William Maley

Toyota News: Toyota Talks About The New Avalon's Power

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William Maley

Staff Writer - CheersandGears.com

June 26, 2012

Toyota has revealed the powertrain details on the new 2013 Avalon.

As expected, the new Avalon will still use the 3.5L V6 from the previous Avalon. The V6 is rated at 268 HP and 248 lb-ft. of torque and will go through a six-speed automatic. EPA rates the V6 at 21 City/31 Highway/25 Combined.

Toyota has equipped the Avalon V6 with three different power modes (Eco, Normal, Sport) and certain models get paddle-shifters for a more “sporty” experience.

The new Avalon will also come in a hybrid model. The hybrid comes equipped with a 2.5L four-cylinder engine and electric motor producing a combined 200 HP. EPA rates the Avalon Hybrid at 40 City/39 Highway/40 Combined.

The new Avalon goes on sale later this year.

William Maley is a staff writer for Cheers & Gears. He can be reached at william.maley@cheersandgears.com or you can follow him on twitter at @realmudmonster.

Press Release is on Page 2


All-New 2013 Toyota Avalon Features Both Gasoline and Hybrid Powertrains

TORRANCE, Calif. (June 26, 2012) – When the all-new, North American designed and engineered 2013 Avalon goes on sale later this year, consumers can choose between a powerful V6 gasoline powertrain and Toyota’s proven Hybrid Synergy Drive. The efficiency offered by the new hybrid model will help the all-new premium mid-size sedan achieve excellent fuel economy with an EPA-rating of 40 mpg combined.

In addition to offering a hybrid powertrain, the new Avalon features a stunning design, improved dynamic performance, a greater degree of refinement, and a highly spacious, comfortable interior experience with an abundance of outstanding convenience technologies.

Powerful, Efficient V6 Engine

The 2013 Avalon will feature a proven 3.5-liter, DOHC V6 engine coupled with a six-speed automatic transaxle, which has been enhanced to offer more responsive and efficient performance. The all-aluminum six-cylinder engine will produce 268 horsepower and 248 lbs. ft. of torque, which will propel the new sedan to 60 mph in under seven seconds. Compared to the previous-generation Avalon, this 2013 powertrain combination offers improved fuel economy, performance, superior shift feel and response, with upgraded drivability and quietness.

This enhanced powertrain’s programming has been updated to offer ECO, NORMAL, and SPORT Modes. The ECO mode prioritizes fuel efficiency by reducing power application at lower speeds and reducing energy consumed by the air-conditioning system. The SPORT Mode provides increased acceleration responses though altered engine control unit (ECU) programming, and it offers a more direct and responsive EPS programming to enhance steering feel.

In addition, the new transaxle is equipped with a numerically lower differential gear drive ratio (3.23), designed to help improve fuel economy. The V6-powered 2013 Avalon achieves an EPA-rated 25 mpg combined (21 city/ 31 hwy).

The transmission operation has been made more efficient and responsive with the adoption of a flex-start control feature lock-up clutch. With lock-up control, the transmission’s torque converter fully engages at a lower RPM during standing starts to improve acceleration response and help suppress unnecessary engine revolutions. The new transmission is also kept at an optimal temperature with an automatic-transmission fluid warmer, helping enhance efficiency.

The multi-mode automatic transmission console shifter offers a D range and can be moved into an S-mode gate, which allows manually operated sequential shifting using the console shifter or available (Touring and Limited models) steering-wheel-mounted paddle shifters. The gear can be selected by moving the shifter up to (+) position or lower using the (-) position to experience highly responsive shifts. By using the paddles or in S-range, the transmission uses a quick responding shift-logic that includes throttle blipping for downshifts. The gear changes and range-of-gear selections are displayed in the color multi-information display.

Avalon Adds Toyota Hybrid Synergy Drive

For consumers seeking a premium mid-size sedan with excellent fuel economy ratings and an environmental message, the new Avalon features a full power-split hybrid system. Coupled with reductions in vehicle weight and improvements in aerodynamics, the Avalon Hybrid is expects to achieve impressive fuel economy ratings. The 2013 Avalon incorporates the latest advances in Toyota Hybrid Synergy Drive technology, building upon Toyota’s 14 years of hybrid-development experience. The Avalon Hybrid features a 2.5-liter, Atkinson-cycle, four-cylinder engine, a 244.8-volt nickel-metal hydride battery pack, and a pair of electric motor/generators within the transaxle. A power-control unit located in the engine compartment houses an inverter, a DC-DC converter, a step-up converter (raises voltage to a maximum of 650 volts) and the hybrid-drive ECU, which governs the seamless operation of electric-motor power application and regenerative braking. The power control unit relies on liquid cooling to maintain an efficient temperature.

