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William Maley

Rumorpile: A Change of Name for Fisker

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It has been awhile since we heard anything out of Fisker and its new owner, the Wanxiang Group. But Reuters has learned some new information about what could be in store.

Two sources tell Reuters that Wanxiang is planning to drop the Fisker name and use Elux. So instead of the Fisker Karma, it could be called the Elux Karma.

Speaking of the Karma, Reuters also learned that Wanxiang has pushed back the launch of the Karma to mid-2016 and will raise the price to $135,000. Sources also revealed that the Karma will not be built in Finland and that new production site hasn't been finalized.

Source: Reuters

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At the rate the group is going, they will totally miss the window for 6 digit EV auto's. I doubt they can get a production site, up and running and have product out in mid 2016. At best we will see this in 2017 or later.

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It seems like Wanxiang guys are Elon Musk fans - took the first and last syllables of the guy's name and made it cute to EL(on) (M)UX. :)

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Ew, just.  Ew.  Poke it with a stick.

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    • By William Maley
      Toyota unveiled a redesigned Avalon today at the Detroit Auto Show. The previous-generation marked a turning point for the big sedan as Toyota added a bit more style and worked on improving the handling characteristics. The new model hopes to improve on both.
      The new Avalon is very polarizing in terms of its design, especially in the front with a large grille featuring slats or a mesh insert, and narrow headlights. The body features a number of creases and a coupe-like roofline. Overall, the new Avalon is larger - length grows by 0.7 inches, width by 0.8 inches, and the wheelbase by 2 inches. Some of the increase is due to Toyota moving the Avalon to their TGNA modular platform - the same one that underpins the Camry and Prius.
      Moving inside, Toyota is going with a minimalist approach with a clean dash layout and minimal brightwork. A new 9-inch screen comes with the latest version of Toyota's Entune and (finally) Apple CarPlay integration. Those wanting Android Auto are out of luck, but hopefully, Toyota will add that down the road. Other tech features include a Wi-Fi hotspot, JBL 7.1-channel audio system, QI wireless charging, and Amazon Alexa integration. 
      Power will come from two different powertrains, an updated 3.5L V6 and a brand new hybrid system with a 2.5L four-cylinder. Toyota isn't spilling numbers, but it would be safe to assume it would be similar to the Camry.
      3.5L V6: 301 Horsepower, 267 Pound-feet of Torque
      Hybrid: 208 Horsepower (Total Output)
      The V6 will come paired with an eight-speed automatic, while the hybrid makes do with a CVT.
      Under the Avalon's skin, Toyota has fitted a new multi-link rear suspension setup with thicker stabilizer bars and revised springs to improve handling. The top-line Touring gets an adaptive suspension.
      For safety, the Avalon comes standard with a number of active safety features including adaptive cruise control, automatic high beams, blind spot monitoring,  lane departure warning with steering assist, and a pre-collision system with pedestrian detection.
      The 2019 Toyota Avalon arrives at dealers later this spring.
      Source: Toyota 
      Press Release is on Page 2


      Attainable Premium, Actualized: All-New 2019 Toyota Avalon Beams Effortless Sophistication, Style, and Exhilaration at the 2018 North American International Auto Show
      Designed and Assembled in the U.S.A., Five Generations Strong New V6 and Toyota Hybrid System Powertrains Offering More Power and MPG New TNGA K Sedan Platform with Multi-Link Rear Suspension and Available Toyota-First Adaptive Variable Suspension (AVS) Standard Entune 3.0 with WiFi Hotspot, Qi Wireless Charging, Toyota Remote Connect with Smartwatch and Amazon Alexa Connectivity, and Apple CarPlay Standard Toyota Safety Sense P (TSS-P) On Sale in Late Spring 2018 DETROIT, January 15, 2018 – The roads of Avalon, the mystical paradise that inspired Toyota’s flagship nameplate, have likely never seen a mid-premium sedan like this. Safe to say, neither has the North American International Auto Show. Until now.  
       
      Underpinned by a Toyota New Global Architecture (TNGA) platform, and powered by a fuel-efficient 3.5-liter V6 or Toyota Hybrid System (THS II) powertrain, the 2019 Toyota Avalon embodies consumers’ overarching desire for high-caliber, design-centric, technologically-savvy modes of attainable, premium transportation.
       
      To its menu, Avalon mixes a bevy of Toyota-firsts such as standard Apple CarPlay and Dynamic Auxiliary Turn Signals, available authentic Yamaha wood and aluminum cabin accents, and Engine Sound Enhancement. In addition, drivers will appreciate the standard passive and active safety benefits through Toyota Safety Sense P (TSS-P), as well as athletic handling thanks to its available Adaptive Variable Suspension (AVS), also a Toyota first, that, quite positively, has Avalon out-performing its peers.
       
      Bar, you’ve just been raised.
       
      Flagship Makeover
       
      For its fifth generation, Avalon received an all-encompassing makeover by Toyota’s U.S.-based design, engineering, and manufacturing entities at Calty Design Research Inc. (Calty) in Ann Arbor, Michigan; Toyota Motor North America Research and Development (TMNA R&D) in Saline, Michigan; and Toyota Motor Manufacturing, Kentucky, Inc. (TMMK) in Georgetown, Kentucky, respectively. Spearheaded by Chief Engineer, Randy Stephens, and Calty President, Kevin Hunter, the brain trust masterminded an Avalon that represents multilateral progressiveness – for itself, its diverse group of drivers, and, for Toyota.
       
      The teams minded two keywords throughout their development paradigm: Authenticity and Exhilaration. Both were applied in every area of Avalon’s sophisticated essence, and throughout the four available grades: the athletic XSE (all-new) and Touring, as well as the more opulent XLE and Limited. Hybrid grades include XLE, Limited, and XSE.
       
      Hello, Technical Beauty
       
      A wealth of Calty signature elements cocoons Avalon’s long, low-slung TNGA musculature. Its expressive looks diligently reflect the mixture of all-encompassing, performance-focused personality, the invigorating driver experience, and a premium, spacious image.
       
      A philosophy of Technical Beauty permeates Avalon’s body lines and cabin landscapes. Technical, which aligns with Authenticity, represents purpose and performance – tangible elements of the sedan’s style. Beauty, which aligns with Exhilaration, represents onlookers’ emotional reaction to Avalon’s taut lines and sleek silhouette.
       
      Because of its adaptable TNGA core, the Calty team penned Avalon’s exterior to be longer, lower, and wider than before. Unique, never-before-accomplished stamping methods also aided in the deep draw panels that express distinguishable sculpted forms. Complex surfaces could now be shaped, like at Avalon’s door handles that coincide with its profile’s bold character line. A distinct, carved lower rocker panel behind the front wheels visually exemplifies the benefits of TNGA.
       
      Avalon’s dimensions echo the seductive physiques of high-dollar premium vehicles. Its cabin, however, keeps its characteristic low-profile heritage by extending the rear cabin farther by another 7 inches, and elongating side quarter glass and downward tapered C-Pillar by 2.2 inches. To finalize the ingenious profile, engineers and designers implemented a 0.31-inch radius corner – the tightest ever for Toyota – fore of the steep pillar.
       
      Avalon’s various height measurements have been trimmed: overall (by 1 in. to 56.5 in.), cowl (by 1.2 in.), and rear deck (by 0.8 in.). So too have front and rear overhangs (down 0.4 in. and 1.0 in., respectively). Along with its wider front (up 0.4 in.) and rear (up 1.5 in.) tracks, width (up 0.8 in. to 72.8 in.), and wheelbase (up 2.0 in.), Avalon’s premium aura and sporty stature are further emphasized.
       
      Nowhere is Toyota’s “Under Priority” brand identity (a direction that prioritizes aerodynamic efficiency, cooling, and pedestrian protection) more clear than at Avalon’s stunning face. Available slim all-LED projector headlights simultaneously speak to its sportiness and elegance. They’re but a piece of the façade’s compelling story, though, that depicts the intersection of three-dimensional surfaces and assorted functions – the aluminum hood’s longitudinal lines and lightweight build; the wide, modern grilles built for air-slicing sleekness; tangential vents at its lower portion crafted for the effective direction of passing air across the front tires and along Avalon’s buff flanks. The chiseled doors achieve a deeper character line thanks to TNGA prototype stamping applied at TMMK.
       
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      Enlightened Lighting
       
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      Cockpit Meets Cocoon
       
      Avalon’s fluency in luxuriousness and exhilarating extroversions isn’t restrained to its provocative looks. Its TNGA platform’s thin structural pillars and broad windshield lend to the wide, open impression that passengers garner, be they seated in front or rear rows.
       
      Upon opening Avalon’s doors, an overarching simplicity and a purposeful placement of amenities and controls welcomes passengers. Authentic materials, such as the available Yamaha-sourced wood-trim and authentic aluminum pieces, accent arm rests, center console, and instrument panels.
       
      Soft-touch materials are noticeable throughout – around the flowing, low-profile center console decorated in piano black trim; on the slim, tiered instrument panel leading into the doors; in the rear compartment, where doors and console mirror the impressive craftsmanship seen in the front cockpit. A rear cup and device holder, accented in piano black and satin chrome-finish, folds up and down in the armrest between passengers. Ahead of their knees and within arm’s reach: air vents, controls for the available seat warmers, and essential USB charging ports. Deep curvatures in the doors’ armrests provide passengers with ample surface area and comfort during long commutes. Rear seat roominess is exemplified by Avalon’s segment-best measurements in three categories: shoulder room (57.1 in.), leg space (40.3 in. for V6; 40.4 in. for Hybrid), and headroom (37.5 in. for V6; 37.1 in. for Hybrid).
       
      Material differentiation between grades is minimal; engineered wood trim is found on XLE, while Limited features real wood trim. Aluminum pieces adorn Touring’s and XSE’s cabins. A mix of Perforated Ultrasuede wraps all seating in Touring and XSE; Softex seats within XLE receive artistic vertical stitching. Limited goes beyond this creative approach by adding a quilt pattern, special perforation, and two-color stitches – all unique to Toyota.
       
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      At the front seats, attentions are immediately fixated on Avalon’s slim center stack. The thin panel houses Avalon’s 9-inch multimedia system (MMS) displaying audio and navigation, and integrates the automotive climate control system. Satin chrome-finish decoration surrounds the center cluster panel that “floats” above the instrument panel, further emphasizing the balanced aura of the modern atmosphere. Below the panel, passengers have easy access to the slide-open eBin containing a 12-volt plug and the standard wireless Qi mobile device charger. A trio of USB power ports (making for five total) is located inside the center console. A part cup-holder, part phone cradle located atop the front console, sits adjacent to the gear selector; supple padding lines either side of the console’s lower tunnel at knee height.
       
