Leak: Toyota Has Been Secretly Developing a Twin-Turbo V8

Just when the auto industry pummels its patrons with news of hydrogen-hybrid and electric cars, it offers an olive branch. This comes from the hands of the automaker that almost single-handedly pioneered the rush to paint everything green, Toyota. Last year, Toyota said it would halt V8 production over the next few years.

Although its time isn’t yet up, recent findings show a different story. Patent filings surfaced earlier this year, depicting a new twin-turbo V8 engine design. Here’s what we can gather from the table scraps of crude drawings and patent filings.

The patent shows two turbochargers

The Drive brought attention to the patent, which can be found on the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office’s website. Clear as day, the applicant is “Toyota”, the inventor as Masami Ishikawa. The documents show what is clearly a car, with a driver and a box labeled “Internal Combustion Engine” in the front section of the car. Although only one cylinder bank is visible, the shape of the block suggests there is a second on the opposite side, which is confirmed in the description. Perched at the top appears to be two turbochargers.

What will receive this twin-turbo V8?

lexus is f at racetrack
Lexus IS F at Fuji Speedway | TOSHIFUMI KITAMURA/AFP via Getty Images

Currently, Toyota is only using V8s in its trucks and some Lexus models. Though it’s just speculation, this V8 could appear in the Lexus IS F. It could also be similar to the new twin-turbo V8 that resides in the Lexus LS F and LC F coupe. The Lexus LS F and LC F use a 4.0-liter twin-turbo V8 that makes 661 horsepower. Seeing as how the Tundra is slated to lose its V8 imminently, it stands to reason this particular V8 could go into Lexus models.

Is the V8 going the way of the dodo?

bmw 850i badge
BMW 850i | Dasril Roszandi/NurPhoto/Getty Images

Not many cars still come with V8s. Aside from the big three muscle cars from America, the V8 is reserved primarily for luxury cars and trucks. BMW still uses a V8, but Mercedes-Benz recently announced they may no longer sell them in the U.S. Mercedes’ most recent contribution to V8 lore was its AMG GT63 S E, a car that used a hybrid 4.0-liter twin-turbo V8 to make 831 horsepower. 

What’s happening to Toyota’s trucks?

toyota tundra at a dealership in san jose, ca
Toyota Tundra at a car dealership in San Jose, California | Yichuan Cao/NurPhoto/Getty Images

Currently, Toyota still uses a V8 in multiple vehicles. However, it was reported that Toyota ordered its factory in Huntsville Alabama to amass V8s before losing its best attribute and switching over to building 3.5-liter twin-turbo V6s. With that in mind, Toyota is well within its time frame and plan of producing V8s. From the pictures in the document, the engine doesn’t appear to have any special traits to suggest the automaker is actually developing new twin-turbo V8 technology.

Possibly the end of an era

Toyota Formula 1 v8
Toyota Formula 1 V8 | Toyota via Getty Images

While it’s nice to see carmakers still producing v8s, it’s clear they have a limited time on this earth. With Dodge producing an electric muscle car, Mercedes-Benz halting U.S. production, and Toyota phasing them out, there may not be many more chances to purchase a new V8-equipped passenger car in the near future. This could drive up the prices of used V8 cars, but only time will tell what the real outcome will be.

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