The Avalon Hybrid achieves a total system output of 200 horsepower and offers three unique modes of operation: EV, ECO and SPORT. The Avalon Hybrid models achieve an EPA-rated 40 mpg in the city, and a 39 mpg on the highway for a combined 40 mpg EPA-rating.

The 2013 Avalon Hybrid offers an EV mode that, under certain conditions, allows the vehicle to operate solely on electric propulsion. EV mode can be engaged, provided other conditions are correct, for up to one mile at speeds up to 25 mph, providing an all-electric option that is convenient in residential areas or parking garages.

The ECO drive mode engages the gasoline motor, but reduces throttle response and HVAC output to help improve overall efficiency. The SPORT Mode takes full advantage of the new Avalon’s dynamic character, improved chassis, and enhanced suspension by altering the engine’s throttle response and enhancing steering feel.

The Avalon’s hybrid’s battery pack is comprised of 204 cells and is located in the vehicle trunk behind the rear seats, while still providing ample trunk space. The scroll casing for the battery cooling system’s blower fan has been designed to produce extremely quiet and efficient airflow, helping reduce interior noise and elevating refinement. The power-control unit, located in the engine bay, houses the inverter, DC-DC converter.

The efficient hybrid transaxle in the new Avalon contains two high-output electric motor/generators, a power-split device, an open differential and the final drive ratio. Motor/Generator 1 (MG1) is used to start the gasoline engine and generate the energy that is returned to the battery to power the system. Motor/Generator 2 (MG2) is primarily responsible for electric drivetrain propulsion and regenerative braking. The hybrid vehicle transaxle also incorporates a flywheel-damper design that helps reduce noise and vibration during engine engagement.

Captivating Styling with a Spacious, Luxurious Interior Experience

The new 2013 Avalon is the product of a North American-focused design and engineering effort. The new sedan’s striking exterior and luxurious interior design was conceived by a youthful, talented team at the Calty Design Research Inc., facilities in Southern California and Michigan.

The car’s engineering development was led by a passionate and dedicated group based at Toyota Technical Center in Ann Arbor, Mich. Continuing a North American focus, the 2013 Avalon will be assembled at the award-winning Toyota Motor Manufacturing Kentucky (TMMK) 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.

Powertrain Specs

Avalon V6

Avalon Hybrid

Gasoline

Engine

Type/Displacement

2GR-FE / 3.5L

2AR-FXE / 2.5L

Max Horsepower

268 hp

154 hp

Max Torque

248 lbs.-ft.

153 lbs.-ft.

Transaxle

Type

6-speed AT

E-CVT

Electric Motor

Max Output

-

140 hp

Max Torque

-

200 ft. lbs.

Battery

Type

-

Nickel-Metal Hydride

Nominal Voltage

-

245 volts

Number of Cells

-

204 Cells

Max Output

-

34 kw or 45.6 hp

Total System Output

-

149 kw 200hp

Key Dimensional Comparison

2013 Avalon

2012 Avalon

Overall Length

195.3 in.

197.6 in.

Overall Width

72.2 in.

72.8 in.

Overall Height

57.5 in.

58.5 in.

Wheelbase

111 in.

111 in.

Front Tread

62.6 in.

62.2 in.

Rear Tread

62.2 in.

61.6 in.

Front Overhang

38.8 in.

39.4 in.

Rear Overhang

45.5 in.

47.2 in.

Curb Weight

3,497 lbs. (V6),

3594 lbs. (Hybrid XLE)

3,616 lbs.

Click here to view the article

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Reminds me of a discount A7, and I like the A7. Not sure how this will play in Boca Raton.

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Ugh, can it get any uglier? That big old open Animation type Mouth that makes it look like it is going through multiple G Force pulling it's mouth open.

I am sure the Toyota loyal will love it, but to me a bit to Animation Ugly!

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Sadly Ford is becoming victim of the gaping hole grille too. I was watching TV and I thought it was a Hyundai commercial and it was a Ford - the Focus Hybrid (gaping maw) and the very Hyundai-like Escape is not winning me over on the Ford side. This thing is a Camry with a Sonata Hybrid hole in the front.

Toyota and Hyundai - bringing the ugly to main st america

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So...Avalon, Azera, Maxima, Taurus, Impala, LaCrosse...the FWD full size mainstream sedans..new Impala and LaCrosse are the best looking of them, IMO.

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So...Avalon, Azera, Maxima, Taurus, Impala, LaCrosse...the FWD full size mainstream sedans..new Impala and LaCrosse are the best looking of them, IMO.

I agree Chevy/GM needs to stay away from the Animation Gapping Mouth as it is just freakin Ugly!

