Toy­ota pimps Avalon

De­sign phi­los­o­phy of the staid Avalon de­liv­ers good sound and ex­cit­ing drive

The Witness - Wheels - - AUTO SHOWS - AL­WYN VILJOEN

TOY­OTA launched the fifth evo­lu­tion of the sedan at the North Amer­i­can In­ter­na­tional Auto Show.

Like most other Toy­ota sedans, its a white one, but there any re­sem­blance to the safe but bor­ing Toy­otas we all know and se­cretly love, stops. For starters, there are all those cut­ting edges in the de­sign. A 3.5-litre V6 sends its power to the front wheels via an eight-speed auto box. Amer­i­can buy­ers also have the op­tion of a 2.5-litre four-cylin­der hy­brid sys­tem with a 650-volt elec­tric mo­tor (A25A-FXS) and con­tin­u­ously vari­able trans­mis­sion.

Then there are all the op­tions to pimp this ride, or as Toy­ota calls it in the press state­ment, “Piquing the Ad­ven­tur­ous Side”.

In a first for Toy­ota, the Avalon has adap­tive vari­able sus­pen­sion (AVS), an in­take sound gen­er­a­tor (ISG), and grade-spe­cific ex­haust baf­fle tun­ing and en­gine sound en­hance­ment (ESE).

A JBL mul­ti­me­dia sys­tem’s in-cabin speak­ers am­plify what Toy­ota calls “ex­cep­tional en­gine notes” at start-up for that “hearty flare of sound” right be­fore idle upon start-up. And with the throt­tle wide open, the en­gine’s air in­hala­tion sound to cre­ate ro­bust vo­cal­i­sa­tion” through­out the rev range.

The fifth Avalon will han­dle less like a stately barge and more like a race car too, thanks to shock ab­sorbers with so­le­noid con­trol valves that al­lows in­de­pen­dent wheel con­trol, ad­vanced front and rear G Sen­sors to com­pre­hend the ve­hi­cle’s con­di­tion, and an in­tel­li­gent cen­tral ECU that re­acts to the G Sen­sor’s ob­ser­va­tions by dic­tat­ing ex­act damp­ing ad­just­ments to the shock ab­sorbers’ so­le­noids.

Its all part of Toy­ota’s drive to en­sure no one calls a new Toy­ota a bor­ing drive ever again.

When this think­ing ar­rives on our shores, young Toy­ota driv­ers will no longer need to fit a free-flow pipe to make the Corolla/Tazz they in­her­ited from mom sound like it has an en­gine.

With 14 speak­ers stan­dard and full suite of En­tune 3.0 Pre­mium Au­dio, Avalon driv­ers also will not need to add ex­tra speak­ers.

And for the geeks, the Avalon fea­tures Toy­ota’s first in­te­gra­tion of smart­watch or Ama­zon Alexa-en­abled de­vice con­nec­tiv­ity, as part of Toy­ota Re­mote Con­nect. The con­nec­tion lets driv­ers lock/ un­lock their doors, start their en­gine to warm up, or check their fuel, all from the con­ve­nience of their smart­watch or Ama­zon Alexa-en­abled de­vice. It’s voice con­trol­lable too, and com­pat­i­ble with se­lect An­droid or Ap­ple de­vices.

Toy­ota is among the first au­tomak­ers to fea­ture Ama­zon-en­abled de­vice con­nec­tiv­ity ca­pa­ble of ex­e­cut­ing home-to­car and car-to-home in­ter­ac­tions.

PHOTO: TOY­OTA

Toy­ota’s Avalon is des­tined for the Amer­i­can mar­ket, but the de­sign phi­los­o­phy that un­der­pins it is light years from the staid Corolla or Camry mod­els.

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