Toyota has unveiled the 5th generation Avalon full size sedan at the 2018 North American International Auto Show in Detroit. Built on the Toyota New Global Architecture (TNGA) platform, the new Avalon promises style, sophistication and efficiency.
As for the design, the folks at Calty Design Research have retained the Avalon’s signature long, low-slung profile. The team penned Avalon’s exterior to be longer, lower, and wider than before. The rear cabin has been extended farther by another 7 inches, and elongating side quarter glass and downward tapered C-Pillar by 2.2 inches. To finalize the profile, engineers and designers implemented a 0.31-inch radius corner – the tightest ever for Toyota – fore of the steep pillar, Toyota said.
Avalon’s various height measurements have been trimmed: overall (by 1 inch to 56.5 inch), cowl (by 1.2 inch), and rear deck (by 0.8 inch). So are the front and rear overhangs (down 0.4 inch and 1.0 inch, respectively). Along with its wider front (up 0.4 inch) and rear (up 1.5 inch) tracks, width (up 0.8 inch to 72.8 inch), and wheelbase (up 2.0 inch), add to Avalon’s premium aura and sporty stature.
There are clear visual differences between the grades. A dark gray front grille with chrome border, for instance, is a telltale sign of the XLE and Limited versions. So are the machined-silver LED headlight bezels, body-colored rear-view mirror housings, and wheels ranging in diameter from 17 to 19 inches. Chrome badge letters, as well as dual exhaust with chrome tips individualize the grades.
A more aggressive attitude is worn by XSE and Touring. A piano black mesh grille, machine-finish and Gloss Black wheels, as well as black outer mirror housings are special to the grades. Headlight bezels are also in black. Rear traits include trunk lid spoiler and badging in black, and a grade-specific lower diffuser set above and between quad tailpipes.
The lineup adopts two new Toyota colors: Opulent Amber and Harbor Gray Metallic. Carryover colors include Celestial Silver Metallic, Midnight Black Metallic, and Parisian Night Pearl; new-for-Avalon options include Wind Chill Pearl and Ruby Flare Pearl.
Form follows function in Avalon. The tangential vents at the front, its rear spoiler, and the substantial underbody panel coverage, from front nose to tail, minimize aerodynamic inefficiencies and give Avalon a 0.27 coefficient of drag – besting the outgoing model’s 0.28 Cd, Toyota said.
Besides the generous space, the interiors get Cognac colored leather surfaces, 7-inch Multi-Information Display (MID), 9-inch multimedia system (MMS) displaying audio and navigation,10-inch Head-Up Display (HUD), 14-speaker JBL audio system, WiFi Hotspot, Qi Wireless Charging, Toyota Remote Connect with Smartwatch, Amazon Alexa Connectivity, Apple CarPlay and more.
Safety kit includes Toyota Safety Sense P (TSS-P) suite, 10 airbags and Toyota’s Star Safety System, which includes Enhanced Vehicle Stability Control, Traction Control, Electronic Brake-force Distribution, Brake Assist, Anti-lock Braking System, and Smart Stop Technology. All Avalons also come equipped with a standard backup camera.
Powering the new Avalon are 3.5-liter V6 (2GR-FKS), and, a 2.5-liter 4-cylinder Toyota Hybrid System II (THS II) with 650-volt electric motor (A25A-FXS) and Continuously-Variable Transmission (CVT). Avalon Hybrid continues to be the only full hybrid vehicle in the segment. The TNGA 8-speed Direct Shift automatic transaxle gearbox (UA80E) channels power to the Avalon’s front wheels.
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.
There is a new Power Control Unit (PCU), where the energy loss in the conversion efficiency of the transaxle and electric motor is reduced by approximately 20 percent, and its cooling system’s energy loss is cut by approximately 10 percent.
Adaptive Variable Suspension (AVS), Intake Sound Generator (ISG), grade-specific exhaust baffle tuning, Active Noise Control (ANC), and Engine Sound Enhancement (ESE) include the new Avalon’s few more features.
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