Toyota Motor North America said Tuesday it will invest $383 million across four plants in the United States to prepare for what appears to be a new four-cylinder engine variant for traditional and hybridized powertrains.
Toyota vehicles sold in the U.S. and equipped with four-cylinder engines now come in three displacements: 1.8-liter, 2.0-liter and 2.5-liter, depending on vehicle requirements. The exception is the GR86 sports car, which uses a 2.4-liter boxer engine from Subaru.
The company didn’t disclose details about the new engine or displacement, and a spokesman declined to provide further information. However, details of the individual investments delineate spending for a new engine block and new engine head design, as well as increased production capacity.
The Japanese automaker said it would spend $222 million to add another four-cylinder production line at an engine plant in Huntsville, Ala. Currently, Toyota Alabama has the capacity to build 900,000 engines annually, and the added line will expand the 1.3-million-square-foot plant by 114,000 square feet, the automaker said.
A spokesman for TMNA declined to say how many additional engines the new line would produce when production begins in the fall of 2023.
As part of the project, TMNA will invest $109 million at a Toyota Motor Manufacturing Missouri plant, in Troy, Mo., for “new equipment to build four-cylinder engine heads on three production lines,” while a plant in Jackson, Tenn., will receive $36 million to “update equipment to build new four-cylinder engine blocks.” An additional $16 million will be spent at Toyota’s engine plant in Georgetown, Ky., to augment an investment there last fall for added flexibility.