Japan’s big three – Toyota, Nissan and Honda – are really late arrivals at the turbo party. Honda or Toyota doesn’t have a single offering in that direction and Nissan only has the Juke crossover and the dragon GT-r supercar in that department.
In the mean time, Ford and other US makers, as well as numerous European brands and the Koreans make extensive use of turbocharging technology. Why so late? The analyst opinion is they could afford the wait. “The Japanese were able to wait longer to adopt these technologies because they could,” comments Ed Kim, vice president of industry analysis at AutoPacific. “They had less to prove to the buying public.” Honda, Toyota and Nissan all had numerous models that were leading or near the top of their respective segments when it came to fuel efficiency without taking in technologies such as turbos or direct injection or they used them less than the rest of their competitors. This allowed them to remain appealing to consumers, while also escaping the praying eye of government regulators in charge of monitoring emissions and fuel economy averages. And the wait was beneficial in terms of saving hundreds of millions of dollars they were invested in other green technologies – such as Nissan’s Leaf battery electric vehicle or Toyota and Honda’s plans for hydrogen fueled cars.
Now the trio of Japanese carmakers needs to adapt to the changing times, planning massive changes over the coming half decade. Honda will be at the forefront of turbo adoption, with offerings for the Civic, Accord sedan and CR-V crossover. Toyota will have a new turbocharged four-cylinder engine replace certain V6 offerings across the Toyota and Lexus lineups, including the popular Camry and IS. Nissan, in the mean time has embraced the continuous variable transmission and will later on focus on introducing direct injection to its engines.
Via Automotive News