Toyota Avalon unveiled

By JAY WONG | 16 January 2018

DETROIT: Toyota has unveiled its new flagship mid-premium sedan for the United States market, the Avalon, in four variants of XSE (new), Touring, XLE and Limited while the hybrid variant comes in XLE, Touring and XSE trim.

The Avalon has a wheelbase of 2,870mm and comes in measuring 4,978mm-long, 1,849mm-wide and 1,435mm-tall - helping to improve its aerodynamic efficiency from 0.28Cd to 0.27Cd.

The 3.5-litre 2GR-FKS V6 Atkinson cycle petrol engine with a higher 11.8:1 compression ratio now uses a D-4S direct injection system and a new Variable Valve Timing-intelligent Wide system (VVT-iW).

No specifics about power output for the 60-degree V-engine but it does have the ability to out anywhere from 280PS to 315PS and 359Nm to 380Nm of torque.

The engine will be managed by an eight-speed UA80E direct shift automatic gearbox with a new torque converter, optional paddle shifters and can rev-match when downshifting.

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The hybrid variant uses a 2.5-litre Dynamic Force four-cylinder Toyota Hybrid System II (THS II) with a 650V electric motor (A25A-FXS) that's married to a Continuously-Variable Transmission (CVT) - the same as the eighth-generation Camry Hybrid.

In terms of hybrid power, the internal combustion engine provides 178PS at 5,700rpm and 221Nm of torque from 3,600 to 5,200rpm with a compression ratio of 14:1, while the electric motor dishes out 120PS at 4,500rpm and 202Nm of torque from 0 to 1,500rpm. Combined output resides at 216PS.

The THS II uses two electric motors ― MG1 and MG2 ― to supplement the charging of the hybrid system's Nickel-Metal Hydride (Ni-MH) battery pack, while MG2 assists the engine.

Energy loss in the conversion efficiency of the transaxle and electric motor is reduced by approximately 20%, and its cooling system's energy loss is cut by approximately 10%.

For a quieter and more fuel efficient highway cruising, the Avalon will be equipped with Auto Glide Control (AGC) that works in conjunction with Eco mode and not in Normal or Sport modes.

Four drive modes of Eco, Normal, Sport/Sport+ and Custom is available in the Touring model.

The Avalon is further equipped with LEDs for the front and rear lights, adaptive variable suspension, intake sound generator, grade-specific exhaust baffle tuning, active noise control, engine sound enhancement system and an electronic power steering system to name a few.

Depending on model variant, the cabin gets fitted with a combination of Yamaha-sourced wood-trim, aluminum pieces, piano black trim and satin chrome-finish as well as seat warmers and five USB ports.

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New Cognac coloured leather-surfaces are also available as well as gray and beige leather-trim, gray or black Perforated Ultrasuede or gray, beige, or black Softex.

There's also a 9.0-inch multimedia system (MMS) display with navigation, a wireless Qi mobile device charger, 7.0-inch Multi-Information Display (MID) and a 10-inch colour Head-Up Display.

For entertainment, JBL has provided its performance audio system with an eight-speaker as well as 14-speaker sound system with Entune 3.0 Audio Plus with Connected Navigation Scout GPS Link App and Entune 3.0 App Suite Connect and Apple CarPlay.

It uses a new 9.0-inch capacitive touchscreen with voice recognition, gesture control, smartwatch integration or Amazon Alexa-enabled device connectivity, as part of Toyota Remote Connect.

This allows drivers to lock/unlock the vehicle's doors, start the engine, or check their fuel level, all from the convenience of their smartwatch or Amazon Alexa-enabled device.

There's also voice control and is compatible with select Android or Apple devices. Toyota is among the first automakers to feature Amazon-enabled device connectivity capable of executing home-to-car and car-to-home interactions.

The 14-speaker sound system from JBL has 1,200-watts of power via a 12-channel Class-D HID12 amplifier and is managed by a 7.1-channel surround sound system with a 10-inch subwoofer.

As standard the Avalon's safety equipment includes 10 airbags, enhanced vehicle stability control, traction control, electronic brake-force distribution, brake assist, anti-lock braking system, smart stop technology and a reverse camera.

To further bolster safety, Toyota Safety Sense P (TSS-P) suite of safety systems has been included, such as Pre-Collision System with Pedestrian Detection (PCS w/PD), Full-Speed Range Dynamic Radar Cruise Control (DRCC), Lane Departure Alert with Steering Assist (LDA w/SA); Automatic High Beams (AHB), Blind Spot Monitor (BSM) with Rear Cross Traffic Alert (RCTA) and Back Guide Monitor (BGM).

Also available are the Panoramic View Monitor with Alert (PVMA) and Intelligent Clearance Sonar (ICS), which now includes a Rear Cross Traffic Braking (RCTB) system.