Toyota energizes Avalon design
Bolder look aims to revive sedan's sales
NEW YORK -- Toyota hopes that with a dramatically different design, its 2013 Avalon will rekindle interest in the full-sized sedan and get consumers to reconsider the notion the brand's design is dull.
With fastback "kinetic energy" lines penned by Toyota's Calty studio in Southern California, the Avalon captures Toyota Motor Corp. President Akio Toyoda's vision for more exciting vehicles, said Bob Carter, Toyota Division general manager.
The Avalon was engineered at Toyota's Ann Arbor, Mich., technical center, making it the first Toyota vehicle entirely developed in North America, Carter said. When assembled in Georgetown, Ky., the Avalon will have 90 percent North American content.
The Avalon will ride on a 111-inch wheelbase, same as the current model, but will shrink 2.3 inches in length due to shorter front and rear overhangs.
Toyota said the Avalon will be powered by a V-6 engine, but he did not give performance specifics. Toyota estimates the new Avalon is 120 pounds lighter than the current model.
Among the Avalon's features are 10 standard airbags, blind-spot warning system, precollision warnings and a sport-driving mode with quicker throttle response and more dynamic steering inputs.
The Avalon's base price will be similar to its current $33,955 starting point when it goes on sale this fall, Carter said.
Carter says he is "bullish" about the sales prospects for the Avalon, which sold 28,925 units last year. Its current generation peaked at 95,318 in 2005, its launch year.
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