Toyota has patented a serious new engine in the USA, with the Japanese giant working on a new twin-turbocharged petrol V8 that could potentially find its way into the performance variants of the LandCruiser 300 Series.
While it would appear the engine application began in July in 2019, filed lodged in the USA this week officially stake a patent claim for twin-turbocharged V8 engine, which could possibly take on a more compact "hot V" configuration.
Other details remain thin on the ground for now, but the patent marks a significant about-face for a company that has rightly put efficiency - be it hybrids, battery electric vehicles or hydrogen fuel cells - at the top of its agenda.
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We know, for example, that the V8 diesel in the LandCruiser 200 Series will be swapped for a twin-turbo V6 diesel in the incoming 300 Series, with Toyota's Australian executives telling us that in the modern world, power isn't dependent on the number of cylinders.
But that hasn't stopped the Japanese giant investing in V8 power, with a new - and likely more powerful - eight-cylinder engine on the way, with some outlets suggesting it could produce up to 450kW.
The most likely targets for such an engine clearly include the Lexus performance family, but US media outlets are also pointing to the new-generation Tundra spawning an F150 Raptor and Ram 1500 TRX-rivalling high-performance variant.
But with news that Toyota is working on a GR Sport variant of the LandCruiser, and hints that a hardcore GR version could follow, suggest the new LC300 could also play host to a hi-po V8.
"We’ve never ruled out any model having a GR model if it makes sense," a spokesperson has told CarsGuide.
"We have an assembly facility here, and there’s no reason we couldn’t do something."
It must also be noted that a mere patent application is no guarantee that a new engine will make it to reality, but the filing alone suggests Toyota isn't done with the V8s yet.