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

Car (South Africa) - - BRAND FEATURE -

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.

SCAL­A­BIL­ITY

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.

PER­FOR­MANCE

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.

POW­ER­TRAIN VER­SA­TIL­ITY

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.

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