, professional / private use like taxi or door-to-door delivery use.
        5. Continuous high speed driving (80 % or more of maximum vehicle speed) for over 2 hours.
        6, Continuous high speed driving (155 km/h or more) in 4th gear for 5 minutes or more
        7, Daily (30 min. or more) off-road operation of the vehicles at high engine speed and low vehicle speed, such as heavy cargo transportation, off-roads trailer towing.

        Also, it is just a check level operation every 4 years.


      2. Very interesting information. I’m not the original owner so I can’t be sure how the vehicle has been driven for 90k miles. I assume it would only be beneficial to replace the gearbox oil using the correct grade and quantity as I would hope to drive the car for many more years.

  7. Hi, we have been reading very favourable reviews about the Corolla available in the USA, that has the “Direct Shift K120 CVT” transmission. It has a first gear that transforms the gearbox and the car. We can’t find a Toyota or a Lexus in the UK that has this K120. Please will you advise which cars are available in the UK with this particular transmission, thanks.

    1. Hi there,
      Thanks for your comment.
      Our Technical Team have advised that this transmission is not available on any vehicle in the UK market.

      1. Hi David,
        There isn’t any particular reason for this.
        However, we will pass this feedback onto our product team.

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