THE KEY TO A CAR
A CAR IS ONLY AS GOOD AS THE PLATFORM ON WHICH IT’S BUILT. WE LOOK AT THE KEY CHARACTERISTICS OF TOYOTA’S NEW GLOBAL ARCHITECTURE
Avehicle’s overall competence hinges primarily on the platform on which it’s based. Many key vehicle characteristics are infused in this structure and it can determine the success of an entire model range. Toyota’s New Global Architecture (TNGA) unit is ready to launch the company into a future of dynamic, yet efficient, frontwheel-drive cars.
For efficiency, reduced costs and the preservation of core dynamic characteristics across a company’s model range, a vehicle platform must be scalable in terms of dimension and application. This is the case with TNGA and, while cur- rently employed in the Prius and C-HR models, in future the TNGA platform will underpin the Auris and Corolla, too.
The TNGA platform allows Toyota’s engineers to reposition powertrain components and lower the vehicle’s centre of gravity, aiding dynamic ability and comfort. These conflicting gains are possible because a reduction in body roll allows the engineers to soften the suspension. By employing TGNA, Toyota is able to increase body rigidity by up to 65%. The rear suspension setup on the platform is independent, increasing both comfort and handling ability. A torsion-beam arrangement at the rear is cheaper and less complex, but often shows compromises in ride and handling.
As the future of powertrain development includes internal-combustion engines, hybrids, fuel cells and full electric vehicles, it is important that a platform can house all possible configurations without major modifications. This does not only save costs, but also simplifies the assembly process of vehicles with different powertrain options in the production plant. The TNGA platform meets these criteria; in Europe, the C-HR is available in both internalcombustion and hybrid formats, while the Prius is a well-known hybrid application.