      A three-spoke steering wheel welcomes drivers’ eyes and hands with smooth, satin chrome-finish accents and conveniently placed multifunction controls. Visually, the wheel’s aesthetic is neater, having a trimmed inner physique and smaller switch cluster, while hand grips have been enlarged. Cruise Control is now accessible on the wheel’s right spoke. Also for the first time in Avalon, the steering wheel can be wrapped in a two-tone leather-surface when outfitted in Cognac or gray.
       
      Past the steering wheel, a 7-inch Multi-Information Display (MID) shows vehicle information, turn-by-turn navigation, and various vehicle settings (including those pertaining to Lane Departure Alert with Steering Assist, Pre-Collision System with Pedestrian Detection, available Intelligent Clearance Sonar, Blind Spot Monitor with Rear Cross-Traffic Alert, and Head-Up Display). Two new menus can be accessed by drivers, including a digital speedometer and, in Hybrid grades, a digital tachometer when its shifter is in “S” mode.
       
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      Mega Multimedia
       
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      Entune 3.0 Toyota Connected Services include: Safety Connect and Service Connect with a 3-year trial period, and Remote Connect with a 6-month trial. Wi-Fi Connect Powered by Verizon trial with up to 2GB within 6 months and Entune 3.0 App Suite is subscription-free.
       
      The system’s new 9-inch capacitive touchscreen can be pinched and flicked, just like personal mobile devices – perfect for pinpointing your favorite pizza joint. Its refresh rate is quicker, its voice recognition is more perceptive, and it better recognizes users’ gestures.
       
      Avalon will also feature Toyota’s first integration of smartwatch or Amazon Alexa-enabled device connectivity, as part of Toyota Remote Connect. This innovative connection allows drivers to lock/unlock their doors, start their engine, or check their fuel level, 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-to-car and car-to-home interactions.
       
      With a standard 14-speaker system – the most speakers in the segment – and full suite of Entune 3.0 Premium Audio, passengers seated within Limited and Touring grades are treated to unprecedented aural and visual stimulus. Many Toyota-first applications with advanced software and hardware are optional for XLE and XSE drivers as well. They too can be equipped with embedded Dynamic Navigation.
       
      1200 Watts, Tailored by JBL
       
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      Key highlights:
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      Mid-Size Sedan Heart, Small Car Efficiency
       
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      The TNGA-derived V6 develops more power with less fuel consumption than ever before. Achieving the two took the application of D-4S direct injection, along with an updated VVT-iW (Variable Valve Timing-intelligent Wide) variable valve timing system.
       
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      Gears for All Occasions
       
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      Its eight gear ratios balance wide range and close ratios, therefore enhancing power application and fuel efficiency. A wider range, specifically at the increased 8th gear ratio, allows for improved high-speed cruising fuel economy. Close ratios at the mid-range gears improve passing power.
       
      A new torque converter provides a wider range of lock-up operation (versus the outgoing 6-speed automatic transmission) to imbue a more enveloping and direct driving feel. The converter contributes to low fuel consumption and passenger comfort, since engine revving is kept to a minimum.
       
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      Avalon Hybrid: The Most Fuel Efficient Avalon Ever
       
      A new TNGA 2.5-liter four-cylinder Dynamic Force Engine is more fuel efficient, runs cleaner, and is more powerful than previous iterations, and excels at dissipating thermal inefficiencies. Doing it all took the implementation of Toyota’s vast catalog of advanced engine technologies: Dual VVT-i with VVT-iE (Variable Valve Timing intelligent system by Electric motor); D-4S (Direct injection 4-stroke gasoline engine Superior version) direct injection and laser-clad valve seats; longer stroke (4.07 inches; bore remains at 3.44 inches) and high compression ratio (14:1); multi-hole direct fuel injectors; a variable cooling system; cooled Exhaust Gas Recirculation (EGR) system; and a full variable oil pump.
       
      Instead of oil pressure, its Dual VVT-i with VVT-iE variable valve system employs an electric motor to control variable valve timing, which aids fuel efficiency and promotes cleaner exhaust emissions (this is especially helpful in cold climates). The D-4S direct injection combines higher-pressure direct fuel injection (DI) and lower-pressure port fuel injection (PFI), and applies each method of injection based on specific driving parameters. Furthering fuel efficiency are new multi-hole nozzle direct injectors (six holes per injector).
       
      The Ultimate Happy Marriage 
       
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      Auto Glide Control (AGC), yet another of Avalon’s fuel-saving technologies, automatically calculates efficient coasting. When driving normally, engine braking will slow the vehicle down when the driver lifts off from the accelerator pedal. However, to avoid aggressive engine braking, AGC limits the loss of vehicle speed through an automatic drive setting that acts more like a neutral gear, allowing the vehicle to coast to the stoplight.
       
      A light indicating “AGC” is illuminated on the Multi-Information Display (MID) when AGC is active to alert the driver that less deceleration torque than normal is currently being used.  AGC can only be activated when the vehicle is being operated in the ECO drive mode setting.
       
      But who said all hybrids are docile?
       
      Adding more than a sprinkle of spark to Avalon Hybrid’s sporty skillset is the inclusion of a new Sport drive mode and Sequential Shiftmatic technology. The Sport drive mode applies power from the hybrid system for improved acceleration and, as a bonus, all drive modes, including Sport, can each be used while EV mode is activated. With Shiftmatic technology, XSE drivers can “shift” through the Continuously-Variable Transmission’s six simulated gears via steering-wheel mounted paddles or the gearshift.
       
      Piquing the Adventurous Side
       
      Complementing Avalon’s daring looks is a thrilling drive personality imbued by an array of available sport-oriented tools – which, together, represent a Toyota first. Adaptive Variable Suspension (AVS), Intake Sound Generator (ISG), grade-specific exhaust baffle tuning, Active Noise Control (ANC), and Engine Sound Enhancement (ESE) fully exemplify Avalon’s most adventurous zeal ever. A more comprehensive four-level drive mode selection – which includes Eco, Normal, Sport/ Sport+, and Custom – is available on Touring, too. All other grades receive a three-level drive mode selection (Eco, Normal, Sport).
       
      Touring’s standard Adaptive Variable Suspension (AVS) provides real-time damping control to maximize controllability and sharp handling. The astute setup reduces Avalon’s posture fluctuations under hard or sudden directional changes, limits body movements, and yet absorbs nasty road undulations for a comfortable, flat ride.
       
      AVS relies on three primary systems to accomplish its mission: shock absorbers at each corner that have solenoid control valves for 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.
       
      Levels of AVS’ damping force are continuously variable, with a maximum of 650 steps. Changes in solenoid force – which restrict absorber fluid and, thus, damping – happen in an incredible 20 milliseconds. Drivers can adjust Avalon’s ride feel with the simple depression of a button – Normal mode prioritizes comfort, while Sport+ emphasizes handling with tauter, highly responsive footing without diminishing Avalon’s celebrated ride suppleness. Progressing from Normal to Sport+ also benefits Avalon’s liveliness. For example, throttle response becomes quicker, the Electronic Power Steering’s (EPS) feel emphasizes feedback, and its engine sound is enhanced through ESE.
       
      The new multi-link rear suspension allows for the enhancement of many positive performance attributes, such as a wider rear track, lower center of gravity, and an aggressive stance. Revised trailing arms have been installed at a higher position to place the pivot axis of the tire rearward for better bump absorption. The setup’s shock absorbers are tilted forward, too, to realize a suppler ride. Bushings on the trailing arms and arm joints further mask passing road imperfections.
       
      Although not equipped with AVS, XLE, Limited, and XSE take full advantage of their innately sporty platform and multi-link rear suspension and, to them, add thicker stabilizer bars and stiffer spring rates for maximum handling dexterity. Spring stiffness, for example, is increased 25 percent when comparing XLE to Limited; stabilizer bar stiffness is up 38 percent and 62 percent, front and rear, respectively, when progressing from XLE to XSE.
       
      World Class Acoustics, Inside and Out
       
      Avalon’s refined acoustic repertoire spans inside and out. Through Sport+, passengers receive a concerto of exciting, natural sounds through a new exhaust system with sport modified baffles, an Intake Sound Generator (ISG), Active Noise Control (ANC), and Engine Sound Enhancement (ESE).
       
      ISG amplifies the engine’s air inhalation sound to create robust vocalization and, on the exhalation end, the all-new exhaust with baffle tuning ups the sound character at start-up, idle, and acceleration. ANC and ESE work to cancel any unwanted exterior noise while simultaneously enhancing engine sound via the JBL multimedia system’s in-cabin speakers. Exceptional engine notes at start-up are also enhanced; a hearty “flare” of sound occurs right before idle upon start-up. At wide-open-throttle acceleration, more engine grunt is heard throughout the rev range.
       
      For all its added energetic vocalization, Avalon never ceases to deliver a civilized, library-quiet interior, if desired. Road noise and engine droning have been culled while cruising quietness and engine sound have been improved. Its TNGA platform utilizes additional seals where front fenders meet front doors and where the doors merge at the B-Pillar. More sound absorption material is found in the engine bay, within the carpet pad, under the floor, and in the wheel well liners. The exterior rearview mirrors not only reduce drag, but also wind noise, making for an extremely quite environment for all.
       
      Top Toyota Safety Tech
       
      Avalon’s standard Toyota Safety Sense P (TSS-P) suite of safety systems and technologies represents one step closer to achieving Toyota Motor Corporation’s ultimate goal of zero casualties from traffic accidents.
       
      TSS-P bundles cutting edge active safety technologies including Pre-Collision System with Pedestrian Detection (PCS w/PD), Full-Speed Range Dynamic Radar Cruise Control (DRCC), Lane Departure Alert with Steering Assist (LDA w/SA); and Automatic High Beams (AHB). Additional standard safety technology includes Blind Spot Monitor (BSM) with Rear Cross Traffic Alert (RCTA) and Back Guide Monitor (BGM).
       
      Also available are Panoramic View Monitor with Alert (PVMA) and Intelligent Clearance Sonar (ICS), which now includes a Rear Cross Traffic Braking (RCTB) system.
       
      All 2019 Avalons have 10 standard airbags and Toyota’s Star Safety System, which includes Enhanced Vehicle Stability Control, Traction Control, Electronic Brake-force Distribution, Brake Assist, Anti-lock Braking System, and Smart Stop Technology. All Avalons also come equipped with a standard backup camera.

