What is the model of this car's engine?
August 23, 2012 9:41 AM   Subscribe

Where can I find information about the engine specifications of a car down to its manufacturer and model number?

I am trying to uncover the difference between the engines of the 2012 Toyota RAV4 V6, Toyota Highlander, and Lexus RX350. Beyond the obvious benefits of moving to a larger vehicle or luxury brand, I'm trying to boil down the difference one part at a time.

Motortrend.com and the Lexus/Toyota websites gave me specs that are for all intents and purposes the same, but didn't tell me the actual model/manufacturer of the engine.
posted by jacobw to Travel & Transportation (5 answers total)
Wikipedia has a pretty good collection of engine information for some brands (e.g. the page on the BMW M52 straight-6), YMMV for other manufacturers
posted by weaponsgradecarp at 9:44 AM on August 23, 2012

Looks like the engine is a 2GR-FE. Relevant wiki page here.
posted by weaponsgradecarp at 9:45 AM on August 23, 2012

Unless there is some difference feature wise (adding turbo-charger or fancier variable valve timing) they are almost certainly going to be the same engine. The only difference will be that the Lexus version will have a fancier looking engine cover.

If they have the same horsepower, displacement, cylinder count and configuration (3.5L V-6), in the same model year they are the same engine. Likely made in the same factory (though a different factory than where it goes into the car).

Modern drive trains are designed with economies of scale in mind so that one engine will work in lots of different vehicles and with lots of different platforms. The designs are often modular so that a V-8 will be almost exactly the same as the V-6 just with two extra cylinders. It saves on the design cost and lets them share some of the parts.
posted by VTX at 10:30 AM on August 23, 2012

To second weaponsgradecarp, Wikipedia says that the current RAV4, Highlander, and RX all use the same 3.5l 2GR-FE V6.

Differences are likely to be limited to different logos on the valve cover.

Nowadays it's pretty uncommon for a major auto manufacturer to not build their own motors, so you can usually safely assume that they built their own motor.
posted by BarnacleKB at 10:33 AM on August 23, 2012

If you get the "full" brochures from the dealer, they should have as much or more information that even the web.

There might also be differences in the tune of the engines, or different VVT types of systems, or different cam profiles. Different pistons and a requirement for premium fuel, is also a possibility. You'll quite often see the same basic engine in two models, where the high end brand has better "stuff" like that.

Even if the engines are the same, the transmissions could make a lot of difference too.
posted by gjc at 7:17 PM on August 23, 2012 [1 favorite]

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