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The V6 may not be the most powerful but 31 mpg is a solid number. That is 2 better than the Azera and 4 better than the LaCrosse. The 40 mpg hybrid is going to stand out because only the LaCrosse has an electric assist in some way, and that gives up about 15 mpg on the city rating. And the Maxima and Taurus don't offer anything.

One thing that is impressive is the Avalon V6 is only 36 lbs more than an ATS V6. They kept that car under 3500 lbs while a V6 LaCrosse is over 4,000.

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ok for a toyota, not a lot of style but its not a camry turd either.

i like the dash.

still the Impala, Taurus, Azera, LaCrosse, all nicer.

gaping mouth grille is hideous.

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200 ft/lbs total, running through a CVT in a soft 3,500+ car..... how much more numb can you get?

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Can't be any worse than 172 lb-ft pulling a 3800+ lb car with a 6-speed that wants to hunt for 6th gear. Bottom line is most of these LaCrosse or Avalon hybrid buyers like a numb car. The Avalon hybrid does have that 40/39 mpg rating going for it, they will get sales just on that. The MKZ is a good example, they sell almost half hybrid, Lincoln buyers don't care about speed either.

The Taurus ecoboost gets 32 mpg so that is pretty good, and the V6 Taurus has 288 hp and 29 mpg but that is still a heavy car. Not that I'd ever even bother with test driving an Avalon, I will say it is a very mass efficient car. The domestic full sizers have a lot of weight in them, maybe you can give Chrysler a pass on the 300 since it is wider and rear drive, but the Taurus is practically SUV weight.

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Ugh, can it get any uglier? That big old open Animation type Mouth that makes it look like it is going through multiple G Force pulling it's mouth open.

I am sure the Toyota loyal will love it, but to me a bit to Animation Ugly!

Yeah, while I like the BRz/FR-S okay, this thing is butt ugly.

200 ft/lbs total, running through a CVT in a soft 3,500+ car..... how much more numb can you get?

Not much...

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Can't be any worse than 172 lb-ft pulling a 3800+ lb car with a 6-speed that wants to hunt for 6th gear. Bottom line is most of these LaCrosse or Avalon hybrid buyers like a numb car. The Avalon hybrid does have that 40/39 mpg rating going for it, they will get sales just on that. The MKZ is a good example, they sell almost half hybrid, Lincoln buyers don't care about speed either.

The Taurus ecoboost gets 32 mpg so that is pretty good, and the V6 Taurus has 288 hp and 29 mpg but that is still a heavy car. Not that I'd ever even bother with test driving an Avalon, I will say it is a very mass efficient car. The domestic full sizers have a lot of weight in them, maybe you can give Chrysler a pass on the 300 since it is wider and rear drive, but the Taurus is practically SUV weight.

Well, you've got a few things wrong here. The 172 ft-lb is from the gas engine alone, the electric part rounds it up to 200 ft-lb total and it isn't a standard automatic. Toyota hybrid drive is a CVT, so no hunting at all.

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i think when ford readies the 2.3 ecoboost 4 for the mustang, we might see that in the edge, taurus, and explorer.

as it is, the ecoboost taurus does have more torque than the standard 6 cylinder. the taurus is too heavy yes but it's built like a tank. an ecoboost taurus with more torque and an 8 speed auto should get past 32 mpg. full size cars topping 30 mpg is a good thing. EPA combined on the Taurus is 26 i think. That is a tipping point, the 25 combined mark i believe.

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Can't be any worse than 172 lb-ft pulling a 3800+ lb car with a 6-speed that wants to hunt for 6th gear. Bottom line is most of these LaCrosse or Avalon hybrid buyers like a numb car. The Avalon hybrid does have that 40/39 mpg rating going for it, they will get sales just on that. The MKZ is a good example, they sell almost half hybrid, Lincoln buyers don't care about speed either.

The Taurus ecoboost gets 32 mpg so that is pretty good, and the V6 Taurus has 288 hp and 29 mpg but that is still a heavy car. Not that I'd ever even bother with test driving an Avalon, I will say it is a very mass efficient car. The domestic full sizers have a lot of weight in them, maybe you can give Chrysler a pass on the 300 since it is wider and rear drive, but the Taurus is practically SUV weight.

Well, you've got a few things wrong here. The 172 ft-lb is from the gas engine alone, the electric part rounds it up to 200 ft-lb total and it isn't a standard automatic. Toyota hybrid drive is a CVT, so no hunting at all.

I meant in the LaCrosse eAssist. That has less power than the Avalon and even more weight. Both are snooze mobiles to me.