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    • By William Maley
      Toyota unveiled a redesigned Avalon today at the Detroit Auto Show. The previous-generation marked a turning point for the big sedan as Toyota added a bit more style and worked on improving the handling characteristics. The new model hopes to improve on both.
      The new Avalon is very polarizing in terms of its design, especially in the front with a large grille featuring slats or a mesh insert, and narrow headlights. The body features a number of creases and a coupe-like roofline. Overall, the new Avalon is larger - length grows by 0.7 inches, width by 0.8 inches, and the wheelbase by 2 inches. Some of the increase is due to Toyota moving the Avalon to their TGNA modular platform - the same one that underpins the Camry and Prius.
      Moving inside, Toyota is going with a minimalist approach with a clean dash layout and minimal brightwork. A new 9-inch screen comes with the latest version of Toyota's Entune and (finally) Apple CarPlay integration. Those wanting Android Auto are out of luck, but hopefully, Toyota will add that down the road. Other tech features include a Wi-Fi hotspot, JBL 7.1-channel audio system, QI wireless charging, and Amazon Alexa integration. 
      Power will come from two different powertrains, an updated 3.5L V6 and a brand new hybrid system with a 2.5L four-cylinder. Toyota isn't spilling numbers, but it would be safe to assume it would be similar to the Camry.
      3.5L V6: 301 Horsepower, 267 Pound-feet of Torque
      Hybrid: 208 Horsepower (Total Output)
      The V6 will come paired with an eight-speed automatic, while the hybrid makes do with a CVT.
      Under the Avalon's skin, Toyota has fitted a new multi-link rear suspension setup with thicker stabilizer bars and revised springs to improve handling. The top-line Touring gets an adaptive suspension.
      For safety, the Avalon comes standard with a number of active safety features including adaptive cruise control, automatic high beams, blind spot monitoring,  lane departure warning with steering assist, and a pre-collision system with pedestrian detection.
      The 2019 Toyota Avalon arrives at dealers later this spring.
      Source: Toyota 
      Press Release is on Page 2


      Attainable Premium, Actualized: All-New 2019 Toyota Avalon Beams Effortless Sophistication, Style, and Exhilaration at the 2018 North American International Auto Show
      Designed and Assembled in the U.S.A., Five Generations Strong New V6 and Toyota Hybrid System Powertrains Offering More Power and MPG New TNGA K Sedan Platform with Multi-Link Rear Suspension and Available Toyota-First Adaptive Variable Suspension (AVS) Standard Entune 3.0 with WiFi Hotspot, Qi Wireless Charging, Toyota Remote Connect with Smartwatch and Amazon Alexa Connectivity, and Apple CarPlay Standard Toyota Safety Sense P (TSS-P) On Sale in Late Spring 2018 DETROIT, January 15, 2018 – The roads of Avalon, the mystical paradise that inspired Toyota’s flagship nameplate, have likely never seen a mid-premium sedan like this. Safe to say, neither has the North American International Auto Show. Until now.  
       
      Underpinned by a Toyota New Global Architecture (TNGA) platform, and powered by a fuel-efficient 3.5-liter V6 or Toyota Hybrid System (THS II) powertrain, the 2019 Toyota Avalon embodies consumers’ overarching desire for high-caliber, design-centric, technologically-savvy modes of attainable, premium transportation.
       
      To its menu, Avalon mixes a bevy of Toyota-firsts such as standard Apple CarPlay and Dynamic Auxiliary Turn Signals, available authentic Yamaha wood and aluminum cabin accents, and Engine Sound Enhancement. In addition, drivers will appreciate the standard passive and active safety benefits through Toyota Safety Sense P (TSS-P), as well as athletic handling thanks to its available Adaptive Variable Suspension (AVS), also a Toyota first, that, quite positively, has Avalon out-performing its peers.
       
      Bar, you’ve just been raised.
       
      Flagship Makeover
       
      For its fifth generation, Avalon received an all-encompassing makeover by Toyota’s U.S.-based design, engineering, and manufacturing entities at Calty Design Research Inc. (Calty) in Ann Arbor, Michigan; Toyota Motor North America Research and Development (TMNA R&D) in Saline, Michigan; and Toyota Motor Manufacturing, Kentucky, Inc. (TMMK) in Georgetown, Kentucky, respectively. Spearheaded by Chief Engineer, Randy Stephens, and Calty President, Kevin Hunter, the brain trust masterminded an Avalon that represents multilateral progressiveness – for itself, its diverse group of drivers, and, for Toyota.
       
      The teams minded two keywords throughout their development paradigm: Authenticity and Exhilaration. Both were applied in every area of Avalon’s sophisticated essence, and throughout the four available grades: the athletic XSE (all-new) and Touring, as well as the more opulent XLE and Limited. Hybrid grades include XLE, Limited, and XSE.
       
      Hello, Technical Beauty
       
      A wealth of Calty signature elements cocoons Avalon’s long, low-slung TNGA musculature. Its expressive looks diligently reflect the mixture of all-encompassing, performance-focused personality, the invigorating driver experience, and a premium, spacious image.
       
      A philosophy of Technical Beauty permeates Avalon’s body lines and cabin landscapes. Technical, which aligns with Authenticity, represents purpose and performance – tangible elements of the sedan’s style. Beauty, which aligns with Exhilaration, represents onlookers’ emotional reaction to Avalon’s taut lines and sleek silhouette.
       
      Because of its adaptable TNGA core, the Calty team penned Avalon’s exterior to be longer, lower, and wider than before. Unique, never-before-accomplished stamping methods also aided in the deep draw panels that express distinguishable sculpted forms. Complex surfaces could now be shaped, like at Avalon’s door handles that coincide with its profile’s bold character line. A distinct, carved lower rocker panel behind the front wheels visually exemplifies the benefits of TNGA.
       
      Avalon’s dimensions echo the seductive physiques of high-dollar premium vehicles. Its cabin, however, keeps its characteristic low-profile heritage by extending the rear cabin farther by another 7 inches, and elongating side quarter glass and downward tapered C-Pillar by 2.2 inches. To finalize the ingenious profile, engineers and designers implemented a 0.31-inch radius corner – the tightest ever for Toyota – fore of the steep pillar.
       
      Avalon’s various height measurements have been trimmed: overall (by 1 in. to 56.5 in.), cowl (by 1.2 in.), and rear deck (by 0.8 in.). So too have front and rear overhangs (down 0.4 in. and 1.0 in., respectively). Along with its wider front (up 0.4 in.) and rear (up 1.5 in.) tracks, width (up 0.8 in. to 72.8 in.), and wheelbase (up 2.0 in.), Avalon’s premium aura and sporty stature are further emphasized.
       
      Nowhere is Toyota’s “Under Priority” brand identity (a direction that prioritizes aerodynamic efficiency, cooling, and pedestrian protection) more clear than at Avalon’s stunning face. Available slim all-LED projector headlights simultaneously speak to its sportiness and elegance. They’re but a piece of the façade’s compelling story, though, that depicts the intersection of three-dimensional surfaces and assorted functions – the aluminum hood’s longitudinal lines and lightweight build; the wide, modern grilles built for air-slicing sleekness; tangential vents at its lower portion crafted for the effective direction of passing air across the front tires and along Avalon’s buff flanks. The chiseled doors achieve a deeper character line thanks to TNGA prototype stamping applied at TMMK.
       
      Simple horizontal character lines slice across the backside, at the top, center, and lower portions. Its 72.8-in. width, in effect, is highlighted substantially by the distinct sectioning. Connected LED tail lamps shaped in a three-dimensional, “aero fin” style differentiate the landscape from the current iteration. They integrate backup, stop, and turn lights into a single harmonious, fluid form.
       
      Differences between the grades are clear. A dark gray front grille with chrome border, for instance, is a telltale sign of the XLE and Limited versions. So too are the machined-silver LED headlight bezels, body-color rearview mirror housings, and unique wheels ranging in diameter from 17 to 19 inches. Chrome badge letters, as well as dual exhaust with chrome tips individualize the grades.
       
      A more aggressive attitude is worn by XSE and Touring. A piano black mesh grille, machine-finish and Gloss Black wheels, as well as black outer mirror housings are special to the grades. Headlight bezels – also in black – create an engaging mystique never before possessed by Avalon. Rear traits include trunk lid spoiler and badging in black, and a grade-specific lower diffuser set above and between quad tailpipes.
       
      The lineup adopts two all-new Toyota colors: Opulent Amber and Harbor Gray Metallic. Carryover colors include Celestial Silver Metallic, Midnight Black Metallic, and Parisian Night Pearl; new-for-Avalon options include Wind Chill Pearl and Ruby Flare Pearl.
       
      Form follows function in Avalon. The tangential vents at the front, its rear spoiler, and the substantial underbody panel coverage, from front nose to tail, minimize aerodynamic inefficiencies and give Avalon a 0.27 coefficient of drag – besting the outgoing model’s 0.28 Cd.
      Enlightened Lighting
       
      Avalon’s available LED Vision Tech headlamps are the most advanced lighting realized by Toyota. The slim headlights employed by XLE and XSE grades utilize a cluster of three reflectors for Daytime Running Lights (DRL) and low- and high-beam functions, providing exceptional light disbursement in an array of situations, including foul, low-visibility weather.
       
      For Limited and Touring, each headlamp is comprised of thin lighting modules – one for low beam, another for high – plus, an Adaptive LED Cornering lamp and a Dynamic Auxiliary Turn Signal. Each is a Toyota First. The innovative cornering lamps enhance visibility around corners and curves during low- and high-speed maneuvers, as well as when changing lanes or when reversing. The lamp fades in and out for seamless activations and transitions, and adds 60 percent more foreground width to the low beam’s pattern. The Dynamic Auxiliary Turn Signal provides an added degree of noticeable visibility by activating each auxiliary diode in sequential fashion, rather than all on, all off.
       
      Another Toyota first intersects the trifecta of lighting elements within the headlamp: Signature DRL and Parking Light with Technical Laser Ablation. The technology allows light to transmit through its transparent areas encased by a laser-ablated, metallized inner lens. Laser ablation creates a specialized texture by way of intricate patterning.
       
      Avalon’s LED taillights also implement laser ablation on Limited and Touring’s units, as well as Dynamic Auxiliary Turn Signal. The lamps’ three-dimensional Aero Fin Jet makeup insets the reverse indicator below the rear lamp, effectively widening the look of the housing, and, in turn, the sedan’s muscular hips.
       
      Cockpit Meets Cocoon
       
      Avalon’s fluency in luxuriousness and exhilarating extroversions isn’t restrained to its provocative looks. Its TNGA platform’s thin structural pillars and broad windshield lend to the wide, open impression that passengers garner, be they seated in front or rear rows.
       
      Upon opening Avalon’s doors, an overarching simplicity and a purposeful placement of amenities and controls welcomes passengers. Authentic materials, such as the available Yamaha-sourced wood-trim and authentic aluminum pieces, accent arm rests, center console, and instrument panels.
       
      Soft-touch materials are noticeable throughout – around the flowing, low-profile center console decorated in piano black trim; on the slim, tiered instrument panel leading into the doors; in the rear compartment, where doors and console mirror the impressive craftsmanship seen in the front cockpit. A rear cup and device holder, accented in piano black and satin chrome-finish, folds up and down in the armrest between passengers. Ahead of their knees and within arm’s reach: air vents, controls for the available seat warmers, and essential USB charging ports. Deep curvatures in the doors’ armrests provide passengers with ample surface area and comfort during long commutes. Rear seat roominess is exemplified by Avalon’s segment-best measurements in three categories: shoulder room (57.1 in.), leg space (40.3 in. for V6; 40.4 in. for Hybrid), and headroom (37.5 in. for V6; 37.1 in. for Hybrid).
       
