The Toyota engine plant in Huntsville this month began production of its new line of redesigned four-cylinder engines. The production line is part of two five-year U.S. investment goals achieved this year and is cranking out a product that is being hailed by auto analysts as a surprising innovation in both energy efficiency and sports car power performance.
“Stick with us for a moment as we make a case for the lighter, nimbler four-cylinder 2021 Toyota Supra 2.0 that lands on our shores this summer for the first time since it went on sale in Europe and Japan in 2020,” writes a reviewer for Automobile Magazine, a trade publication with the moniker “No Boring Cars!”
Bringing four-cylinder engine production to the U.S. via the Huntsville plant is part of Toyota’s “long-term commitment to build where we sell,” the company noted in a recent press release that highlights the plant expansion as part of major investments that have allowed the company to achieve U.S. investments goals well ahead of the company’s five-year plans.
On June 30, Toyota announced it will reach its January 2017 pledge to invest $13 billion over a five-year period one year earlier than anticipated. Toyota has 14 manufacturing plants in North America, 15 including its joint venture with Mazda in north Alabama. Eleven of those 15 plants are in the footprint of the Southern Automotive Alliance.
Toyota Alabama, the Alabama engine plant, spotlighted two major milestones this month — 1) start of production of the all-new, redesigned 4-cylinder engine, and 2) the closing in of the plant’s new 150,000-square-foot V6 engine assembly line.
Surprising strength of the new four-cylinder engine compared to the V6 was the hot topic for the Automobile Magazine reviewer.
“In the Supra 2.0 — as it’s called on our shores — that spunky little four-banger puts down 255 horsepower and a thick 295-lb-ft of torque through the ZF-sourced eight-speed automatic transmission,” said AM.
“Where the Supra 3.0 impresses as a stunningly quick sports coupe with a greasy, drift-hungry rear end, the Supra 2.0 battens it down. Even zig-zagging through a twisted tangle of canyon roads, the Supra was unflappable, possessing a rock-solid confidence that is rare to experience on any sports car priced less than $100,000 that doesn’t wear a Porsche crest,” the magazine added.
Originally announced in March 2019, Toyota’s combined expansions of its four-and six-cylinder engine lines represent a $1.2 billion investment and are expected to bring another 450 jobs to Huntsville in 2021.