2022 Toyota Tundra Diesel Redesign – Rumours have been circulating about the next gene 2022 Toyota Tundra with much speculation about the engine. New patent filings suggest Toyota engineers are working on something and that something could be very special – toyota tundra diesel.
Filled on the July 2, 2020 patent, posted to the Rivian forum, seems to follow up on the trademark news Toyota has made recently on a new iForce Max engine. It fueled speculation about Toyota taking the current 5.7L V-8 iForce engine to a whole new level.
Given the new Toyota Tundra should hit a lot of dealers in fall 2021, trademark filing and now this patent filing, there is a lot of speculation that 1 + 1 + 1 = 3. We spoke to several sources off the record to get your thoughts, as well as asking our own G.R. Kit for these thoughts on toyota tundra diesel.
Earlier this year Toyota’s trademark app for the name iForce Max fueled speculation of a twin-turbo petrol V-6 for the next Tundra, with output of 450 horsepower and 500 pound-feet or better. Given that Lexus already has a twin-turbo gasoline V-6 and iForce’s famous Toyota truck engine moniker seemed reasonable, and given Toyota’s hybrid experience, ekeing out a few extra pound-feet would be easy.
However, a patent application filed in December last year takes me in a different direction: fuel-injecting diesel channel.
I will say right now it does not mention the words “diesel” or “Tundra”, and “gas” appears used only as light, not short for gasoline. I am also not an engineer and just make a habit of crashing the engine after I or a friend carry them or follow them up.
The documents refer to the “compressed internal combustion engine of the self-ignition type”, but this can be applied to the diesel engine cycle or HCCI (homogeneous compression charge ignition) that operates on gasoline or diesel. The documents often mention the “glow plug”, but it appears to be the pieces used to heat the fuel, not the air as they do in conventional diesel. I can not find any indication that there are no spark plugs or conventional glowing in the attached drawing lines, and the only materials called are aluminum head with some chrome steel hardening points. Drawings show several arrangements, one with channels located on the side of the chamber of the cylinder head (and depending on the assembly can be part of the injector inserted from the chamber side) and one that displays the channels inside the head on the roof of the chamber.
In one part the fuel is injected under a compressed charge, more indicative of diesel in which combustion begins when fuel is added, rather than an HCCI gasoline engine where the fuel is injected during a suction stroke and spontaneously combusts when compression drives temperature and density high enough. However, HCCI has tested diesel in the past, so it’s possible Toyota has figured out a way to make it feasible over a wider speed and load range.
The text often mentions “smoke suppression.”” Smoke is most commonly mentioned in diesel engines – and really rich hot rods, but that doesn’t guarantee either diesel and particulate matter: Some petrol cars in Europe have particle traps, from them direct injections.
What really makes me think that this diesel is a job at Sandia National Laboratories by Charles Mueller and associates, who found that better mixing fuel and air before igniting the point would make it cleaner, more complete, leaner and cooler to burn, lowering NOx and soot. For one analogy consider your propane torch, which has a fitting end of the pipe (ironically mimicking a modern diesel exhaust top) in order to better mix air and fuel and make that beautiful, pure blue flame, against a smoky orange flame when the first light oxy-acetylene torch.
My reading of the patent document makes me think it’s for diesel engines, but I’ve been wrong before. And there’s no guarantee that fuel injection will arrive on any Toyota engine in the next few years, nor that it will appear in the Tundra. But I think how many diesel engines Toyota sells around the world and that ducted fuel injection can probably be carried out at the same or lower price than typical diesel after-treatment systems, and depreciation comes quickly.
We also reached out to a few unofficial engineers who said all sorts of things. One of them mentioned that it could be a homogeneous compression ignition charge aka Mazda SkyActiv X engine – which achieved a 15% improvement over its other petrol engines. HCCI engines work using compression to ignite a mixture of air and fuel, just like in diesel. Usually use a spark plug in a gas engine.
It has long been considered “unicorn” engine design and many manufacturers have spent decades trying to perfect it.
Why would Toyota copy a Mazda? Toyota and Mazda have a history of working together. Currently, they are working on jointly building vehicles at a factory in Alabama and Toyota owns a small stake in Mazda (very typical toyota to take ownership stakes with the companies it is working with). It leads me to think if Toyota owns part of mazda, works on building vehicles with Mazda, then why not look at your engines. The patent could then be using some of Mazda’s breakthrough, and making small tweaks to allow Toyota to have a patent on its design.
That would mean the engine would use gasoline because Mazda’s current SkyActiv gas engine. However, the way the patent is written and the way diesel engines work may only be that this patent demonstrates how a petrol engine can benefit from the principle of burning a diesel engine.
Another source we spoke to, who has years of diesel engine development for a major carmaker, said it looks a lot like the kit described it – a previously heated fuel mixed with air causes automatic ignition inside the combustion chamber. Basically, eliminating the need for spark plugs, reducing emissions and improving fuel consumption. While this would mean Toyota would need tight controls on block temperatures and other factors, it is possible to make such an engine work.
A really interesting application of this is in a diesel engine though. It is possible that this engine will eliminate one of the systems after processing currently used on the diesel engine. Right now, you need to add diesel exhaust fluids, go through the regen process and replace your diesel particulate filters, as well as keep an eye on your injectors. Basically, as many see it, the diesel engine is torn apart by the emissions equipment and is now a very expensive engine to maintain. Removing only one of those after the processing system would allow for a reduction in the cost of purchases, reduced maintenance, a better economy of consumption by reducing unspent fuel, and perhaps by improving efficiency by removing one of the limits of air flow outside the engine. In other words, we could see a Toyota Tundra diesel engine that is superior to gas, more efficient to operate and cheaper to buy.
We contacted Toyota and they had this to say:
“As a result of our commitment to innovation and continuous improvement, Toyota has received 23,611 patents over the past thirty-five years; most patents of any car manufacturer. These patents represent the brainpower, innovative spirit, diligence, and passion of Toyota engineers and researchers, but may not always find their way into production.”