      Material differentiation between grades is minimal; engineered wood trim is found on XLE, while Limited features real wood trim. Aluminum pieces adorn Touring’s and XSE’s cabins. A mix of Perforated Ultrasuede wraps all seating in Touring and XSE; Softex seats within XLE receive artistic vertical stitching. Limited goes beyond this creative approach by adding a quilt pattern, special perforation, and two-color stitches – all unique to Toyota.
       
      New-for-2019 Cognac colored leather-surfaces highlights Limited’s upscale vibe. Joining Cognac in Limited’s color quiver are available gray and beige leather-trim; XSE and Touring can be had in either gray or black Perforated Ultrasuede; XLE receives a trio of color offerings with gray, beige, or black Softex.
       
      At the front seats, attentions are immediately fixated on Avalon’s slim center stack. The thin panel houses Avalon’s 9-inch multimedia system (MMS) displaying audio and navigation, and integrates the automotive climate control system. Satin chrome-finish decoration surrounds the center cluster panel that “floats” above the instrument panel, further emphasizing the balanced aura of the modern atmosphere. Below the panel, passengers have easy access to the slide-open eBin containing a 12-volt plug and the standard wireless Qi mobile device charger. A trio of USB power ports (making for five total) is located inside the center console. A part cup-holder, part phone cradle located atop the front console, sits adjacent to the gear selector; supple padding lines either side of the console’s lower tunnel at knee height.
       
      A three-spoke steering wheel welcomes drivers’ eyes and hands with smooth, satin chrome-finish accents and conveniently placed multifunction controls. Visually, the wheel’s aesthetic is neater, having a trimmed inner physique and smaller switch cluster, while hand grips have been enlarged. Cruise Control is now accessible on the wheel’s right spoke. Also for the first time in Avalon, the steering wheel can be wrapped in a two-tone leather-surface when outfitted in Cognac or gray.
       
      Past the steering wheel, a 7-inch Multi-Information Display (MID) shows vehicle information, turn-by-turn navigation, and various vehicle settings (including those pertaining to Lane Departure Alert with Steering Assist, Pre-Collision System with Pedestrian Detection, available Intelligent Clearance Sonar, Blind Spot Monitor with Rear Cross-Traffic Alert, and Head-Up Display). Two new menus can be accessed by drivers, including a digital speedometer and, in Hybrid grades, a digital tachometer when its shifter is in “S” mode.
       
      On the MID’s left, there’s a tachometer with long bright white needles and updated typeface. On its right, a speedometer. Hybrid grades receive the same central 7-inch screen, but to its left sits a Hybrid System Indicator showing the vehicle’s regeneration status in CHG (charge), ECO (economy), or PWR (power) in real time. Save for XLE’s gauges, the tachometer/hybrid powertrain meter and speedometer on XSE, Limited, and Touring are surrounded by 3D Glow Rings. A chrome ring borders the entire meter cluster on all grades.
       
      Limited and Touring’s standard color 10-inch Head-Up Display (HUD) – the biggest in the segment – clearly projects important info, such as vehicle and engine speeds, turn-by-turn directions, audio settings, and drive mode, right onto the lower portion of the windshield. It helps drivers stay focused on the road ahead, and is one third of Avalon’s “driver control zone” made of MMS, MID, and HUD. All of them align seamlessly for optimum communication between occupants and vehicle.
      Mega Multimedia
       
      A JBL performance audio system is standard on Limited and Touring grades and is available on XLE and XSE grades. XLE and XSE passengers can listen to crisp tunes on a standard 8-speaker system having Entune 3.0 Audio Plus with Connected Navigation Scout GPS Link App and Entune 3.0 App Suite Connect, featuring new in-vehicle third-party applications. Apple CarPlay is standard on all grades.
       
      Entune 3.0 Toyota Connected Services include: Safety Connect and Service Connect with a 3-year trial period, and Remote Connect with a 6-month trial. Wi-Fi Connect Powered by Verizon trial with up to 2GB within 6 months and Entune 3.0 App Suite is subscription-free.
       
      The system’s new 9-inch capacitive touchscreen can be pinched and flicked, just like personal mobile devices – perfect for pinpointing your favorite pizza joint. Its refresh rate is quicker, its voice recognition is more perceptive, and it better recognizes users’ gestures.
       
      Avalon will also feature Toyota’s first integration of smartwatch or Amazon Alexa-enabled device connectivity, as part of Toyota Remote Connect. This innovative connection allows drivers to lock/unlock their doors, start their engine, or check their fuel level, 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-to-car and car-to-home interactions.
       
      With a standard 14-speaker system – the most speakers in the segment – and full suite of Entune 3.0 Premium Audio, passengers seated within Limited and Touring grades are treated to unprecedented aural and visual stimulus. Many Toyota-first applications with advanced software and hardware are optional for XLE and XSE drivers as well. They too can be equipped with embedded Dynamic Navigation.
       
      1200 Watts, Tailored by JBL
       
      Engineers benchmarked the best systems, two vehicle classes up, into the higher-priced premium large sedan segment. The result: a 14-speaker, 1200-watt, precisely-tuned 7.1-channel surround sound that leverages the benefits of a robust TNGA structure, and utilizes the top in hardware, structural engineering, and software technology.
       
      Key highlights:
      Hardware: Four 1-inch freestanding JB Horn Tweeters control the directivity of sound waves to maximize the optimal listening area at ear level One 12-channel next-generation, Class-D HID12 amplifier to pump 1200 watts of total power to the system, allowing for improved performance and unparalleled efficiency One 10-inch Dual Voice Coil Subwoofer to provide more powerful, deep bass response Two 6-inch Wide Dispersion Speakers in rear doors Two 8x9-inch Wide Dispersion Woofers in front doors Five 3-inch Wide Dispersion Midrange Speakers throughout Software: Clari-Fi rebuilds crucial audio signals lost during digital compression Quantum Logic Surround (Toyota First) to create an unprecedented 7.1-channel surround sound listening experience from any signal source Structure: Sealed inner doors for cleaner, more powerful bass JBL Branding, located on A-Pillar, door trim, and multimedia display The Toyota first Quantum Logic Surround combines individual signal streams of music by using patented filter bank technology and psychoacoustic modeling to create an immersive multi-channel listening experience with exceptional clarity, detail, and image specificity. Clari-Fi analyzes audio streams in real time, rebuilds key details lost in processing, and restores high-fidelity.
      Mid-Size Sedan Heart, Small Car Efficiency
       
      Hustle, athleticism, and fuel-efficiency. Each of these riveting traits has improved, in large part, because of two new TNGA powertrains: a punchy 3.5-liter V6 (2GR-FKS), and, a 2.5-liter Dynamic Force four-cylinder Toyota Hybrid System II (THS II) with 650-volt electric motor (A25A-FXS) and Continuously-Variable Transmission (CVT). Avalon Hybrid continues to be the only full hybrid vehicle in the segment.
       
      The TNGA-derived V6 develops more power with less fuel consumption than ever before. Achieving the two took the application of D-4S direct injection, along with an updated VVT-iW (Variable Valve Timing-intelligent Wide) variable valve timing system.
       
      The VVT-iW system is employed on the intake cycle, with VVT-i (Variable Valve Timing - Intelligent) activated on exhaust. With VVT-iW in place, engineers ensured optimal torque creation at all engine speeds, and minimized pumping losses during the closing of intake valves, which furthered fuel efficiency. The use of Atkinson cycle, too, reduces the V6’s fuel appetite, particularly in cold climates or during wide-open throttle (WOT) situations.
       
      Other V6 specifications include a 11.8:1 compression ratio and bore (3.7 in.) and stroke (3.3 in.) dimensions.
       
      Gears for All Occasions
       
      An all-new TNGA 8-speed Direct Shift-8AT automatic transaxle gearbox (UA80E) channels power to the Avalon’s front wheels. It merges smooth, precise gear selection throughout the RPM range with an alacrity for fuel efficiency and on-demand power. Its revised logic control better matches vehicle speed, engine speed, and torque engagement, while also facilitating poised downshifts.
       
      Its eight gear ratios balance wide range and close ratios, therefore enhancing power application and fuel efficiency. A wider range, specifically at the increased 8th gear ratio, allows for improved high-speed cruising fuel economy. Close ratios at the mid-range gears improve passing power.
       
      A new torque converter provides a wider range of lock-up operation (versus the outgoing 6-speed automatic transmission) to imbue a more enveloping and direct driving feel. The converter contributes to low fuel consumption and passenger comfort, since engine revving is kept to a minimum.
       
      The most thrilling shifting experience, however, is reserved for XSE and Touring drivers, whose optional steering wheel-mounted paddle shifters up Avalon’s sportiness ante without question. The paddles give quick access to gear selection, and when downshifting, the gearbox automatically “rev-matches” for smoother shifts.
       
      Avalon Hybrid: The Most Fuel Efficient Avalon Ever
       
      A new TNGA 2.5-liter four-cylinder Dynamic Force Engine is more fuel efficient, runs cleaner, and is more powerful than previous iterations, and excels at dissipating thermal inefficiencies. Doing it all took the implementation of Toyota’s vast catalog of advanced engine technologies: Dual VVT-i with VVT-iE (Variable Valve Timing intelligent system by Electric motor); D-4S (Direct injection 4-stroke gasoline engine Superior version) direct injection and laser-clad valve seats; longer stroke (4.07 inches; bore remains at 3.44 inches) and high compression ratio (14:1); multi-hole direct fuel injectors; a variable cooling system; cooled Exhaust Gas Recirculation (EGR) system; and a full variable oil pump.
       
      Instead of oil pressure, its Dual VVT-i with VVT-iE variable valve system employs an electric motor to control variable valve timing, which aids fuel efficiency and promotes cleaner exhaust emissions (this is especially helpful in cold climates). The D-4S direct injection combines higher-pressure direct fuel injection (DI) and lower-pressure port fuel injection (PFI), and applies each method of injection based on specific driving parameters. Furthering fuel efficiency are new multi-hole nozzle direct injectors (six holes per injector).
       
      The Ultimate Happy Marriage 
       
      The four-cylinder Dynamic Force Engine is married to an all-new Toyota Hybrid System II powertrain that’s been engineered to inspire both spirited driving and fuel consciousness. THS II uses two electric motors – MG1 and MG2 – to supplement the charging of the hybrid system’s Nickel-Metal Hydride (Ni-MH) battery pack, while MG2 assists the engine.
       
      New for 2019, the highly compact battery pack now resides under the rear passenger seat (instead of the trunk), as a result of improved TNGA packaging and for the betterment of a lower center of gravity. THS II’s new lighter, smaller Power Control Unit (PCU) packages microcontrollers within a power stack structure that’s located above the transaxle – all with the goal of lowering mass to better handling composure.
       
