The introduction of the new 2.2-litre D-4D engine will make the Toyota Avensis an even stronger prospect. The new 148bhp 2.2-litre D-4D will join the existing 114bhp 2.0-litre D-4D engine from 1 July, while in 2006 the choice will extend to include a 175bhp 2.2-litre D-4D with D-CAT technology for exceptional emissions performance.

The 148bhp engine enters the largest section of the diesel D segment in the UK, accounting for 58 per cent of sales in 2004. It is expected to become the most popular engine in the Avensis range, claiming up to 29 per cent of the sales mix in Europe.

The existing 2.0-litre D-4D and the new 2.2-litre unit will between them cover 95 per cent of the diesel D segment demand in the UK; with the introduction of the 175bhp unit next year, the range will address 99 per cent of the sector in terms of power range.

The 2.2-litre D-4D will be available in Avensis saloon, hatchback and Tourer body styles in T3-S, T3-X, T4 and T Spirit grades with prices from £18,145 for the T3-S and the T3-X saloon and hatchback.

At the same time as the new engine becomes available, the Avensis is being offered with a new exterior colour, Alsace Granite, and with a new gearlever design, specific to the 2.2-litre D-4D.

Toyota has adopted an all-aluminium construction for its new 2.2-litre D-4D engines, following the concept it pioneered with the 1.4-litre D-4D unit used in the Corolla and Yaris models.  As a result, both versions (148 and 175bhp) of the new engine are lighter than competitor units that still use a cast iron block.

The 148bhp 2.2-litre D-4D engine has been designed to offer a good balance of power and economy.  Key to its performance is its strong torque performance: with a maximum 310Nm from 2,000 to 3,200rpm, it provides great driveability. This is demonstrated in a time of 10.6 seconds for acceleration from 50 to 70mph in fifth gear.

The unit is positioned at the heart of the D segment diesel market, which should ensure it becomes the best-selling engine in the Avensis range. Carbon dioxide emissions are 156g/km, just 1g/km more than Toyota’s 2.0-litre D-4D unit, which means models using the new engine are placed in the same company car tax bracket as their 2.0-litre diesel equivalents.

The 2.2-litre D-4D will power the Avensis from rest to 62mph in 9.3 seconds and attain a top speed of 130mph. Combined cycle fuel consumption is 47.9mpg (47.1mpg for Tourer versions).

A further development of the new 2.2-litre D-4D engine will be a 175bhp D-CAT unit that will be available in the UK in mid-2006.  Its excellent performance and efficiency will be aided by piezoelectric injection technology, used for the first time in an engine of this capacity. The piezoelectric injectors can inject larger volumes of fuel twice as fast as conventional solenoid injectors.

The engine will give the Avensis a top speed of 137mph and 0-62mph acceleration in 8.6 seconds. Combined cycle fuel economy is 46.3mpg (45.6mpg for the Tourer).  The 175bhp engine uses Toyota D-CAT technology to bring harmful exhaust emissions down to the lowest levels of any modern diesel engine. Its performance is well below the levels required by Euro IV and its CO2 emissions rating of 161g/km is just 5g/km higher than for the 148bhp engine.

Both 2.2-litre D-4D engines use a new six-speed manual gearbox, designed to provide smooth, quick and precise shifts. The new unit is both robust and very compact, at 384mm long and uses the lowest viscosity oil available which helps improve fuel consumption.

As with all its new products, Toyota has designed the 2.2-litre D-4D engine to be simple and cheap to maintain with the engine running on mineral or semi-synthetic lubricant, which is cheaper than the fully synthetic kind used by rival engines.  The 2.2-litre D-4D matches its 2.0-litre D-4D stablemate in requiring only 4.2 labour hours for routine maintenance up to 60,000 miles, adding to the low cost of ownership profile.

The new 2.2-litre D-4D engine has improved NVH performance, aided by a low compression ratio and the adoption of a balancer shaft that significantly reduces engine booming.  Avensis models equipped with the engine will also use a noise-suppressing acoustic windscreen and benefit from improved and additional insulation in key areas.

At the same time, improvements have been made to the suspension system to suit the new engine’s performance. This includes stiffer spring and damper rates and adjustment of the power steering pump for quicker responses.

The new 2.2-litre D-4D engine is produced at a new Toyota factory in Jelcz-Laskowice in Poland – Toyota’s eighth manufacturing centre in Europe.

Toyota Motor Industries Poland (TMIP) was announced in 2001 and building work on the site was completed in 2004. Engine production started in March this year and will reach a maximum output of 180,000 units a year in 2007. Toyota has invested £200 million (approximately £140 million) in TMIP.

Prices start at £18,145 for the T3-S saloon/hatchback, rising to £21,895 for the T Spirit Tourer.