Why Lexus’ Recent Patent Is NOT A Twin-Turbo V8


A recent Toyota patent filing kicked off rounds of speculation late this week with depictions of a new “Hot V” V8 engine packing twin turbos sitting in the valley between the cylinder banks. After on-again, off-again rumors about Toyota’s V8 development, this seemed like the greatest clue yet that our dreams of a fire-breathing, turbocharged V8 might actually come true.

But is this really confirmation of a new turbocharged V8? Maybe not. As Lexus Enthusiast member and YouTuber Automotive Press explains, the patent is actually referring to the way that lubricants and other consumables flow through the engine — not a patent for a twin turbo V8 architecture itself. While the schematics in the patent drawing do show eight cylinders, and it’s still possible that such an engine could be in development, this specific patent does not explicitly give us proof that the engine exists.

Even if the patent does not give us proof of a V8, it mentions twin turbo, single turbo and V6 configurations, so it seems Toyota is certainly planning for a next generation of turbocharged engines… we might just have to wait for a while longer to see what it means for production vehicles.

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I think this is all a bunch of crap. If there wasn't a twin-turbocharged V8 coming at all, then why would they put a depiction of a twin-turbocharged V8 with a hot-V configuration to describe their patent for lubricants? They would have discussed their patent with a V6, or literally anything else below a V8.

My bet is that a twin-turbocharged V8 is coming regardless and this patent just confirmed that. It aligns with the rumors, spy shots, and all of the insider information that we've been getting.
 

Sulu

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I think this is all a bunch of crap. If there wasn't a twin-turbocharged V8 coming at all, then why would they put a depiction of a twin-turbocharged V8 with a hot-V configuration to describe their patent for lubricants? They would have discussed their patent with a V6, or literally anything else below a V8.

My bet is that a twin-turbocharged V8 is coming regardless and this patent just confirmed that. It aligns with the rumors, spy shots, and all of the insider information that we've been getting.

As I said in the other thread (https://lexusenthusiast.com/forums/...powertrain-megathread.4260/page-79#post-64084):

The patent relates to the mechanics of the flow of lubricants in turbocharged engines (channels, pumps, etc.). The engine could be a single - or twin-turbo; it could be a V8, a V6, I6, even I4.

The twin-turbo V8 may be clickbait or it may just be the engine with the most plumbing that the patent relates to. As the engine with the most lubrication plumbing, it is the best illustration for this patent. There may be one coming or it may have been killed off by senior management.

My take is that Toyota is thinking about a twin-turbo V8 and there was one on the drawing board, but that does not mean that there will be such an engine introduced any time soon.

The patent (I gather) also mentions that the technology is suitable for Inline-6 engines but do we really expect Toyota to release a turbocharged I6 engine?
 

ssun30

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The video is correct. You cannot obtain a patent for a twin-turbo V8 internal combustion engine because it has been a well very known item and in public domain so it will not clear the patent office. Therefore the patent is about components of a certain engine.

We know for a fact the twin-turbo V8 engine exists - on the LC Nurburgring 24h prototype that's cancelled because of COVID-19. The patent was submitted in 2019 before all of that and thus does not give information on the current status of the program.

It also correctly points out all patents try to cover as much application and configuration as possible, it's called defensive patenting. Therefore it's baseless to assume Toyota is developing a single-turbo V8 (makes very little sense) or Inline-6. That Kirk guy really likes his daydreaming excel spreadsheets. Funny he still doesn't understand how power and torque are rated in hybrid cars.
 
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As I said in the other thread (https://lexusenthusiast.com/forums/...powertrain-megathread.4260/page-79#post-64084):



The twin-turbo V8 may be clickbait or it may just be the engine with the most plumbing that the patent relates to. As the engine with the most lubrication plumbing, it is the best illustration for this patent. There may be one coming or it may have been killed off by senior management.

My take is that Toyota is thinking about a twin-turbo V8 and there was one on the drawing board, but that does not mean that there will be such an engine introduced any time soon.

The patent (I gather) also mentions that the technology is suitable for Inline-6 engines but do we really expect Toyota to release a turbocharged I6 engine?

This is why all of this is so confusing. In the patent they're implying that this system can be extrapolated to all engines and yet they're being cagey about revealing their new V8 engine. We know the thing exists, just tell us it's true.