      Efficiencies on many levels are seen with the implementation of the new PCU. Energy loss in the conversion efficiency of the transaxle and electric motor is reduced by approximately 20 percent, and its cooling system’s energy loss is cut by approximately 10 percent. The PCU’s DC-DC converter – which converts a direct current from one voltage level to another – is optimized to reduce overall power consumption. Dimensionally, DC-DC converter’s output filter is smaller, lighter, and quieter for an improved passenger experience.
       
      Auto Glide Control (AGC), yet another of Avalon’s fuel-saving technologies, automatically calculates efficient coasting. When driving normally, engine braking will slow the vehicle down when the driver lifts off from the accelerator pedal. However, to avoid aggressive engine braking, AGC limits the loss of vehicle speed through an automatic drive setting that acts more like a neutral gear, allowing the vehicle to coast to the stoplight.
       
      A light indicating “AGC” is illuminated on the Multi-Information Display (MID) when AGC is active to alert the driver that less deceleration torque than normal is currently being used.  AGC can only be activated when the vehicle is being operated in the ECO drive mode setting.
       
      But who said all hybrids are docile?
       
      Adding more than a sprinkle of spark to Avalon Hybrid’s sporty skillset is the inclusion of a new Sport drive mode and Sequential Shiftmatic technology. The Sport drive mode applies power from the hybrid system for improved acceleration and, as a bonus, all drive modes, including Sport, can each be used while EV mode is activated. With Shiftmatic technology, XSE drivers can “shift” through the Continuously-Variable Transmission’s six simulated gears via steering-wheel mounted paddles or the gearshift.
       
      Piquing the Adventurous Side
       
      Complementing Avalon’s daring looks is a thrilling drive personality imbued by an array of available sport-oriented tools – which, together, represent a Toyota first. Adaptive Variable Suspension (AVS), Intake Sound Generator (ISG), grade-specific exhaust baffle tuning, Active Noise Control (ANC), and Engine Sound Enhancement (ESE) fully exemplify Avalon’s most adventurous zeal ever. A more comprehensive four-level drive mode selection – which includes Eco, Normal, Sport/ Sport+, and Custom – is available on Touring, too. All other grades receive a three-level drive mode selection (Eco, Normal, Sport).
       
      Touring’s standard Adaptive Variable Suspension (AVS) provides real-time damping control to maximize controllability and sharp handling. The astute setup reduces Avalon’s posture fluctuations under hard or sudden directional changes, limits body movements, and yet absorbs nasty road undulations for a comfortable, flat ride.
       
      AVS relies on three primary systems to accomplish its mission: shock absorbers at each corner that have solenoid control valves for 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.
       
      Levels of AVS’ damping force are continuously variable, with a maximum of 650 steps. Changes in solenoid force – which restrict absorber fluid and, thus, damping – happen in an incredible 20 milliseconds. Drivers can adjust Avalon’s ride feel with the simple depression of a button – Normal mode prioritizes comfort, while Sport+ emphasizes handling with tauter, highly responsive footing without diminishing Avalon’s celebrated ride suppleness. Progressing from Normal to Sport+ also benefits Avalon’s liveliness. For example, throttle response becomes quicker, the Electronic Power Steering’s (EPS) feel emphasizes feedback, and its engine sound is enhanced through ESE.
       
      The new multi-link rear suspension allows for the enhancement of many positive performance attributes, such as a wider rear track, lower center of gravity, and an aggressive stance. Revised trailing arms have been installed at a higher position to place the pivot axis of the tire rearward for better bump absorption. The setup’s shock absorbers are tilted forward, too, to realize a suppler ride. Bushings on the trailing arms and arm joints further mask passing road imperfections.
       
      Although not equipped with AVS, XLE, Limited, and XSE take full advantage of their innately sporty platform and multi-link rear suspension and, to them, add thicker stabilizer bars and stiffer spring rates for maximum handling dexterity. Spring stiffness, for example, is increased 25 percent when comparing XLE to Limited; stabilizer bar stiffness is up 38 percent and 62 percent, front and rear, respectively, when progressing from XLE to XSE.
       
      World Class Acoustics, Inside and Out
       
      Avalon’s refined acoustic repertoire spans inside and out. Through Sport+, passengers receive a concerto of exciting, natural sounds through a new exhaust system with sport modified baffles, an Intake Sound Generator (ISG), Active Noise Control (ANC), and Engine Sound Enhancement (ESE).
       
      ISG amplifies the engine’s air inhalation sound to create robust vocalization and, on the exhalation end, the all-new exhaust with baffle tuning ups the sound character at start-up, idle, and acceleration. ANC and ESE work to cancel any unwanted exterior noise while simultaneously enhancing engine sound via the JBL multimedia system’s in-cabin speakers. Exceptional engine notes at start-up are also enhanced; a hearty “flare” of sound occurs right before idle upon start-up. At wide-open-throttle acceleration, more engine grunt is heard throughout the rev range.
       
      For all its added energetic vocalization, Avalon never ceases to deliver a civilized, library-quiet interior, if desired. Road noise and engine droning have been culled while cruising quietness and engine sound have been improved. Its TNGA platform utilizes additional seals where front fenders meet front doors and where the doors merge at the B-Pillar. More sound absorption material is found in the engine bay, within the carpet pad, under the floor, and in the wheel well liners. The exterior rearview mirrors not only reduce drag, but also wind noise, making for an extremely quite environment for all.
       
      Top Toyota Safety Tech
       
      Avalon’s standard Toyota Safety Sense P (TSS-P) suite of safety systems and technologies represents one step closer to achieving Toyota Motor Corporation’s ultimate goal of zero casualties from traffic accidents.
       
      TSS-P bundles cutting edge active safety technologies including Pre-Collision System with Pedestrian Detection (PCS w/PD), Full-Speed Range Dynamic Radar Cruise Control (DRCC), Lane Departure Alert with Steering Assist (LDA w/SA); and Automatic High Beams (AHB). Additional standard safety technology includes Blind Spot Monitor (BSM) with Rear Cross Traffic Alert (RCTA) and Back Guide Monitor (BGM).
       
      Also available are Panoramic View Monitor with Alert (PVMA) and Intelligent Clearance Sonar (ICS), which now includes a Rear Cross Traffic Braking (RCTB) system.
       
      All 2019 Avalons have 10 standard airbags and Toyota’s Star Safety System, which includes Enhanced Vehicle Stability Control, Traction Control, Electronic Brake-force Distribution, Brake Assist, Anti-lock Braking System, and Smart Stop Technology. All Avalons also come equipped with a standard backup camera.
    • By William Maley
      After weeks of teasing us, Infiniti has finally spilled the details on the Q Inspiration Concept today at the Detroit Auto Show.
      The best way we can describe the Q Inspiration is the Japanese automaker's take on the Porsche Panamera. It features the classic proportions of a coupe with a long front end, sloping roofline, and short rear deck. The front is quite busy with a "double-arch" grille finished in white. Move inside to see the very minimalist and clean interior layout. The seats look quite futuristic with white leather upholstery and orange accents. 
      At first, we thought the Q Inspiration would feature an electric powertrain of some kind, due to the lack of tailpipes. Instead, the Q Inspiration uses the recently launched VC-Turbo engine found in the QX50. VC-Turbo for those who need a quick refresher automatically adjusts the compression ratio to improve performance or fuel economy. The concept also features Infiniti's ProPilot autonomous drive system that will allow for end-to-end autonomous capability.
      While the Q Inspiration will likely remain as a concept, the design ideas will be used on future Infiniti models.
      Source: Infiniti
      Press Release is on Page 2
       INFINITI Q Inspiration Concept: power beyond convention
      INFINITI reveals new form language for an era of advanced powertrains Minimalist and human-centric interior design Concept suggests future applications for world's first production-ready VC-Turbo variable compression ratio engine New ProPILOT technologies liberate the driver from mundane and stressful drives DETROIT – Previewing a new generation of INFINITI vehicles, the Q Inspiration Concept proposes how an innovative VC-Turbo powertrain, next-level autonomous drive technologies, and a unique human-centric interior could enrich the experience of drivers in the mid-size sedan segment. The Q Inspiration Concept is meant to demonstrate future technologies and will not be available for sale.
      Representing the next step in INFINITI design, the exterior of the Q Inspiration Concept features clear and concise lines with dynamic and confident proportions. It is the first manifestation of INFINITI's new form language for an era of advanced powertrains. The concept eschews classical sedan forms with its coupe-like appearance and elongated silhouette, presenting INFINITI's design vision for vehicles in this segment.
      The cabin follows a minimalist approach, with a concise and clean interior design enveloping the driver and passengers in a serene and comfortable environment. The intelligently packaged four-cylinder VC-Turbo has liberated INFINITI's designers from the constraints of powertrain architecture to realize a spacious interior. Modern technology and craftsmanship merge inside the cabin, presented in a way that enables, rather than distracts, the driver.
      Powered by INFINITI's revolutionary VC-Turbo technology – the world's first production-ready variable compression ratio engine – the Q Inspiration boasts a powertrain combining turbocharged gasoline power with the torque and efficiency of a hybrid or diesel engine. VC-Turbo continually transforms, adjusting its compression ratio to optimize power and fuel efficiency, resulting in the smart application of power for greater driver control. As a mid-size sedan concept, the Q Inspiration previews other near-future applications for INFINITI's variable compression ratio VC-Turbo engine technology.
      New ProPILOT functionality liberates the driver from mundane and stressful driving situations. Realizing the next stage in vehicle autonomy for INFINITI, ProPILOT enables drivers to delegate more stressful driving tasks to the car, and enjoy an enhanced ability to respond to hazards. With the system acting as a co-pilot, the driver always retains ultimate control.
      "The premium sedan segment has become rather conservative. The INFINITI Q Inspiration previews something that could appeal to a younger audience, who seek modern design and new technologies to inspire and empower them."
      Christian Meunier, INFINITI Global Division Vice President

