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