The 2021 Toyota Sienna will apparently only be available as a gas-electric hybrid, if an apparent leak from a dealer meeting is to be believed. The AllCarNews Instagram page recently published a sneaky photo taken at a company insider meeting that corroborates much of the information we reported on future Toyota products (second slide in the embedded post below).
Notably, however, is the news of an all-hybrid next-generation Sienna coming by the end of the year. According to the leaked photo, which depicts Toyota’s launch timeline for its next generation of vehicles, the new Sienna is on its way by the fall of 2020, with an all-hybrid powertrain lineup.
What’s unclear is how many engine configurations the 2021 Sienna would feature. A likely option is a hybridized version of the current 3.5-liter direct- and port-injected V6, possibly modified to run on the more efficient Atkinson cycle. However, the 2020 Highlander Hybrid ditched its former 3.5-liter engine in favor of a hybridized 2.5-liter inline-four, prioritizing efficiency over speed.
It’s possible the next-generation Sienna will follow suit, offering a base four-cylinder or an optional V6, both electrified. It wouldn’t be the first time the minivan featured an inline-four base engine; the current-generation Sienna got by with a 2.7-liter four-pot for its first two model years, but it was underpowered when saddled with the family hauler’s heft. If the 2021 Toyota Sienna is appropriately lightweighted in its transition to the company’s TNGA platform, a hybrid four could do just fine.
A plug-in hybrid “Sienna Prime” also seems likely. In that case, we’d expect the powertrain from the Toyota RAV4 Prime to transition over wholesale – a 2.5-liter inline-four optimized with one front and one rear electric motor, powered by a high-capacity lithium-ion battery. If that’s the case, expect the Sienna Prime to offer 302 horsepower (225 kilowatts), comparing well to the current Sienna V6’s 296 hp (221 kW).
In addition to the hybrid Sienna, the photo leak also stated Toyota would release an “all-new crossover” this fall, which would also be hybrid-only. It’s not clear whether that new model will be the forthcoming Corolla Cross or the resurrected Venza – our money is on the former, since the timeline also includes an “all-new CUV” coming next year.
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These powertrain moves are unsurprising for Toyota, which marketed the world’s first mass-produced hybrid car when the Prius arrived in Japan for 1997. Since then, the company’s battery technology has become cheaper and more compact, allowing for a more diverse (and affordable) lineup of electrified vehicles. A hybrid Sienna will be a first for the company, and it will arrive to finally give the Chrysler Pacifica plug-in some electrified competition.