Could Toyota be doing something revolutionary and create an entire modular engine family among different engine configurations? Sharing the same technologies, blocks, fuel/coolant lines, and increasing the efficiency of their engine production by creating not just a modular V-engine, but also create a modular inline-engine that could be derived from a V engine?

This could be a solution such that they won't need to spend a billion dollars on a pesky inline-six engine for a GR Supra anymore. Now the question is, how long do we think new engines will be developed? I really don't think these draconian laws that we're seeing with Europe is going to see positive results in the far future IMHO.

I know, I know, what I am suggesting sounds hugely backwards and I am only spitballing here. Allow me reference Mercedes for example. Mercedes moved back to inline-sixes simply because they were able to add an additional two cylinders to their inline-four. Back in the day however, Mercedes employed V6's because they'd just lop off two cylinders from their V8. In Toyota's situation, since there is a valid usage case for a V8, V6, I4 (and MAYBE an I6) in all Toyota/Lexus vehicles, would it make sense to have a massive common engine family where almost every engine part is similar bar the engine configuration (and by extent the only difference would be the engine heads, camshaft and crankshaft design).

I think there are many areas of the world who demand ICE engines still (and those engines can be hybridized to exceed CAFE standards). We've seen what Toyota has done with the A25A-FKS. To have ~40% thermal efficiency is bordering on F1 level in terms of developing cutting-edge technology. For example, Mercedes-AMG F1 advertises that their 1.6L turbocharged V6 + MGU-H + MGU-K is rated at 50% thermal efficiency. Considering how much money Mercedes puts into their engine development, and how much smaller Mercedes' engine is than the A25A-FKS, and notwithstanding the other (and probably the most crucial) elements that makes the Mercedes F1 engine so good, I find that really impressive on Toyota's end. What if Toyota continues to build thermally efficient large displacement turbo-hybrid powertrains? Numerous tests have shown that a smaller turbocharged engine wastes MORE fuel than a larger, naturally-aspirated motor. However if we build a turbocharged engine with a similar displacement to their NA counterpart, and also hybridize it, as far as I can tell, isn't that what we should all shoot for? I'd feel like we could run with these engines for many decades to come. Heck, I think I would be dead along with everyone else and these engines could still be useful and not be harmful in terms of emissions.
 
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ssun30

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There is a disagreement within the industry whether the modular cylinder engine family approach works. The question is whether it brings the true cost saving in production and engineering. Unlike EVs, ICEs aren't legos where a bigger engine can be made by essentially glueing smaller engines together.

BMW took this strategy to the fullest, yet even within the same engine family, parts commonality is still limited (a lot of the parts in the 135kW B48 are not interchangeable with the 200kW B48).

More recent trends suggests that more manufacturers are doing the old way of optimizing each engine for the application, not bound by modularity.
What if Toyota continues to build thermally efficient large displacement turbo-hybrid powertrains? Numerous tests have shown that a smaller turbocharged engine wastes MORE fuel than a larger, naturally-aspirated motor. However if we build a turbocharged engine with a similar displacement to their NA counterpart, and also hybridize it, as far as I can tell, isn't that what we should all shoot for?
In their internal research they suggested the way forward (towards 45%+ efficiency) is electric supercharging with lean burn. But I think they are still a few years away from that. Such an engine will have to grow in displacement due to the reduced power density (see Mazda Skyactiv-X).
 

Sulu

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The modular engine family exists more on the drawing board (or computer CAD system) than on the production line.

Only on the drawing board can you chop off 2 cylinders from a V8 to create a V6. Only on the drawing board can you weld on 2 cylinders to an I4 to create an I6.

When they built it, MB did not and could not just saw off the last row of cylinders from their finished V8 (the crankshaft had to be changed to match the different firing pattern of the V6, for one), even though this is seemingly what they did on the drawing board. And while a 90deg V is a good configuration for a V8, it is not a good configuration for a V6, where a 60deg is a better fit for minimizing NVH.

