Toyota Vitz

Toyota's Vitz (Yaris for export) small-car family is growing—in sales in its home country and in model variations. It has been joined by the Platz sedan (Echo in the U.S.) and the FunCargo multi-purpose version. For the Japanese market, the Platz is offered in a four-door guise only, while the U.S. Echo is available in two- and four-door configurations. The Platz gains a proper trunk, increasing its overall length to 4145 mm (163 in).

The FunCargo is a short, tall vehicle measuring 3860 mm (152 in) long and 1680 mm (66 in) tall. Its 1600-mm (63-in) width is shared with the hatchback and sedan. The vehicle has four conventional doors and a side-hinged tailgate. The vehicle's split rear seats fold flat into the floor, creating a cargo space that, as its name suggests, accommodates all sort of things: a bicycle, snowboards, camping gear, etc. Both the Platz sedan and the FunCargo share the Vitz hatchback's chassis, with MacPherson strut front suspension and twist-beam rear suspension having toe-control links.

Three engines are offered in the sedan and two-larger displacement types are available in the FunCargo.

The base engine for the sedan is the type 1SZ-FE inline four with DOHC, 16-valves, and VVT-i (variable-intake valve timing), and displaces 997 cm3. This engine was jointly developed by Toyota and its small-car specialist Daihatsu. The transversely mounted engine is canted forward, with its exhaust facing forward. It produces 51.5 kW (70 hp) at 6000 rpm and 95 N•m (70 lb•ft) at 4000 rpm. The engine is quite compact, measuring 521 mm (20.5 in) long, 554 mm (21.8 in) wide, and 697 mm (27.4 in) tall.

The NZ series inline four-cylinder engine family is Toyota's own design. The 2NZ-FE displaces 1298 cm3 with 75-mm (2.95-in) bore and 73.5-mm (2.89-in) stroke, while the 1NZ-FE displaces 1496 cm3 with a longer 84.7-mm (3.33-in) stroke. The NZ is essentially a beefed-up version of the Prius IC/electric hybrid's unit. A single-stage silent chain drives the dual overhead camshafts, which act on four valves per cylinder via shimless bucket-type tappets. The valves are inclined at an included angle of 33.5°, forming a compact combustion chamber. The intake camshaft is fitted with a vane-type VVT-i continuously variable intake valve timing device. Valve diameters are 30.5 mm (1.20 in) for intake and 25.5 mm (1.00 in) for exhaust. The cylinder block is aluminum with cast-in iron liners, versus the smaller 1SZ's cast iron block. Cylinder and crankshaft centers are offset to reduce piston slapping, as in the SZ. The NZ engine is placed transversely, canted rearward, with the intake side facing forward. The 2NZ-FE 1.3-L produces 65 kW (88 hp) at 6000 rpm and 121 N•m (89 lb•ft) at 4400 rpm, while the 1NZ-FE 1.5-L puts out 81 kW (110 hp) at 6000 rpm and 143 N•m (105 lb•ft) at 4200 rpm. The 1NZ-FE powers the U.S. market's Echo sedan.

Two transmission types and two drive configurations are offered in the Platz sedan: a five-speed manual transmission and an electronically controlled four-speed automatic, and front- and all-wheel-drive. The all-wheel-drive system is by Toyota's rotary blade coupling unit. The AWD's rear suspension is a live axle located by four trailing links and a lateral rod. The FunCargo's powertrain is the NZ engine, in two sizes, combined with the electronically controlled four-speed automatic.

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