Designed and engineered in Europe and built at Toyota’s Burnaston factory in the UK, the all-new third generation Avensis has its world premiere at the Paris motor show. Building on the success of its predecessors, Toyota’s new European flagship delivers a new level of superior quality, dynamic handling and refined ride comfort.
New Avensis will also contribute to a reduction in Toyota’s fleet average CO2 emissions to 140g/km by 2009. The Toyota Optimal Drive philosophy has been applied through a range of new petrol engines, upgraded diesel engines and new, advanced transmissions, giving customers reduced emissions without compromising power and driving pleasure.
New Avensis Chief Engineer Takashi Yamamoto explains: “We have put a strong European mark on the project from the start. Thirty-five engineers from Toyota Motor Europe were invited to Japan to join forces with the Toyota Motor Corporation development team. When the project team returned to Europe for finalisation, these engineers played a key role in the knowledge transfer between the two development teams.
“I think this one of the key reasons why today we can look back at a highly efficient development process and be proud of our achievement, which I believe is nothing less than the ‘cutting edge’ of the D-segment.”
Conceived at ED2, Toyota’s design studio in the South of France, new Avensis expresses power without relying on sheer mass.
Today’s car designers have to resolve unprecedented challenges. Customers want cars with more powerful engines, but with lower emissions. They want more interior space, but also more compact cars that consume less fuel. And perhaps the greatest challenge is resolving the paradox of building a car that is kinder to the environment, powerful and fun to drive, yet not compromised in terms of comfort and safety.
These challenges are addressed by Toyota’s Vibrant Clarity design language, founded on the J-factor – the internationally respected elements of Japanese originality and quality. Applying the J-factor has resolved three key challenges in new Avensis’s design:
New Avensis will be available in saloon and Tourer body styles. These were designed in parallel, so the Tourer was designed specifically for its purpose, rather than being a saloon with a raised and stretched rear.
Both versions have an athletic and sleek appearance. The bonnet has been lowered, the slim A-pillars flow forwards and the C-pillar is slanted backwards to produce a flowing silhouette. Excellent aerodynamics gives a Cd figure of 0.28 for the saloon and 0.29 for the Tourer, helping reduce CO2 emissions.
New Avensis is only 50mm longer than the previous generation model, giving an overall length of 4,695 for the saloon and 4,765 for the Tourer. Both have a 2,700mm wheelbase and are 1,480mm tall – the same height as the current Avensis. Thanks to the new platform, the track has been increased by between 30 and 45mm, while the car’s width has grown by 50mm to 1,810mm.
Repositioning the wheels nearer the outside edges of the floorpan has achieved a more solid, powerful appearance without adding unnecessary weight or mass.
Avensis is also more spacious inside. Although overall vehicle height remains unchanged, there is more headroom. Cargo space in the Tourer is more flexible, with cargo rails available to divide and secure separate loads. Fold flat seats have a one-touch folding mechanism to create extra space when needed in both saloon and Tourer.
The new-look instrument panel makes good use of the car’s width to emphasise the spacious feel of the interior. This can be further heightened in the Tourer with the option of a panoramic roof.
Materials used in the cabin have been chosen to express prestige and dynamism. The dashboard trim, in black or grey-beige combination, has a soft-texture grained finish. There is a choice of finishes for the centre console, including black metallic paint and a titanium finish. On higher grade models, the console has a graphic finish inspired by Takesumi – a charcoal made from bamboo.
The speedometer and tachometer are crisply lit and have chrome bezels. The Optitron display ensures excellent legibility, regardless of lighting conditions. It also can reduce tiredness and fatigue.
INCREASED POWER AND TORQUE WITH LOWER, CLASS-LEADING EMISSIONS
The new Toyota Optimal Drive philosophy has been applied to the development of new Avensis’s engine line-up with a focus on minimising environmental impact while maximising driving pleasure through increased power and torque.
The best example of this is the new Valvematic range of petrol engines, which give 10 to 26 per cent lower CO2 emissions compared to equivalent power plants in the current Avensis. At the same time, power is increased by between three and 20 per cent. Toyota’s Valvematic technology helps improve fuel efficiency, power, torque and engine response and reduces CO2 emissions by simultaneously controlling valve timing and lift.
