When we read through the press materials for the new 2013 Toyota Avalon, we had to double-check... had we downloaded the release for the wrong car? Because right here it says, "In Sport mode, throttle response is enhanced and steering effort is weighted... to offer a sportier character." And what's this about paddle shifters? This is the Avalon, the car that replaced the Mercury Grand Marquis in the hearts, minds and garages of Florida retirees.
But yes, we had the right car. Apparently Toyota is serious about developing more interesting and youthful products, and it's off to a good start with the Avalon, based on what we have heard and seen at the New York Auto Show today. The car was developed, styled and engineered in the United States, and it will be built here too, at Toyota's Georgetown, KY, plant. While that doesn't mean much without a product that can deliver the goods, we like most of what we see. From the A-pillar on back, the new Avalon looks long and sleek and seems to have a lot of BMW inspiration in its design. The front grille, however, has way too much Hyundai Genesis Coupe in it for our tastes. Inside the Avalon, we see what looks to be a pretty stunning instrument panel design, and we're intrigued by the capacitive touch controls Toyota has included.
While Toyota is declining to say anything about what powers the new Avalon other the fact that the engine will have six cylinders, we can't imagine it will be anything other than a version of its corporate 3.5-liter. The big question is how much horsepower this new, sportier Avalon might be packing. The current car has 268 horses, though another derivative of the engine in the Lexus GS boasts 306. The 2013 Avalon goes on sale late this year, and we must admit, this is the first Avalon we might actually be excited to drive. Click past the jump to read the full press release.
Related Gallery2013 Toyota Avalon: New York 2012
The Sensational New 2013 Toyota Avalon Makes World Debut at the 2012 New York International Auto Show
• New model offers captivating styling, a spacious, luxurious interior experience, and premium technology
• Regionally-focused design, engineering, and manufacturing effort
NEW YORK, (April 5, 2012) – Toyota Motor Sales, U.S.A. revealed the all-new 2013 Avalon premium mid-size sedan today at the 2012 New York International Auto Show. The new Avalon is re-conceived for the premium mid-size sedan segment with a progressive and emotionally styled exterior design.
When it arrives to dealerships late this year, the new Avalon will offer improved dynamic performance, a greater degree of refinement, and a highly spacious, comfortable interior experience with an abundance of outstanding convenience technologies.
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. The car's engineering development was principally led by a passionate and dedicated group based at Toyota Technical Center in Ann Arbor, Mich. Continuing a North American focused theme, the 2013 Avalon will be assembled at Toyota's facility in Georgetown, Ky. True to the future product mission set forth by Toyota Motor Corporation President, Akio Toyoda, the new Avalon's more stylish, bold, sporty exterior design and luxurious interior styling are matched by an enhanced dynamic package, a combination that foreshadows the more compelling and passionate nature of future Toyota products.
Enhanced Avalon Dynamics
In addition to its stunning design, numerous structural and chassis improvements were made to the new Avalon to enhance the ride quality, straight-line stability and handling. The body structure gains improvements 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. The new Avalon suspension relies on MacPherson struts with advanced valving and rebound springs to balance handling and agility with ride comfort. Coil spring rate and front and rear sway bar stiffness was increased from the current model to help improve body control and body roll. The Avalon's electric power steering (EPS) system has been tuned to help deliver enhanced controllability and vehicle agility 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.
Dynamic Exterior Styling
The new Avalon's dynamic exterior styling defines a sleek and expressive profile that helps communicate a sense of motion for the vehicle even when it is at rest. The beltline has been lowered to accentuate a strong stance. Compared to its predecessor, the new Avalon is a bit more compact yet displays better proportions with a longer, sloping roofline, flared front fenders, and reduced front and rear overhangs, lower vehicle height, and reduced body-to-tire gap. 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
Design elements enhancing comfort, convenience and technology help create the luxurious experience that will prove tempting to buyers of the next Avalon. The 2013 Avalon offers a modern, spacious, premium interior highlighted by abundant rear seat legroom, while featuring a myriad of 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 (0.4 inches) to help create improved 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 attains a high level of refinement by reducing wind, engine and road noise inside the cabin. 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 available multimedia system, Entune™. 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 adopted for 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. The new Avalon's center console includes a convenient console tray that is ideal for the storage of electronic hand held devices. The new 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 offer innovative technologies such as advanced 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, the audio/navigation interface, and the climate control panel. An easy to use Display Audio system with 6.1 inch touchscreen is standard on the new Avalon; while 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.
The new Avalon helps to prioritize occupant safety with a best-in-class10 airbags system. 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.
Key Dimensional Comparison
2013 Avalon 2012 Avalon
Overall Length 195.3 in. (4960 mm) 197.6 in. (5020 mm)
Overall Width 72.2 in. (1835 mm) 72.8 in. (1850 mm)
Overall Height 57.5 in. (1460 mm) 58.5 in. (1485 mm)
Wheelbase 111 in. (2820 mm) 111 in. (2820 mm)
Front Tread 62.6 in. (1590 mm) 62.2 in. (1580 mm)
Rear Tread 62.2 in. (1580 mm) 61.6 in. (1565 mm)
Front Overhang 38.8 in. (985 mm) 39.4 in. (1000 mm)
Rear Overhang 45.5 in. (1155 mm) 47.2 in. (1200 mm)
Curb Weight 3,497 lbs. (estimated) 3,616 lbs. (Avalon model)