With an eye on increasing production efficiency, Toyota released more details behind its ambitious new modular chassis platform, called Toyota New Global Architecture. The system plan hopes to unify multiple Toyota models by utilizing the same modular chassis and platform for multiple cars, similar to Volkswagen’s MQB platform that underpins cars like the Golf.
The new focus on component sharing with TNGA will allow Toyota to significantly reduce the resources needed to develop new cars. With the development of new chassis, Toyota has focused on increasing rigidity of body structures, with a 30 to 65 percent increase planned, and on reducing the weight of components and lowering the cars’ center of gravity. To facilitate the fabrication of the TNGA platform, Toyota plants are being retooled and reworked, with new “simple and slim” production lines cutting infrastructure investment by over 50 percent. With this new focus on component sharing, resource consumption to build cars can be reduced by up to 20 percent.
One of the first models to ride on the new modular platform will be the next-generation Toyota Prius. Following a lengthy series of delays and production setbacks (including a rumored delay over the car’s design) reports suggest it will arrive as soon as December of this year. Expect the next Toyota Prius to contain all of the latest and greatest hybrid technology; it’s rumored to boast a 15 percent increase in fuel efficiency over the current generation, and a 25 percent increase in overall powertrain efficiency.
Toyota will begin to roll out the new platforms with the launch of a midsize, front-wheel drive car on TNGA this year, with extensive plans for other models in the near future. This includes modular platforms for compact and larger front-wheel drive vehicles, as well as rear-wheel-drive layouts.
Aside from the Prius, TNGA will be used for many different Toyota vehicles around the world., Toyota expects half of all its models will utilize the new modular structure by 2020.