The new 1.8-litre Valvematic offers a choice of the new six-speed manual transmission or new Multidrive S, Toyota’s latest continuously variable transmission technology. Power is greater by 14 per cent compared to the previous 1.8 VVT-i unit at 145bhp (147 DIN hp) and there is an extra 10Nm of torque, with a maximum 180Nm delivered at 4,000rpm. CO2 emissions are down 10 per cent at 154g/km in the saloon with manual gearbox; 16 per cent at 157g/km with Multidrive S transmission.
The 2.0-litre Valvematic is at the top of the petrol engine range, offered with six-speed manual and Multidrive S transmissions. Maximum output is 150bhp (152 DIN hp), three per cent higher than Toyota’s 2.0-litre engine, and maximum torque is 196Nm, produced at 4,000rpm. With manual transmission, CO2 emissions have fallen 15 per cent to 163g/km; with Multidrive S the decrease is even greater – down 26 per cent to 164g/km.
With the benefit of these new engines, Toyota delivers a class-leading power to CO2 ratio.
Multidrive S transmission
Multidrive S gives an incredibly smooth, refined shift action, automatically optimising torque and fuel consumption by always using the ideal engine speed. When the engine is pressed a little harder, the transmission operates like a seven-speed automatic, which helps eliminate the characteristic whining associated with CVTs.
The transmission’s Sport mode gives a sportier drive, selecting a more responsive and power-maximising ratio in line with driver input. And for an even more involving drive, the system has a seven-speed sequential manual mode, letting the driver change gear using the shift lever or, exclusively on the 2.0 Valvematic, paddle shifts mounted on the steering wheel.
The benefits of Toyota Optimal Drive are also evident in the revised diesel engine line-up, with more torque at lower speeds leading to lower emissions. The upgrades include new piezo injectors and a higher injection pressure – 2,000 bar. These new features help achieve a reduction in CO2 emissions of between 2.5 and 10 per cent compared to the current generation Avensis.
2.0-litre D-4D 130
The 2.0-litre D-4D 130 engine delivers power through a six-speed manual transmission and produces 124bhp (126 DIN hp) at 3,600rpm and 310Nm of torque between 1,800 and 2,400rpm. Emissions are down seven per cent at 134g/km for the saloon, with improved performance.
2.2-litre D-4D 150
The 2.2 D-4D 150 offers a strong balance of power and economy. Output of 148bhp (150 DIN hp) is reached at 3,600rpm, with an increase in torque of nearly 10 per cent to 340Nm, generated between 2,000 and 2,800rpm. This means maximum torque is available in most driving conditions, cutting the need for frequent gear changes, whilst still delivering less than 150 g/km.
In a Toyota first for a diesel passenger car, this engine is offered with a new six-speed automatic transmission. This gives a fast shift response while maintaining comfortable performance by eliminating shift-shock. The system includes a sequential manual mode: by moving the shift level to the M gate, the driver can choose to select gears using the shift lever or paddle shifts on the steering wheel.
The 2.2 D-4D 150 engine benefits from Toyota D-CAT clean diesel technology and achieves CO2 emissions of less than 180g/km in the new Avensis saloon. D-CAT simultaneously reduces nitrogen oxides and particulate matter emissions through a maintenance-free system designed to last the lifetime of the vehicle.
2.2-litre D-4D 180
The top-of-the-range diesel, the 2.2 D-4D 180 has a unique combination of a low compression ratio and a high boost turbocharger, which gives remarkable power and engine efficiency. With 175bhp (177 DIN hp) and 400Nm of torque across a rev band from 2,000 to 2,800rpm, it is among the most powerful diesel engines in the D-segment. Nought to 62mph acceleration is achieved in 8.5 seconds, yet CO2 emissions are just 157g/km for the saloon, making it one of the cleanest high power diesels on the market. Like the 2.2 D-4D 150, it uses Toyota D-CAT for cleaner operation.
All new Avensis models are fitted with driving indicators to help ensure efficient motoring. The on-board computer has an ECO driving indicator on versions with six-speed automatic and Multidrive S transmissions, showing the driver how efficient his or her driving style is. Manual versions come with a Gear Shift Indicator, which advises the driver on the best timing for up and down gear changes.
DYNAMIC RIDE HANDLING WITH SUPERIOR RIDE COMFORT
New Avensis has been engineered for smooth ride comfort, but with dynamic handling for rewarding driving characteristics.
