There's a huge amount of new innovation going on in traditional internal-combustion engines. Mazda's Skyactiv-X uses diesel-style compression-ignition; Infiniti has a variable-compression design. Automakers are realizing that, while electric and hybrid cars may be a tempting option, there's plenty of advancement left in the gasoline-burning piston engine.
Now we can add Toyota to the list, with its new Dynamic Force four-cylinder engine. Set to make its market debut in the new 2019 Corolla, this engine is chock-full of innovations to help it achieve 40-percent thermal efficiency, a number unheard of in production car engines.
How does this 2.0-liter four-cylinder achieve such major efficiency? As tells us, a lot of it comes down to simple engine design and tuning tricks. Toyota put a ton of attention into refining the airflow characteristics of the port- and direct-injected engine, optimizing the tumbling flow of the intake charge for efficient burning. The 13:1 compression ratio helps get even more power out of each revolution.
There are plenty of other tricks and tweaks hidden inside this new engine. The results speak for themselves: A production four-cylinder engine with thermal efficiency better than almost any piston engine the world has ever seen.