Isuzu to Build Toyota Small Diesels

Toyota Motor Corporation and Isuzu Motors have reached an agreement for production of a new-generation, smaller-displacement four-cylinder diesel engine for the European market, beginning in 2012.

The new plan follows a memorandum of understanding that the two companies entered last November, when the automaker purchased a 5.9-percent stake in the company. The agreement included the intent to seek collaboration from Isuzu in production and diesel-engine research and development areas, while Toyota would assist Isuzu in environmental technology.


Although the Toyota announcement included few new specifics, it said that the new engine will have an aluminum-block design and an initial displacement of 1.6 liters.


Toyota hasn’t yet announced which vehicles the models the new engine would be installed into, but it would likely slot above the ‘D-4D’ 1.4-liter diesel currently offered on the Yaris in Europe. Isuzu and Toyota are reportedly working together on a diesel-electric hybrid powertrain for small cars.


The automaker’s sales have been growing at a rapid rate in the European market, especially since rolling out more diesel models over the past several years. In 2005, the company introduced a new ‘D-CAT’ line of larger 2.0- and 2.2-liter diesels, initially offered on the sporty Avensis line, and since then the automaker has greatly expanded its diesel offerings on Euro-market Toyota and Lexus models — including the Lexus IS, which now offers a version of the 2.2-liter.


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