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    • By William Maley
      After weeks of teasing us, Infiniti has finally spilled the details on the Q Inspiration Concept today at the Detroit Auto Show.
      The best way we can describe the Q Inspiration is the Japanese automaker's take on the Porsche Panamera. It features the classic proportions of a coupe with a long front end, sloping roofline, and short rear deck. The front is quite busy with a "double-arch" grille finished in white. Move inside to see the very minimalist and clean interior layout. The seats look quite futuristic with white leather upholstery and orange accents. 
      At first, we thought the Q Inspiration would feature an electric powertrain of some kind, due to the lack of tailpipes. Instead, the Q Inspiration uses the recently launched VC-Turbo engine found in the QX50. VC-Turbo for those who need a quick refresher automatically adjusts the compression ratio to improve performance or fuel economy. The concept also features Infiniti's ProPilot autonomous drive system that will allow for end-to-end autonomous capability.
      While the Q Inspiration will likely remain as a concept, the design ideas will be used on future Infiniti models.
      Source: Infiniti
      Press Release is on Page 2
       INFINITI Q Inspiration Concept: power beyond convention
      INFINITI reveals new form language for an era of advanced powertrains Minimalist and human-centric interior design Concept suggests future applications for world's first production-ready VC-Turbo variable compression ratio engine New ProPILOT technologies liberate the driver from mundane and stressful drives DETROIT – Previewing a new generation of INFINITI vehicles, the Q Inspiration Concept proposes how an innovative VC-Turbo powertrain, next-level autonomous drive technologies, and a unique human-centric interior could enrich the experience of drivers in the mid-size sedan segment. The Q Inspiration Concept is meant to demonstrate future technologies and will not be available for sale.
      Representing the next step in INFINITI design, the exterior of the Q Inspiration Concept features clear and concise lines with dynamic and confident proportions. It is the first manifestation of INFINITI's new form language for an era of advanced powertrains. The concept eschews classical sedan forms with its coupe-like appearance and elongated silhouette, presenting INFINITI's design vision for vehicles in this segment.
      The cabin follows a minimalist approach, with a concise and clean interior design enveloping the driver and passengers in a serene and comfortable environment. The intelligently packaged four-cylinder VC-Turbo has liberated INFINITI's designers from the constraints of powertrain architecture to realize a spacious interior. Modern technology and craftsmanship merge inside the cabin, presented in a way that enables, rather than distracts, the driver.
      Powered by INFINITI's revolutionary VC-Turbo technology – the world's first production-ready variable compression ratio engine – the Q Inspiration boasts a powertrain combining turbocharged gasoline power with the torque and efficiency of a hybrid or diesel engine. VC-Turbo continually transforms, adjusting its compression ratio to optimize power and fuel efficiency, resulting in the smart application of power for greater driver control. As a mid-size sedan concept, the Q Inspiration previews other near-future applications for INFINITI's variable compression ratio VC-Turbo engine technology.
      New ProPILOT functionality liberates the driver from mundane and stressful driving situations. Realizing the next stage in vehicle autonomy for INFINITI, ProPILOT enables drivers to delegate more stressful driving tasks to the car, and enjoy an enhanced ability to respond to hazards. With the system acting as a co-pilot, the driver always retains ultimate control.
      "The premium sedan segment has become rather conservative. The INFINITI Q Inspiration previews something that could appeal to a younger audience, who seek modern design and new technologies to inspire and empower them."
      Christian Meunier, INFINITI Global Division Vice President
    • By William Maley
      Previous Page Next Page This year's edition of the Detroit Auto Show is all about the trucks as Chevrolet introduced a redesigned Silverado and Ford is bringing back the Ranger. This morning, Ram has completed the trifecta with the launch of the 2019 Ram 1500.
      As we first saw in a leaked photo a few days ago, the 2019 Ram loses the big-rig styling that has been part of its identity since the 1994 model. This is most evident on the front end where the crosshair grille goes bye-bye and is replaced by a new grille design with the "RAM" smack dab in the middle. The front fenders has been raised to give the front a more upright look. Depending on the trim, the headlights will either be the standard ones found on the current Ram 1500 or LED headlights that are slim. The rest of the truck is an evolution of the current model with a similar style for the cab and bed.
      Thankfully, Ram has made significant changes to other parts of the truck. The interior, for example, is a step forward with a modern design for the dash, bigger center console, and crew-cab models boasting one of the largest back seats in the class. Three version's of FCA's UConnect infotainment system will be on offer ranging in size from 5 to a new 12-inch system. Apple CarPlay and Android Auto capability will be standard on the larger screens.
      Under the hood are a 3.6L Pentastar V6 and 5.7L HEMI V8. Power figures are the same as you'll find in the current Ram 1500; 305 horsepower and 269 pound-feet of torque for the V6, and 395 horsepower and 410 pound-feet. The V6 comes standard with what Ram calls the eTorque 48-volt mild hybrid system. This adds 90 pound-feet of torque for short bursts. eTorque is available on the V8 where it adds 130 pound-feet. The mild-hybrid system also adds stop/start capability and regenerative braking. An eight-speed automatic comes standard for both engines. Those wondering where is the 3.0L EcoDiesel V6, you'll have to wait until the 2019 model year.
      The 2019 Ram 1500 is about 225 pounds lighter than the current model. This comes down to high-strength steel being used in the ladder-frame, an electronic parking brake, and a number of aluminum bits such as the hood and tailgate. 
      For the suspension, Ram retains the five-link coil suspension for the rear and coil-over springs for the front. A set of composite upper and aluminum lower control arms, along with the front stabilizer bar being moved behind the tires helps improve overall stability. New shocks feature frequency response dampening that adjusts the overall damping depending on the road conditions - a softer ride when driving over a bumpy road, stiffens up when cornering.
      Ram is increasing the amount of safety equipment fitted to the 2019 Ram 1500. This includes adaptive cruise control, automatic high beams, blind spot monitoring, around-view camera system, forward collision warning, and lane departure warning.
      You'll won't be waiting too long for the 2019 Ram 1500 as the brand says it will launch sometime in the first quarter.
      Source: Ram Trucks
      Press Release is on Page 2
      All-new 2019 Ram 1500 – No Compromise Truck, Leading in Durability, Technology and Efficiency
       
      Engineering
      Overall weight reductions totaling nearly 225 pounds net when compared to previous model New frame features 98 percent high-strength steel to improve durability, weight and rigidity for improved handling Strongest Ram 1500 ever with most efficient frame in the segment – 100 pounds lighter with 98 percent high-strength steel Maximum payload increased to 2,300 pounds, and maximum trailer tow to 12,700 pounds New Ram 1500 is the segment’s most aerodynamic pickup with .357 coefficient of drag and features exclusive active aerodynamics: grille shutters, air dam and air suspension All-new Frequency Response Damping (FRD) shocks deliver the best combination of ride, handling and comfort in a pickup Next generation, class-exclusive air suspension enhances fuel efficiency, improves ride, and gives greater off-road capability, load-leveling and entry/exit convenience Largest front brakes in segment at 14.9 inches and new electric parking brake New 4x4 Off-road Package includes suspension with one-inch lift, electronic locking rear axle, tuned shocks and Hill-descent Control Powertrain
      2019 Ram 1500 delivers significant gains in fuel efficiency with eTorque mild hybrid system on second generation 3.6-liter Pentastar V-6 and legendary 5.7-liter HEMI® V-8 engines – widest use of mild hybrid technology in the segment eTorque combines belt-drive motor generator unit with 48-volt battery pack to enable start/stop function, short-term torque assist and brake energy regeneration eTorque adds up to 90 lb.-ft. of torque to the 3.6-liter Pentastar V-6 and up to 130 lb.-ft. to the 5.7-liter HEMI V-8 Frame-mounted active tuned mass modules (ATMM) and Active Noise Cancellation in cabin expand use of Fuel Saving Technology cylinder cutoff on 5.7-liter HEMI V-8 and enable quiet cabin at 67.1 db New generation of TorqueFlite eight-speed automatic transmissions provide improved efficiency with more powerful control computers New electronic locking rear differential is standard on 4x4 Off-road Package and Rebel, available on all models Heat exchanger system now includes industry-first thermal axle to quickly warm rear axle gear oil, maximizing axle during warm-up Uconnect
      All-new 2019 Ram 1500 delivers innovative, state-of-the-art technology with award-winning fourth-generation Uconnect system and class-exclusive, 12-inch reconfigurable touchscreen display featuring split-screen capability for dual-application operation All-new SiriusXM with 360L personalized listening experience with more variety, smart content, recommendations and thousands of hours of on-demand audio Fourth-generation Uconnect system SiriusXM Guardian Connected Services delivers advanced in-vehicle connected services, including 4G Wi-Fi hotspot capability The most powerful audio system ever available in a pickup, Harman Kardon audio system with 19 premium speakers, 900-watt surround sound amplifier, 10-inch subwoofer and active noise cancelation 360-degree Surround View Camera with bird’s-eye perspective of vehicle New multifunction USB ports and optional integrated wireless charging pad Available navigation system accommodates one-step, voice-controlled destination entry and enhanced 3-D navigation map graphics Android Auto and Apple CarPlay enable link with Uconnect 8.4-inch and 12-inch touchscreens Design
      All-new 2019 Ram 1500 gears up for high-end with innovative design, highest quality materials and class-exclusive technology with “unbreakable interlocking” theme for enhanced appearance and aerodynamics The new face of Ram includes a chiseled Ram’s head logo and “RAM” grilles Most dramatic differentiation between models across six distinct price classes All-new full LED Adaptive Front-lighting System (AFS), including twin bi-functional projector headlamps, fog lamps and tail lamps Lighter, longer and wider, including an overall cab length increase of four inches, creating the most spacious interior for additional features and passenger comfort Nearly 100 percent more storage capacity versus closest competitor at 151.1 liters First FCA application of 12-inch fully configurable touch screen includes tailor-made graphics for various Ram models Reimagined center console with 12 different storage configurations offers never-before-seen customization for the most active interior real estate Second row includes slide reclining seats to eight degrees, a true flat-load floor with integrated RamBins with tie-down rings and expandable under seat storage All-new switch bank with dedicated toggle switches, wireless charging dock and up to five USBs, including four type C/A ports Safety and Security
      All-new 2019 Ram 1500 offers more than 100 safety and security features Adaptive Cruise Control with Stop, Go and Hold Forward Collision Warning-Plus warns the driver if impact appears imminent, and assists driver response by deploying brakes Ready Alert Braking and Trailer-sway Damping control LaneSense Lane Departure Warning-Plus alerts and assist the driver with corrective action ParkSense Parallel/Perpendicular Park and Hill-start Assist uses ultrasonic sensors to help the driver perform technical maneuvers AUBURN HILLS, MICH., JAN 15, 2018  -  The all-new 2019 Ram 1500 becomes the benchmark for durability, technology, efficiency and convenience with features never before offered in a pickup.
      Overall weight for the Ram 1500 has been reduced by 225 pounds. As the truck’s backbone, the frame uses advanced materials and engineering to eliminate 100 pounds while increasing stiffness and durability for 12,700 pounds of towing capability and 2,300 pounds of payload.
       
      An all-new eTorque system delivers improved fuel efficiency in both V-6 and V-8 configurations.
       
      As a segment disrupter, the new Uconnect 4C with a massive 12-inch touchscreen leads the pickup world with technology featuring split-screen capability, 360-degree camera views and exclusive content from SiriusXM with 360L.
       
      Active safety and security systems join the technology onslaught with adaptive cruise control, forward collision warning, Blind-spot Monitoring and ready alert braking.
       
      “The all-new 2019 Ram 1500 delivers a no-compromise approach to the full-size truck segment with strength, durability, technology and efficiency,” said Mike Manley, Head of Ram Brand. “The Ram 1500 offers truck buyers leading-edge innovation with 225 pounds of weight reduction, 12,700 pounds of towing capability, a stunning Uconnect 12-inch touchscreen display and active systems that improve fuel efficiency and assist drivers. The Ram 1500 stands out as the benchmark in a very competitive segment.”
       
