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Toyota introduces Avalon ’13, hybrid model next year

During a demo of the vehicle in Guaynabo on Wednesday, company President Mario Dávila said the new model embodies “Toyota’s higher skills sets when building vehicles with this redesign.”

Toyota de Puerto Rico unveiled Wednesday its new, redesigned Avalon 2013, which combine styling, innovation, and an elevated level of craftsmanship to help reposition the flagship sedan within the highly competitive premium mid-size segment.

During a demo of the vehicle in Guaynabo on Wednesday, company President Mario Dávila said the new model embodies “Toyota’s higher skills sets when building vehicles with this redesign.”

“The goal of this new edition is to reaffirm that Toyota is back in the luxury segment I am confident that this model will create a precedent for style, design, performance and quality handling,” he said, noting that at present, only 120 Avalon units and 50 hybrid units will reach the local market, which makes it even more exclusive. The hybrids will arrive next year, he said.

The 2013 Avalon’s elegant and athletic design offers a longer flowing roofline creating a more appealing side silhouette with a lower vehicle beltline that suggests a sense of motion with a road holding stance. Its chiseled shoulder line sculpted into side sheet metal starts over the front wheels and creates a strong, fluid body side design cue adding to its athletic stance. The new Avalon exterior is designed to communicate a greater sense of performance and agility to better match the car’s vastly enhanced dynamic capability.

As far as its powertrain goes, the gas-powered Avalon features a powerful, all-aluminum 3.5-liter V6 engine mated to a conventional six-speed automatic transmission. Avalon Hybrid is equipped with a modified version of the 2.5-liter Hybrid Synergy Drive system that also propels the Camry Hybrid.

The V6-powered gasoline Avalon offers three drive modes: Eco, Normal and Sport. The Eco Mode prioritizes fuel efficiency by balancing driving performance, air conditioning function and fuel efficiency. It reduces driving force when accelerating at low speeds to enhance fuel efficiency. Sport mode helps create a more engaging driving experience by enhancing the Electric Power Steering effort and a more direct, responsive steering feel. It also adjusts throttle response to help increase the sensation of the engine’s torque response during acceleration.

Meanwhile, the Avalon’s Hybrid Synergy Drive uses a 2.5-liter four-cylinder employing the Atkinson cycle to postpone closure of the intake valves and delay the compression cycle, helping reduce intake and exhaust energy losses to improve fuel efficiency. Engine efficiency is further enhanced by using a roller-rocker valvetrain, a variable output oil pump, and an electric water pump to reduce frictional losses. The engine also features VVT-i on the intake side and a revised combustion chamber shape for the Atkinson application. The gasoline engine alone is rated at 156 horsepower at 5,700 rpm.

“With the Toyota Avalon Hybrid we fulfill our promise to slowly launch hybrid versions of our model range. This is part of our commitment to responsible transportation solutions that address the needs and concerns of today’s consumers who demand more from their vehicles and want them to be an extension of their lifestyles,” Dávila said.

Author Details
Author Details
Business reporter with 30 years of experience writing for weekly and daily newspapers, as well as trade publications in Puerto Rico. My list of former employers includes Caribbean Business, The San Juan Star, and the Puerto Rico Daily Sun, among others. My areas of expertise include telecommunications, technology, retail, agriculture, tourism, banking and most other segments of Puerto Rico’s economy.

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