So I've done some Extrapolating by look at current engines to ascertain how much power a hypothetical redesigned 2.7 liter 4 cylinder with Dual VVT-i would have it Toyota decided to offer it.
I've looked at displacement in liters, versus HP and TQ output in the current Tacoma engines as a comparison, and then looked at some of the new Toyota truck engines with Dual VVT-i to help ascertain where I feel the new 2.7 liter will be power and torque wise.
So the current 2.7 liter
159 HP/180 TQ
HP per liter = 58.8
TQ per liter = 66.6
Current 4.0 liter single VVT-i
236 HP/266 TQ
HP per liter = 59
TQ per liter = 66.5
So you can see in the above comparison, the engines are pretty comparable from a HP and TQ per liter standpoint, as they share similar technologies (single variable valve timing). I would attribute the ever so slight difference in TQ per liter of the 4 cylinder being to the fact that inline 4 cyliners are naturally more torquey, and the V6 having slightly more HP per liter than the 4 cylinder for the same reason above - inline engines are naturaly more torquey than V engines often times.
So here are a few of the newer Toyota engines
4.0 liter with DUAL VVT-i (4runner/FJ Cruiser/Tundra, should be present in Tacoma soon some speculate)
270 HP/278 TQ
HP per liter = 67.5
TQ per liter = 69.5
4.6 liter Dual VVT-i (Tundra/Sequoia, etc.)
310 HP/327 TQ
HP per liter = 67.4
TQ per liter = 71.0
5.7 liter Dual VVT-i (Tundra/Sequoia/Landcruiser/Lexus, etc.)
381 HP/401 TQ
HP per liter = 66.8
TQ per liter = 70.35
I would attribute the fact that the 4.6 liter has slightly more HP and TQ per liter in comparison to the 5.7 liter as being due to the fact that the 4.6 liter was designed about 3 years later than the 5.7 liter. I would attribute the slightly less TQ of the 4.0 liter to the V8's as maybe due to the different stroke depths, or the fact it's a V6, or perhaps they wanted a little more fuel economy, who knows. But the bottom line is in the above engines you DO see a trend between HP and TQ per liter versus technology. You also see a trend that seems to be present in the current 4 cylinder relative to the current V6. So this is the basis for myself using this data to apply to what I think the next (if they decide to make it) 2.7 liter 4 banger will put out HP and TQ wise.
So to do this, I'm going to take an average of the newer engines mentioned above with Dual VVT-i and then apply it to 2.7 liters worth of displacement.
So the average HP for the 3 engines above per liter = 67.23 HP/L
Average TQ for the above 3 engines = 70.28 TQ/L
So using the above averages with 2.7 liters of displacement means the new
2.7 liter with Dual VVT-i could have:
But because it's an inline engine compared to the above V-style engines, coupled with being a later engine design with the latest technology I'm going to speculate it's going to put out between a range of 180-184 HP, and 190-192 ft-lbs of TQ.
Now if my extrapolation holds based on displacement versus output per liter scenario played out above, mated to at least a 5 speed auto (or manual), but hopefully a 6 speed auto, how would you feel about about such an engine above?
To put this into perspective for current 4 cylinder owners, thats 20+ HP and 10+ ft-lbs of torque gained, plus hopefully an extra transmission gear or two, on top of a flatter power band due to the dual VVT-i, AND as good, if not better fuel efficiency.