A new platform provides an excellent balance of high-speed stability and low speed agility. To enhance performance, both the MacPherson strut front suspension and the double wishbone rear suspension have been re-engineered with improvements in torsional stiffness and roll rigidity. Front shock absorber and rear lateral force steer specifications have also been upgraded.
New, large diameter wheels with wider tyres are fitted to further enhance stability and dynamic handling. A flush underfloor design aids high speed stability, reduces noise and contributes to fuel efficiency through improved aerodynamics.
SUPERIOR QUALITY AND ENHANCED SAFETY
New Avensis is set to build on the achievements of its predecessor, aiming for a five-star rating under the more stringent Euro NCAP crash testing due for introduction in 2009.
New high-tech safety features bring both active and passive safety provisions to a higher level. Seven airbags are fitted as standard, including a driver’s knee airbag. Active front seat headrests have been introduced to reduce whiplash injuries in the event of a rear end collision.
Steering assist Vehicle Stability Control (VSC+) is new to the model, a system which increases the protection provided by a regular VSC system by adding steering torque assist to counter any yaw movement during sudden changes in handling or on slippery surfaces. In an emergency situation the driver may sense torque movement on the steering wheel in a given direction to help ensure the right steering input is made to compensate the under- or oversteer.
Where High Intensity Discharge (HID) bi-xenon headlights are specified, the driver further benefits from the Adaptive Front-lighting System (AFS). This adjusts the angle of the headlamps in line with the vehicle speed and turning angle to improve illumination through bends and junctions. Dynamic headlamp levelling maintains the angle of the headlamp under heavy braking or acceleration.
New Avensis is fitted as standard with an emergency brake signal, which activates flashing brake lights to warn following vehicles of sudden hard braking.
Top grade versions of the 2.2 D-4D 150 with six-speed automatic transmission will have the option of a new Pre-Crash Safety (PCS) system. This can predict the risk of an imminent collision and take action to alert the driver and reduce the risk of damage or injury. If it senses a crash to be unavoidable, it automatically activates the seatbelt pretensioners and applies full braking force to lessen the impact.
Adaptive Cruise Control (ACC) works in tandem with PCS, using the same advanced radar technology to maintain a set distance from the vehicle ahead, even if that vehicle varies its speed. Once the road ahead is clear, ACC automatically returns to the preset cruising speed.
PCS comes with the added benefit of Lane Departure Warning (LDW) and Lane Keeping Assist (LKA). These systems help prevent unintended lane changes by giving an audible warning and applying corrective steering wheel torque to help the driver stay on the right course.
Improved NVH performance
New Avensis has considerably lower NVH levels, with the use of Toyota’s lightweight insulation material helping cut interior noise significantly – by 5dB. The new model is among the quietest in the D-segment, with performance that comes close to that of premium models.
This has been achieved thanks to a stiff chassis, advanced aerodynamics and careful positioning of materials without adding unnecessary weight by over-use of insulation.
Avensis has a well-earned reputation for quality, durability and reliability, attributes reflected in its strong performance in independent customer satisfaction surveys, such as the annual study by J.D. Power and Associates. It has received numerous accolades from the motoring media and organisations, including a best-in-segment rating from ADAC, Europe’s largest automobile club.
New Avensis will continue to be built exclusively at Toyota Motor Manufacturing UK’s factory at Burnaston. The TMUK plant in Deeside will supply the 1.6 (not available in the UK) and 1.8 Valvematic engines and Toyota Motor Industries Poland will supply the 2.0 and 2.2 D-4D engines. The new six-speed manual transmission is sourced from Toyota Motor Manufacturing Poland.
ADVANCED EQUIPMENT LEVELS
In keeping with the “cutting edge of the D-segment” positioning expressed by Chief Engineer Takashi Yamamoto, new Avensis will benefit from advanced technology in its equipment specifications.
Details of the UK grade structure and detailed equipment features will be announced nearer the car’s on-sale date.
Within the range, features that will be available will include dual zone automatic air conditioning, automatic headlights and windscreen wipers, cruise control with speed limiter, full-map touch-screen satellite navigation with Bluetooth, Smart Entry and Start system, a panoramic roof for the Tourer, and an 11-speaker premium audio system with the 10Gb hard disc drive.
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