      Engineering
      The new Ram 1500 uses the longest, lightest and most efficient frame in the half-ton truck segment. The chassis has reduced weight by 120 pounds – 100 pounds from the frame alone delivering a maximum payload of 2,300 pounds and maximum trailer tow capacity of 12,700 pounds. The strongest Ram 1500 frame ever produced includes the same impact countermeasures across all configurations, and is made from 98 percent high-strength steel. Exclusive front splayed frame rail technology (patent pending) creates a highly efficient energy absorbing structure for all impact modes, including front-offset with frame integration forward of front tire. Also, frame-mounted high-strength steel tire blockers are placed behind the front tires to force wheels outward in the event of impact. Additionally, side rails are taller and fully boxed. To further improve NVH, new electronically controlled side-frame-mounted active tuned-mass modules (ATMM) work in harmony with an interior active noise cancellation (ANC) system on 5.7-liter HEMI V-8 equipped models to reduce ambient sounds down to a low 67.1 db – the quietest Ram 1500 ever. Rear cross members are double sheer welded to the inside and outside of the frame for improved durability and roll stiffness.
       
      Helping to create the most spacious cab in the segment, three new, longer frame lengths are offered: a 144.5-inch wheelbase on Crew Cab short beds and a 153.5-inch wheelbase on Crew Cab long beds – both four inches longer than their predecessors. The Quad Cab long bed has a wheelbase of 140.5 inches. Ram’s newest pickup offers a turning radius of just 46.2 feet, curb to curb.
       
      New independent front suspension components combine lightweight composite upper control arms, aluminum lower control arms and retuned geometry for improved responsiveness and handling. The front stabilizer bar is relocated behind the front tires, further improving roll stiffness by 20 percent. A new front coil-over shock design is standard equipment on all Ram 1500s regardless of configuration.
       
      The third generation, exclusive rear five-link coil suspension design provides better articulation over obstacles than a leaf spring system, and the new progressive coil springs are more than up to the task of handling a payload of 2,300 pounds and towing capability of 12,700 pounds.
       
      Frequency Response Damping (FRD) shocks
      Frequency Response Damping (FRD) technology has found its way into the 2019 Ram 1500 shocks on all four corners. When the Ram 1500 experiences a slower input, common during cornering and heavy braking, the bypass valve is closed for more aggressive damping, which provides additional stability and poise. When driving normally or exposed to faster shock inputs – which is common on rough roads or at higher speeds – the valve will open to soften the damping, giving the driver more comfort, confidence and control.
      Tailgate
      The new aluminum tailgate not only features damping during opening, it also integrates a lift assist measure. Unlike most competitors, Ram uses a nitrogen- and oil-charged strut, which gives consistent assist in even the coldest or warmest climates and consistent assist through the entire tailgate swing. The latch-and-lock mechanism is now electronic, reducing the amount of moving parts and allowing owners to drop the tailgate with the interior switch, remotely with the key fob or unlock/open with passive entry. Customers with arms full will appreciate the ability to easily access the bed on approach.
       
      Lightweight materials
      Reducing the weight of components on the new Ram 1500 improves fuel economy and allows for more content while raising payload and towing capability. By using effective high-strength steels, composites and aluminum, the 2019 Ram 1500 has dropped nearly 120 pounds from the chassis (100 pounds from frame alone) and nearly 225 pounds overall when compared to the previous generation. Additional weight reductions balance out added content to provide new comfort and fuel-saving content.
       
      The all-new Ram 1500 also takes advantage of lightweight aluminum for selective components, not just where possible but where practical. Although the Ram 1500 hood and select chassis components pioneered aluminum in 2009, the following chassis elements on the Ram 1500 made a notable reduction in weight by moving to aluminum in the all-new model:
      Tailgate Engine mounts Front axle center section Front suspension crossmember Transmission crossmember Steering system gear Lightweighting also involves substituting composites for metal – which offer high-tensile strength at very low weight while improving durability. The upper front suspension control arms (integrated with a steel structure), and the air dam structure are made from, or combined with, composite materials. The weight reductions allow for more convenience, comfort and entertainment features but also innovative fuel-saving technology, such as thermal management, eTorque and active aerodynamics.
      Aerodynamics
      Further demonstrating efficiency through engineering, extensive wind-tunnel testing honed the 2019 Ram 1500 exterior shape, resulting in continued, class-leading aerodynamics. Also, the cooperative application of active aerodynamics and modern styling led to a nine percent aerodynamic improvement on the new truck. The 2019 Ram 1500 Quad Cab 4x2 coefficient of drag is .357.
      As the 2019 Ram 1500 approaches 35 miles per hour (mph), a standard active front air dam automatically extends downward 2.5 inches (non-air suspension and Rebel trucks). The optional air suspension system lowers the truck 0.6 inches improving overall aerodynamics and efficiency. The new Ram 1500 also employs an active grille shutter system, which automatically closes the airflow through the huge grille when cooling is least needed.
       
      The body of the new Ram 1500 is the product of design and engineering cooperation at its best. The new Ram 1500’s elevated hood better directs air away from the wiper area – improving overall aerodynamics and reducing wind noise. A new venturi roof design directs air back to the rear spoiler – making it the most effective pickup roof treatment to date.
       
      Significant time was dedicated to designing the truck bed itself to increase usability and aerodynamics. Bed rails are raised by 1.5 inches to reduce drag as does a new spoiler on the new aluminum tailgate. The bed-to-cab execution is sub-flush to reduce disturbance alongside the body. A wheel-to-wheel tubular side-step design offers aerodynamic improvements by allowing air to pass around the truck more smoothly. A segment-exclusive lockable tri-fold tonneau cover serves a dual purpose by improving fuel economy by 0.8 percent and adding security and weather protection for bed storage.
       
      Air suspension
      The segment’s best ride and handling gets even better with the addition of FRD shocks with air suspension. The 2019 Ram 1500 is the only full-size pickup available with a four-corner air suspension system for optimal ride and aerodynamic performance. Another benefit of the new air suspension is the load-leveling capability, which automatically detects load on the suspension from a trailer or payload. The gas pressure increases until the vehicle reaches normal ride height, leveling the truck and improving the loaded ride. Additionally, a separate button on the key fob gives the operator the ability to manually lower the truck, allowing for ease of passenger entry and bed loading.
       
      Off-road
      Ram now adds a robust 4x4 Off-road Package for the Ram 1500 on nearly every trim. The offering includes a one-inch suspension lift, with or without the available four-corner air suspension. An electronic-locking rear differential and 32-inch on/off-road tires on 18- or available 20-inch wheels provide additional grip. Hill-descent Control, an off-road-biased rear suspension geometry (Rebel and 4x4 Off-road Package) and unique off-road-calibrated shocks bolster trail capability. The package also includes robust skid plate protection (transfer case, steering, engine and gas tank) and tow hooks. Rear-fender decals denote trucks equipped with the 4x4 Off-road Package.
       
      Also new for 2019, the Ram 1500 Rebel is even more capable, now available in Quad Cab configurations and featuring new 18-inch wheels with 33-inch Goodyear Wrangler DuraTrac tires driven by an electronic-locking rear differential. The Rebel predecessor came standard with Ram’s Active-level four-corner air suspension and a one-inch suspension lift. While air suspension is still available, the new Rebel comes standard with coil spring suspension and a one-inch factory lift. Newly designed Bilstein shocks feature remote reservoirs to keep the shocks cool and work with unique rear suspension geometry (Rebel and 4x4 Off-road Package) to keep the tires in traction. Rebel also includes Hill-descent Control for more off-road prowess. Hefty tow hooks feature wide bumper openings to ease use and the underbody protection features skid plates on the transfer case, steering system, oil pan and gas tank.
      Brake system
      With 18 percent more pad area, the 2019 Ram 1500 features the largest front brake rotors in segment at 14.9-inches. A new electric parking brake eliminates 20 pounds from the previous system and works jointly with the truck to identify automatic engagement events.
      Electric power steering
      The next generation system reduces weight by six pounds and is tuned for lighter and quicker steering. By using an electric motor to power the truck’s rack-and-pinion steering system, the engine is relieved from the task of constantly turning a hydraulic pump, improving fuel efficiency up to 1.8 percent and adding 5 horsepower.
      Powertrain
      The addition of the eTorque mild hybrid system is one of several changes made to the powertrains for the 2019 Ram 1500. The goal: Improve performance, fuel economy, payload, towing capabilities and drivability. Other changes include upgraded TorqueFlite eight-speed automatic transmissions, strategic weight reductions and innovations, such as quickly heating lubricants to reduce viscosity-related efficiency losses.
       
      The eTorque mild hybrid system replaces the traditional alternator on the engine with a belt-driven motor generator unit that performs several functions. The motor generator unit works with a 48-volt battery pack to enable quick and seamless start/stop function, short-duration torque addition to the engine crankshaft in certain driving situations and brake energy regeneration, which improves responsiveness and efficiency.
       
      With the engine running, eTorque’s motor generator unit feeds 48-volt current to a 300 watt-hour lithium-ion Nickel Manganese Cobalt (NMC)-Graphite battery. The small-suitcase-sized, air-cooled battery pack mounts to the rear wall inside the Ram 1500’s cabin.
       
      In addition to spinning the engine for restarts, the eTorque unit also recaptures energy during deceleration and braking to feed charge to the battery pack.
       
      3.6-liter Pentastar V-6: 305 horsepower plus outstanding fuel economy
      The upgraded eTorque version of the Pentastar V-6 is the standard engine in most trim levels of the 2019 Ram 1500, specifically tuned for truck duty and rated at 305 horsepower and 269 lb.-ft. of torque.
       
      The newest Pentastar V-6’s advanced technologies, such as wide-range variable valve timing and two-step variable valve lift, deliver the optimal blend of power and fuel economy, based on the driver’s demand.
       
