TOKYO -- Honda Motor Co. is hardly alone in going turbo.
Honda, which unveiled three turbocharged engines ahead of the Tokyo Motor Show this week, is one of many automakers turning to turbos to boost fuel efficiency without sacrificing power -- or to boost power without hurting fuel efficiency.
Toyota Motor Corp. and Subaru outlined plans at the Tokyo show to roll out downsized turbos. The first entries debut next year, and more will follow.
Toyota, which has no turbos in its lineup, will use turbocharged engines across its portfolio, with possible displacements spanning the 1.0- to 1.5-liter range, said Satoshi Ogiso, managing officer in charge of alternative vehicles, powertrains and chassis development.
The company's first turbo since the 1980s is expected to arrive next year. It will be a 2.0-liter powerplant offered in the Lexus compact crossover to be styled after the LF-NX, Ogiso said.
"In the near future we will use downsized turbochargers, also in the Toyota lineup," Ogiso said.
He said the Toyota brand will get turbocharging within a couple of years, but was not specific.
Toyota nameplates will use the technology to improve fuel economy, while Lexus will rely on it more for boosting low-end torque from engines with smaller displacements, Ogiso said.
A 1.4-liter turbo standing in for a 2.0-liter naturally aspirated engine can deliver a 5 percent increase in fuel economy, Ogiso estimated. Fuel economy gains are bigger when turbo engines are combined with manual transmissions than with automatics, he said.
Toyota likely will make a detailed announcement about its turbo strategy in the coming year, partly as a response to Honda's planned turbo push, Ogiso said.
Subaru also will put its first downsized turbo on sale next spring. It will be a 1.6-liter direct-injection turbo engine offered on the Levorg compact wagon that goes on sale in Japan.
That engine subs for a naturally aspirated 2.0-liter engine, said Naoto Muto, executive vice president for global engineering. While the 1.6-liter turbo delivers better fuel economy than the 2.0-liter, it churns out power equal to that of a 2.5-liter engine, he said.
Subaru is studying a possible use in the United States, but nothing has been decided, he said. Subaru engineers are looking at expanding turbos to sub for bigger engines, he said.
He cited General Motors' move to replace a 3.5-liter V-6 naturally aspirated engine with a 2.5-liter four cylinder. Said Muto: "We are considering the same."