Driving pleasure now also at Toyota
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As a first example of the cooperation between Toyota and BMW, the Japanese Verso compact van with a Bavarian diesel engine is coming onto the market.
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The 1.6-liter four-cylinder with 112 hp is the new entry-level engine for the five- to seven-seater and replaces the 2.0-liter diesel with 124 hp that was previously available.
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The downsizing in displacement should have an impact above all in terms of consumption. Instead of the previous 4.9 liters, the smallest diesel Verso should now only use 4.6 liters of fuel per 100 kilometers…consume. The start-stop system, which is now standard, also helps.
Asian manufacturers do not like the diesel engine, which is why Toyota commissioned it from BMW for the Verso. There the diesel strangers and makes strange noises.
Zu not very elastic, too thirsty and above all too much displacement. With its two-liter diesel as an entry-level engine for the Verso, Toyota has not really been able to score points so far. “Because the music in this class is 1.6 liters,” says Gerald Killmann, who heads the European development center for the Japanese in Brussels and is now bowing to the realities of the market.
Just one year after the thorough facelift for the Verso, the two-liter engine was taken out of the range and replaced by a 1.6-liter engine. Even if the only 112 instead of 124 hp engine consumes almost ten percent less, that in itself would not be worth much more than a report. But what makes it exciting is where it comes from.
After all, Killmann’s team did not develop the four-cylinder itself, but took it over from the BMW shelf. “This is the first step in the cooperation with Bavaria that we agreed two years ago,” says Killmann.
It may not be as spectacular as a jointly developed sports car and not as innovative as the fuel cell that Munich and Tokyo are now trying to bring to series production together. But the project is tangible and concrete: While all other joint models are still in the planning stage, you can buy the German diesel in a Japanese van from March 15 at prices from 23,550 euros.
Also included in the mini
That the new engine, the BMW for example in the Mini starts, has a little less power, you can get over that. What it lacks at the top, it compensates with a much broader usable speed range. The maximum 270 Newton meters are only available between 1750 and 2250 tours.
But even if, for example, you don’t keep the gear knob in heavy city traffic and the diesel turns over 3000 revs, it won’t die of starvation straight away. On the contrary: He pushes the van with vigor and sometimes even puts you in pole position at the traffic light sprint.
For a 4.46-meter car with up to seven seats or a maximum of 1740 liters of fully packed trunk, the car pulls quite well. For a family carriage, 12.7 seconds are okay for the sprint from 0 to 100 and 186 km / h top speed. This also applies to consumption, which averages 4.6 liters.
The Bavarian joy of driving – at least a little bit you can experience it with the new engine at Toyota too. However, there are still a few differences, especially when it comes to running smoothness. Because the engine sends little vibrations into the framework, harmonizes well with the short six-speed gearshift and does not annoy with shaking when using the automatic start-stop.
Unfortunately a bit of a noise
But it sounds pretty bony and doesn’t hold back. Once it is running and has reached a tempo of 100, the sound is no longer a problem. But especially in city traffic, the diesel is so present that people like to use the new multi-media center with online navigation, internet connection and sound system.
Killmann justifies the fact that Toyota used diesel from the BMW shelf and did not develop an engine itself with the high costs and the comparatively low number of units. Because outside of Europe, Toyota couldn’t sell the engine anywhere.
Nevertheless, the Japanese did not make it easy for themselves with the takeover. Over two years, around 200 engineers worked together, mainly in Brussels, to ensure that the engine fits under the hood, harmonises with the transmission and start-stop system and, above all, that the two electronic architectures get along well.
“Unfortunately, installing a third-party engine is not like changing the car battery.” No wonder that the head of development has a tight schedule these days. Because he doesn’t want to say anything specific yet. But allegedly the first two-liter machines from Munich have already arrived in Brussels. And somehow RAV4 or Avensis also have to keep up with the times.
The trip to the presentation of the Verso was supported by Toyota. You can find our standards of transparency and journalistic independence at www.axelspringer.de/unabhaengigkeit
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