When they build it, MB does not and can not just build 3 I4 engines, saw one in half and weld each half to each of the other 2 engines, to create 2 I6 engines from 3 I4 engines (the crankshaft has to change to match the different firing pattern of the I6, for one, and the 50% longer crankshaft has be stronger to avoid flexing), even though this is seemingly what they did on the drawing board. And creating the I6 was the easy part; now MB cannot fit in under the shorter hood of the new C-Series. A new, more versatile, shorter (60deg) V6 would have been a better fit, all around (and a V6 can fit transversely for FWD models, adding to its versatility).

Each different engine block, despite how it was created on the drawing board, requires its own die and tooling; and the crankshaft, for one, is unique not only for the configuration of the engine (I3, I4, I6, V6, V8) but its different compression ratios (if compression ratios differ for normal, turbocharged and hybrid engines, for example).
 

Sulu

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This is why all of this is so confusing. In the patent they're implying that this system can be extrapolated to all engines and yet they're being cagey about revealing their new V8 engine. We know the thing exists, just tell us it's true.

Could Toyota be doing something revolutionary and create an entire modular engine family among different engine configurations? Sharing the same technologies, blocks, fuel/coolant lines, and increasing the efficiency of their engine production by creating not just a modular V-engine, but also create a modular inline-engine that could be derived from a V engine?

This could be a solution such that they won't need to spend a billion dollars on a pesky inline-six engine for a GR Supra anymore. Now the question is, how long do we think new engines will be developed? I really don't think these draconian laws that we're seeing with Europe is going to see positive results in the far future IMHO.

I know, I know, what I am suggesting sounds hugely backwards and I am only spitballing here. Allow me reference Mercedes for example. Mercedes moved back to inline-sixes simply because they were able to add an additional two cylinders to their inline-four. Back in the day however, Mercedes employed V6's because they'd just lop off two cylinders from their V8. In Toyota's situation, since there is a valid usage case for a V8, V6, I4 (and MAYBE an I6) in all Toyota/Lexus vehicles, would it make sense to have a massive common engine family where almost every engine part is similar bar the engine configuration (and by extent the only difference would be the engine heads, camshaft and crankshaft design).

I think there are many areas of the world who demand ICE engines still (and those engines can be hybridized to exceed CAFE standards). We've seen what Toyota has done with the A25A-FKS. To have ~40% thermal efficiency is bordering on F1 level in terms of developing cutting-edge technology. For example, Mercedes-AMG F1 advertises that their 1.6L turbocharged V6 + MGU-H + MGU-K is rated at 50% thermal efficiency. Considering how much money Mercedes puts into their engine development, and how much smaller Mercedes' engine is than the A25A-FKS, and notwithstanding the other (and probably the most crucial) elements that makes the Mercedes F1 engine so good, I find that really impressive on Toyota's end. What if Toyota continues to build thermally efficient large displacement turbo-hybrid powertrains? Numerous tests have shown that a smaller turbocharged engine wastes MORE fuel than a larger, naturally-aspirated motor. However if we build a turbocharged engine with a similar displacement to their NA counterpart, and also hybridize it, as far as I can tell, isn't that what we should all shoot for? I'd feel like we could run with these engines for many decades to come. Heck, I think I would be dead along with everyone else and these engines could still be useful and not be harmful in terms of emissions.
You want a twin-turbo V8 but a V8 (let alone a turbocharged one) may not be what the company needs (or can accommodate) going forward.
 

James

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I think there is a market for a mass-produced twin-turbocharged V8 (except Europe).
Lexus just needs to have more than 1 car come with it. If you have multiple options to use the actual engine it makes it better. If you will use it just the LCF for example it becomes expensive. But how we still don't have an option to compete with the German TTV8s is crazy to me.
 

Levi

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The modular engine family exists more on the drawing board (or computer CAD system) than on the production line.
that is already a huge time and cost saving, and facilitates engineering/design. the reason why GSF got have RCF face.
 

Sulu

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that is already a huge time and cost saving, and facilitates engineering/design. the reason why GSF got have RCF face.
I beg to differ. The reason that the grille on the GS F looks like the grille on the RS F is not because of modularity but because of brand identity. It is the same reason why all Mercedes-Benz vehicles have a similar grille, why all BMWs have a double-kidney grille and why all Audis have a Singleframe grille -- the brands want to be recognizable as their particular brand and not confused with another brand. Brand identity is especially important to luxury brands.