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    • By William Maley
      In light of fresh competition in the form of the refreshed Toyota Tacoma and new Honda Ridgeline, Chevrolet has announced some updates for the 2017 Colorado.
      First is a new 3.6L V6 producing 308 horsepower and 275 pound-feet of torque (up 3 horsepower and 6 pound-feet). Changes to the engine include a revised direct injection system, updated variable valve timing, and cylinder deactivation. We can't help but wonder if this is the same engine that resides in a number of Cadillac models. A new eight-speed automatic transmission is hooked up to the V6. The transmission features a higher first gear (helps with towing or hauling a heavy load) and lower rear axle ratios will improve fuel economy.
      At the moment, we don't have EPA numbers for the V6 or pricing details. We do know the 2017 Colorado will go on sale later this year. Expect a similar announcement for the GMC Canyon in the near future.
      Source: Chevrolet
      Press Release is on Page 2


      Chevrolet Colorado Resets the Bar for Midsize Segment
      2017 model updated with all-new V-6 and class-exclusive eight-speed automatic DETROIT – For 2017, the Chevrolet Colorado offers an all-new V-6 engine and class-exclusive eight-speed automatic. It is the latest major update for Colorado, which entered the market for model year 2015. Chevrolet is on track to sell more than 160,000 Colorados in the first 24 months on the market, reigniting the midsize segment.
      “Customers made the Colorado an overnight success and it remains one of the industry’s hottest-selling products,” said Anita Burke, Colorado chief engineer. “That fast success has justified our continued investment in midsize pickups, introducing new features for our customers such as the class-exclusive diesel engine, advanced technologies like Apple CarPlay and Android Auto and now a class-leading V-6 and eight-speed automatic powertrain combination.”
      Class-exclusive powertrain combination 
      The most significant update for the 2017 Colorado is an all-new V-6 engine and eight-speed transmission, creating a combination that’s unmatched in the midsize segment.
      According to Stan Ludlow, chief engineer for the 2017 Colorado, the engine and transmission were calibrated to emphasize performance and refinement while optimizing fuel economy: “The Colorado is currently the most fuel-efficient pickup truck in America, with an EPA-estimated 31 mpg highway when equipped with the diesel engine. As such, for the new V-6 and eight-speed combination we focused on improving everyday driving performance. Drivers will immediately notice that it pulls harder when accelerating from a stop or passing on the highway; it is more confident pulling a trailer up a steep grade and it is more refined cruising at a constant highway speed.”
      This second generation of Chevrolet’s double-overhead-cam engine architecture retains the same 3.6L displacement as before, with an updated suite of advanced engine technologies. This includes improved variable valve timing for intake and exhaust, improved direct injection and for the first time, Active Fuel Management (cylinder deactivation), which disables two cylinders under light throttle applications. Horsepower and torque increase to an SAE-certified 308 hp (230 kW) at 6,800 rpm and 275 lb-ft (373 nM) at 4,000 rpm.
      The engine is mated to the class-exclusive eight-speed automatic. The GM-developed Hydra-Matic 8L45 is roughly the same size and weight as the 6L80 six-speed automatic it replaces. However, the eight-speed automatic offers a wider 7.0 overall gear ratio spread than the 6L80 transmission’s 6.0 ratio. This results in a numerically higher first gear ratio, helping drivers start off more confidently with a heavy load or when trailering, and numerically lower rear axle ratios that reduce engine rpm on the highway for improved efficiency.
      Extensive use of aluminum and magnesium, combined with similar packaging to the outgoing 6L80 transmission, equates to no increase in overall weight for Colorado models equipped with the new 8L45 transmission.
      The 2017 model year updates, including the new V-6 and eight-speed combination, will arrive at dealerships in the fourth quarter of this year. 
    • By William Maley
      Kia had an interesting powertrain concept on the floor of the 2014 Paris Motor Show. Revealed in the Optima T-Hybrid, the powertrain paired a 1.7L turbodiesel four-cylinder with a 48v electric supercharger. This worked in conjunction with a 48V starter/generator that turned it into a mild hybrid. Kia said this powertrain would cut emissions and fuel consumption for any vehicle by 15 to 20 percent. Since showing this powertrain, Kia has been hard at work on this project
      But then the Volkswagen diesel emission scandal hit and it has caused many automakers, Kia included, to rethink projects involving diesel engines. Speaking with Autocar, Hyundai-Kia's performance development boss Albert Biermann said it's becoming harder to justifying the costs to develop next-generation diesel engines in light of the Volkswagen mess and stricter emission standards.
      “The research project is still going on, but the cost of electric motors and batteries in a hybrid is already significant. The question is whether it is really necessary to throw in a more expensive diesel engine.”
      If Kia decides to scrap the diesel part of this powertrain, their efforts will not go to waste. Biermann said this system could be re-engineered for a gas engine.
      Source: Autocar

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