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  Toyota 1-litre

“One of the most pleasant and frugal sub 1-litre triples that propels a four-seater” Jack Yamaguchi, international freelance journalist


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Image: - Mr Gerald Killmann, Director of Powertrain, Toyota Motor Europe

For the fourth year on a trot, Toyota has won the sub-litre category with its three-cylinder urban heart, once again beating the Smart diesel engine, which this year finished 54 points behind its Japanese counterpart (in 2009, the Daimler diesel was some 102 points off first place in this category class!)

Explaining why so many judges from all corners of the planet backed Toyota’s urban heart yet again, Dutch-based journalist, Jeroen Jongeneel from the De Telegraaf, summed up: “Toyota’s three-cylinder engine is still the one to beat in this category class, but other designs are coming close, like the Opel Twinport powertrain.”

Weighing in at just 67kg – which makes it one of the lightest automotive engines ever to be developed – the compact 993cc unit has been installed in a range of vehicles from four different car makers. Weight-saving technologies applied include an all-aluminium construction, an extra-small cylinder bore-to-bore distance and the innovative use of a resin throttle body and fuel delivery pipe. Marking a first for Toyota was the approach to the intake system and engine cover, which for the three-cylinder powertrain is integrated into a single, compact design.

As a result, in a typical Toyota Aygo model, the eco-friendly threecylinder ensures an ultra-efficient fuel consumption rating of 4 litres/ 100km (62mpg), while emitting a mere 109g/km of CO2. But the need to be green in an urban environment has been coupled with impressive performance. Its advanced variable valve timing system optimises timing to deliver 67bhp. As well as being frugal, the Toyota engine is ideal for urban driving, ensuring its application has speedy acceleration – a must for city cars, especially when needing to get away at mini roundabouts. The 93Nm of torque that comes good at 3,600rpm is also particularly helpful when needing to accelerate in urban areas.


1. Toyota 1-litre three-cylinder (Toyota Aygo, IQ, Yaris/Vitz, Citroën C1, Peugeot 107, Subaru Justy, Daihatsu Cuore, Sirion/Boon) 301
2. Smart Diesel 799cc (Smart Fortwo) 247
3. Mitsubishi 999cc three-cylinder Turbo (Smart Fortwo) 237
4. Opel 1-litre three-cylinder Twinport (Opel Agila, Corsa, Suzuki Alto, Splash) 131
5. Mitsubishi 999cc three-cylinder (Smart Fortwo) 76
6. Kia 1-litre four-cylinder (Picanto) 75


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