For those looking for something more premium, Toyota presents the all-new Avalon at the 2012 New York International Auto Show, redesigned for the 2013 model year. Toyota claims the new mid-sized sedan will begin its launch later this year. When it does, consumers can expect a more spirited drive, a higher level of refinement, the latest technology, and a more progressive design than ever before.
The new 2013 Avalon is the result of a North American-focused design and engineering effort. The new sedan’s dramatic exterior and interior design was conceived by a youthful and talented team at the Calty Design Research Inc. facilities in Southern California and Michigan. At the same time, the new Avalon’s engineering development was principally led by the Toyota Technical Center in Ann Arbor, Michigan. Adding to the North American pedigree, the 2013 Avalon will be assembled at Toyota’s facility in Georgetown, Kentucky.
A More Dynamic Drive
Several structural and chassis upgrades were made to the new Avalon to enhance the ride quality, straight-line stability and handling, compared to the outgoing model. Body structure improvements include gains in torsional rigidity thanks to additional and strategically placed welds, improved body bracing, and high-strength steel in key areas in order to provide a stiffer chassis and optimize suspension performance. What’s more, the Avalon receives an electric power steering (EPS) system, tuned deliver enhanced vehicle control while also realizing superior linear stability.
The new Avalon offers three distinct drive modes that help tailor dynamic performance to the driver’s needs. The drive modes – Normal, Eco, and Sport -are made available through driver-selectable switches. In Sport mode, throttle response is enhanced and steering effort is weighted from center to offer a sportier character. Eco changes throttle response and A/C power usage to help improve fuel economy. Steering-wheel mounted paddle shifters help provide a sportier drive while in the D or S Mode, where the revised throttle helps improve shift response to help maximize engine power and vehicle performance.
Rakish Exterior Styling
The new Avalon’s outer shell is a sleek and expressive profile that appears full of motion, even when standing still. The beltline has been lowered, and there’s a longer, sloping roofline, flared front fenders, reduced front and rear overhangs, lower vehicle height, and reduced body-to-tire gap. There’s even new 17-inch and 18-inch alloy wheel and tire combinations fill the wheel well to enhance the vehicle’s dynamic exterior expression.
Key exterior design elements include the square Double-eye PES (Projector Ellipsoid System) headlamps with HID (High-Intensity Discharge)and elegant DRL (Daytime Running Lights) feature available that provide excellent night time visibility while helping define a narrower, more taut and muscular exterior expression. A wider, more assertive grille design provides a bolder front perspective. At the rear, high-performance LED combination tail lamps are adopted which are more integrated with the revised rear-body styling. The dual rear tailpipe outlets further the more cohesive design theme.
Modern Interior Experience
Interior improvements on the new Avalon are as evolutionary and modern as the exterior promises. For 2013, the Avalon offers a modern, spacious, premium interior, plenty of rear seat legroom, and even more available features. Beyond mere dimensions, the new Avalon’s interior design enhances the cabin’s sense of spaciousness and comfort. The front seat’s hip point has been lowered by 10 millimeters to improve headroom. The new power front seat design with increased side bolstering is more supportive and offers an expanded range of downward adjustment. In addition, the structural components of the sunroof and the headliner design have been optimized to help increase the cabin’s roominess. A concave dash panel design, located in front of the passenger, helps create an expansive feeling. While the rear overhang has been reduced by 1.7 inches, the luggage compartment capacity is 16.0 cubic feet, an increase of 1.6 cubic feet as compared to the outgoing model.
The Avalon’s premium interior also steps up the refinement by reducing wind, engine and road noise inside the cabin compared to the outgoing model. The resultant interior is even significantly quieter and more comfortable than the current Avalon and it creates an ideal environment to enjoy conversation, music or Toyota’s Entune multimedia system. Sound absorbing materials have been strategically placed around the cabin and body structure while not inhibiting a reduction in overall vehicle weight. The windshield and front side-glass panels utilize acoustic glass that helps control sound intrusion into the cabin. Reductions in wind noise have been realized by optimizing exterior shape, specifically cowl and louver sealing, outer mirror shape and position, and wiper-blade position, which have all been developed to dramatically reduce wind noise generation. Exterior gaps and steps have also been minimized to reduce wind noise around the door glass areas.
The new Avalon’s interior utilizes premium materials and a high degree of craftsmanship to offer an upscale experience. Rich, supple leather trims the steering wheel, shift knob, and seat upholstery helping add visual and tactile appeal. Hand-crafted, decorative stitching is featured on the steering wheel, and soft-touch materials on the dash panel and door trim elevate the vehicle’s sense of tactile luxury. Smoked chrome-metallic accents are applied to the instrument panel, center console, door panel, and steering wheel surfaces to help add distinction and exceptional feel. Available push-button controlled soft white ambient lighting illuminates key regions of the interior to help convey the sense of luxury. What’s more, the 2013 Avalon’s console area is equipped with a USB port, AUX input terminal and three 12-volt power outlets to help facilitate device interface and charging.
The new Avalon will also offer intuitive technologies such as capacitive touch switches with positioning and sensitivity that makes them ideal for vehicle system controls. Other premium in-car technologies include three color display screens that support the multi-information display, audio/navigation interface, and a climate control panel. An easy to use Display Audio system with 6.1 inch touchscreen is standard on the new Avalon. Optional is a JBL Synthesis Premium Audio system, HDD Premium Navigation with 7″ screen, dynamic radar cruise control, heated and cooled front seats, heated rear seats, and a three-zone air conditioning system are also on the list of available features and equipment.
Like all Toyota models, the new Avalon will feature Toyota’s Star Safety System standard, which includes Vehicle Stability Control (VSC), Traction Control (TRAC), Anti-lock Braking System (ABS), Electronic Brake-force Distribution (EBD), Brake Assist, and Smart Stop Technology brake-override system. Just as important, the new Avalon features a best-in-class 10 airbags. A Pre-collision system is also available that is designed to “sense” an impending frontal collision and can help mitigate damage. A variable ratio brake pedal is adopted that varies the initial and final pedal effort ratios to help realize excellent brake pedal feel.
In addition to a rearview monitor, Avalon offers an available Blind Spot Monitoring system which is designed to help detect vehicles behind the outer mirrors and to help alert drivers in addition to a new Rear Cross Traffic Alert system (RCTA) that can alert drivers of cross traffic when they are backing up.