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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
First the News: As has been hinted at before, I have information that the next generation IS (2004?) will get an ALL NEW V6 engine to replace the current I6. As I understand it, Toyota has no V6 optimized for RWD, so again, this engine is to be ALL NEW and presumably aluminum block. Displacement is unconfirmed, but doesn't seem to be larger than 3.0L or 3.2L (and 2.5L for JDM). It is possible that the IS (and GS?) will get a 6MT and 6AT(?!?) as well. The chief engineer is still to be the orignal Altezza, Supra and AE86 creator, Mr Katayama.<P>

Now my Opinion: WTF? We all love the power characteristics of the I6. We all love the potential for more power using the 2JZ-GTE block. So why the change? One explanation is that Toyota needs to make more room in the engine compartment for safefy features and/or smaller/lower hood lines. Also forced induction is unlikely, especially with stricter emissions regulations approaching. So, the reasoning seems to be that in order to meet future regulations while (hopefully) trying to make more power, they are going to start from scratch.<P>

This switch to a V6 would be a much easier pill to swallow if we knew we were going to get at least a 3.5L engine. The IS led the entry-level sport-sedan horsepower race for all of about two weeks. The new 330 was introduced shortly after the IS. An abundance of other new cars all now have more power: Altima, G35, TL/TL-S, Cadillac CTS, etc. I will still put my IS up against any of these cars on the track, but the lack of big numbers is going to seriously hurt the marketing and perception of the IS.<P>

While I don't expect the IS to exceed the power of the GS series due to model hierarchy, that doesn't exclude a special edition BMW M-like series of cars. We all now how insanely easy it seems to just take the GTE block, turbo or twin-turbo it, put the Supra drivetrain and brakes on the chassis and have an instant M3 killer. But since it makes so much sense, it'll probably never happen.<P>

It is my understanding that many of the details of the new engine are still in development so we may have the opportunity to effect a change. By the same token, let's keep our reactions to this news civil as this is one thread we want Toyota to read and take seriously.
 
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