Toyota Aurion attempting to tackle Holden and Ford in Australia... again

Toyota is attempting to breach the large car market in Australia, again. Although past attempts were not exactly stellar, it thinks now it may have what it will take to succeed with the Aurion. This large front-wheel drive sedan effectively replaces the lamentable Avalon in the only market segment the company hasn't managed to make a dent in so far. The Toyota Aurion has already been advertised quite heavily and will hit dealerships soon, starting at an MSRP of AUS $34,990, including an electronic stability system, side curtain airbags and a six-speed automatic transmission across the lineup.

Since practically the birth of the Australian large car segment, the Holden Commodore and Ford Falcon have dominated the market. Challengers from Chrysler, Hyundai, Mitsubishi and even Toyota have failed miserably, partly because of national pride and the fact that rwd seems to rule the roost there. Toyota Australia chairman emeritus John Conomos, admitted that some "traditionalists" will stick with the Falcon and Commodore. Yeah, we think so, too.

But Toyota Australia senior executive director of sales and marketing David Buttner downplayed the power of that group of buyers: "The tribalists love tradition and grunt. They've bought the same car for generations, largely determined by what their father bought – or which car won at Bathurst. They are a diminishing sub-segment, accounting for about 20 per cent of the market."

Toyota expects to sell around 2,000 Aurions per month, the same target they set for the Avalon at which that vehicle failed miserably. Where the Avalon was a warmed over version of the U.S. Avalon, the Aurion is essentially a Camry with a nose job and rear end redo. The biggest draw, however, is under the hood, where resides an advanced 3.5-litre V6 engine that produces a class-leading 200kW of power. That's 20kW more than the Commodore and 10kW more than the Falcon. And it gets better mileage to boot, achieving an impressive claim of 9.9 litres per 100km traveled. It's worth it to note that Toyota is also planning a supercharged version of the Aurion released under the Toyota Racing Development brand. Good luck Toyota, you're going to need it in that market.

Thanks for the tip, SunRay!

[Source: Sydney Morning Herald]

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