      Legendary HEMI power: 5.7-liter V-8 delivers 395 horsepower
      The brawny 5.7-liter HEMI V-8 combines the muscle of 395 horsepower and 410 lb.-ft. of torque – in a smooth, broad power band that avoids the hesitation and peakiness of turbocharged engines – with performance-enhancing and fuel-saving technologies that include variable valve timing and cylinder deactivation.
      With Fuel Saver Technology (cylinder deactivation), the engine control computer turns off fuel and spark, and closes the intake and exhaust valves on four of the engine’s eight cylinders during light load operation, such as highway cruising when full power is not needed.
      Variable camshaft timing helps maximize fuel economy by reducing the engine’s pumping work via a delayed closing of the intake valve, which increases the expansion process of the combustion event.
      The HEMI V-8 in the 2019 Ram 1500 benefits from a new 850-watt electric cooling fan using Pulse Width Modulation to tailor the fan’s energy draw to the cooling demand. Eliminating the traditional fan blade mounted to the front of the engine helps improve fuel economy by reducing parasitic losses and fan noise.
      TorqueFlite eight-speed automatic transmissions: The right gear at the right time
      Every 2019 Ram 1500 is equipped with a fully electronic TorqueFlite eight-speed automatic transmission with a wide spread of gear ratios that keeps engine rpm in the right range for the task – whether putting in a full day of off-road work or highway cruising. Trucks equipped with the 3.6-liter Pentastar V-6 use an FCA-produced TorqueFlite 850RE transmission. The 5.7-liter HEMI V-8 uses an upgraded TorqueFlite 8HP75 transmission. Both transmissions use a new generation of computer controllers that process data faster and coordinate transmission operation with the eTorque mild hybrid system. There are more than 40 individual shift maps to optimize shift changes and points for fuel economy, performance and drivability.
      Thermal management
      Today’s Ram 1500 employs a production-first thermal management system that taps into heated engine coolant to speed up the warmup of automatic transmission fluid and engine oil to maximize the fuel saving benefits of those fluids.
      The 2019 Ram 1500 takes that strategy a step further with an industry-first application that uses heated engine coolant to warm up the rear axle lubricant of 4x2 trucks.
      The engine control unit manages a three-way valve in the engine cooling circuit. Heating the truck cabin always takes priority, based on the HVAC temperature setting. Once heated, the valve routes coolant to the rear axle, where it circulates through a cavity in the double-layer axle cover to warm the gear oil. The warmed gear oil is less viscous and brings the axle to peak operating efficiency faster. Also, the system helps prevent the rear axle from exceeding maximum temperatures during demanding conditions such as hauling and trailer towing.
      The 2019 Ram 1500 continues to use the thermal management system to bring the transmission fluid and engine oil to operating temperature quickly. The system also serves a cooling function under high load/high ambient temperature conditions to ensure the transmission fluid temperature is controlled.
      Transfer cases get upgrades
      The BorgWarner 48-12 for part-time 4WD operation with Hi and Low ranges; and the BorgWarner 48-11 for on-demand 4WD are available in the 2019 Ram 1500. Both transfer cases engage via a push-button control center-mounted underneath the rotary gear selector on the instrument panel.
      The transfer cases are upgraded internally for more robust performance in conjunction with the increased payload and towing capabilities of the new truck.
      Axles
      Powertrain engineers reworked the rear axle for the 2019 Ram 1500 with the aim of increasing performance, durability and efficiency.
      Front and rear wheels and hubs adopt a 6-lug bolt pattern. The new Ram 1500 is also fitted with a new electronic parking brake.
      Three final drive ratios are available on 2WD and 4WD models – 3.21, 3.55 and 3.92. Each combination is available with a traditional open or limited-slip differential, which automatically divides torque among the rear wheels to maximize traction available at each wheel.
       
      New for 2019 is an electronic locking differential, available on 4WD trucks with the 3.21 and 3.55 final drive ratio and lifted suspension, and 2WD and 4WD trucks with the 3.92 ratio with the base or lifted suspension (Rebel and 4x4 Off-road Package). The electronic system gives the driver the ability to lock or unlock the differential on demand, providing maximum traction to the vehicle when needed.
       
      Also new for 2019 is a Max Tow Package, an option with the 3.92 final drive ratio offering up to 12,700 pounds of towing capability. The Max Tow Package is based around a Dana Super 60 center section and open differential with a 256-millimeter gear set, and uses 35-spline axle shafts. It is available on 2WD trucks powered by the 5.7-liter HEMI V-8 with eTorque.
      Small changes help save fuel
      The V-6 and V-8 powertrains in the 2019 Ram 1500 also reduce fuel consumption with an Interactive Deceleration Fuel Shut Off (iDFSO) feature that pauses fuel flow to the engine cylinders when the vehicle is decelerating. For the 2019 model year, the iDFSO feature is improved to be active in third gear and higher.
      The exhaust system has been re-engineered to reduce weight. Changes such as optimizing the thickness of the exhaust pipes and using aluminum for the hanger brackets cut more than nine pounds from the system. Extensive tuning of system components enables the 2019 Ram 1500 to maintain its trademark throaty roar from the dual exhaust tips.
      A new, forward-facing air intake mounted behind the grille of the 2019 Ram 1500 feeds cooler air to the intake of the system of the Pentastar V-6 and HEMI V-8 engines for improved performance. The intake system for both powertrains includes a hydrocarbon adsorption filter to reduce evaporative emissions. The filter is good for the life of the vehicle and does not need regular maintenance.
      Uconnect
      Designed to be the most technologically advanced pickup ever, the company’s all-new Ram 1500 is loaded with an array of innovative and state-of-the-art technology combined with the award-winning fourth-generation Uconnect system that offers new features and connected services. The 2019 Ram 1500’s high-tech features include a new class-exclusive and easy-to-use 12-inch fully configurable touchscreen display; the first-time debut of the all-new SiriusXM with 360L; the most powerful audio system ever available in a pickup – 900-watt Harman Kardon with 19 speakers; personal device integration and in-vehicle connectivity.
      The bonded flush 12-inch reconfigurable touchscreen with tailor-made graphics for various Ram models makes personalization easy with the new split-screen, operating two different applications for desired configuration, such as Apple CarPlay and HVAC controls, or one application, such as navigation across the entire 12-inch touchscreen. Available for the first time on the all-new Ram 1500 is a 360-degree Surround View Camera system providing a birds-eye view via four cameras positioned around the vehicle to create a fully stitched image. Customers who prefer not to use the touchscreen for HVAC will find redundant controls located on both sides of the display for convenience. Uconnect systems with the class-exclusive 12-inch display also feature the next level of audio entertainment with the first-time debut of the all-new SiriusXM with 360L. The new Ram 1500 also offers Uconnect 4 with or without navigation on an 8.4-inch display and Uconnect 3 with 5-inch display.
       
      All-new SiriusXM with 360L
      SiriusXM is transforming the next generation of in-car audio entertainment with the debut of the all-new SiriusXM with 360L, delivering a personalized listening experience with more variety, smart content recommendations and thousands of hours of on-demand streaming audio.
       
      The 2019 Ram 1500 is the first vehicle to have access to the new SiriusXM listening experience, which showcases the features and functionality of SiriusXM’s next-generation platform.  SiriusXM’s new and enhanced experience for drivers and their passengers delivers SiriusXM content via both satellite and on-demand streaming to Ram truck models equipped the new fully configurable 12-inch touchscreen.  Owners will receive a one-year SiriusXM All Access subscription with the purchase of a properly equipped 2019 Ram 1500. 
       
      SiriusXM with 360L enables Ram truck drivers and passengers to discover more of what SiriusXM offers based on their listening preferences, including exclusive SiriusXM on-demand programming not previously available in the vehicle.
       
      Most powerful audio system in a pickup
      The all-new 2019 Ram 1500 offers four audiophile-quality audio systems to immerse passengers in the ultimate sound experience, including Alpine and a class-exclusive premium Harman Kardon audio system with 19 speakers and 10-inch subwoofer – the finest and most powerful audio system available in a pickup:
      Three 3.5-inch and one-inch coaxial speakers located in the instrument panel Two 3.5-inch and one-inch coaxial speakers located in the front doors Two 6x9-inch speakers located in the front doors Two 6x9-inch speakers located in the rear doors Two 3.5-inch and one-inch coaxial speakers located in the headliner One 10-inch enclosed subwoofer behind the rear seat (passenger side) One 12-channel boosted Class-D amplifier Four ANC microphones Compatible device connectivity
      To ensure that passengers remain conveniently connected, 2019 Ram 1500 owners can manage their personal device connectivity with a plethora of electronic charging options. Located in the reimagined center console, a wider docking area offers an all-new optional integrated wireless charging pad that can hug a small tablet or multiple smartphones. To keep devices charged, there are five USB ports (three are in front of the center console and two are in the back). Three of the USB ports are fully functioning and communicate with the Uconnect interface while the other two USB ports are charge only. Four of the five USB ports are new type C/A ports that allow devices to be charged up to four times faster than standard USB outlets. The remaining USB is type A.
      Exterior Design
      The all-new Ram 1500 is lighter, longer and wider. Ram 1500’s wheelbase and cab are up to four inches longer – giving the truck improved proportions and better aerodynamics. Width is increased by .5 inches. Bed height is raised by 1.5 inches.
       
      The 2019 Ram 1500 retains shapely body lines with a much larger and more aggressive, forward-leaning, front grille opening. The all-new frame with splayed rail ends connects repositioned tow-hooks that are more outward and down when compared to the previous generation.
       
      An interlocking theme reveals itself in the grille, headlamps and hood. Catering to a variety of buyers, the most elaborate grille designs in the auto industry are available in six different styles.
       
      Three headlamp variations are available: Halogen, full LED and full LED with Adaptive Front-lighting System (AFS). Above the lamps resides a new raised aluminum hood that builds on the Ram’s big-rig stance. The elevated hood also better directs air away from the wiper area – improving overall aerodynamics and reducing wind noise. A new badge finds itself interlocked with the stamping of the side hood pocket.
       
      Seamless surfacing flows with trademark Ram front and rear fender blisters artfully blended into the body. A drawn body-side character line stretches from front to rear with a styled creased line serving as the two-tone paint border. 
       
      All navigation, Wi-Fi, radio and SiriusXM tasks are handled by a new shark fin antenna – making the new 2019 Ram 1500 the first full-size truck without a mast antenna.
       
      A new 33.3-inch by 43.4-inch panoramic sunroof also is available, giving passengers a spectacular 10 square feet of sky view and additional natural light. The roof also receives aero treatments to flow air over the bed to the tailgate.
       
      Bed rails are raised by 1.5 inches, and are now aligned with the beltline of the body to create a stronger, consistent horizontal profile with aero benefits. Additional drag is reduced with a new spoiler on the aluminum tailgate.
       
      The all-new Ram 1500 continues to offer the best lockable bed storage in the segment with RamBox, now featuring a 115-volt outlet and relocated overhead lighting in the box lids to improve illumination. The industry-first RamBox cargo management system includes versatile, weatherproof, lockable, illuminated and drainable storage bins built into the bed rails.
       
      All-new tail lamps come in three different configurations: Halogen, LED and LED with Blind-spot Monitoring.
       
      A segment-exclusive full-width chrome stamped-steel rear bumper underlines the rear of the truck. The improved design integrates a larger stepping pad on the corners and creates a lower step-in height on the center of the bumper for easy access to the bed.
       
      Sixteen new wheel designs align with an increased lug pattern —from five to six —and are available from 18-inches to an impressive 22-inches in diameter.
      The 2019 Ram 1500 is available in 12 colors, including four new colors, and the first use of Tri-coat paint with Ram: Billet Silver, Tri-coat White, Patriot Blue, Diamond Black Crystal. Three two-tone color options carry through newly designed fender flares and the lower body.
      Interior Design
      Surrounding the largest cab in the segment, the interior design team brought unique colors and premium materials to each trim level of the 2019 Ram 1500. Modular design allows for more personification and customization. Each model makes its own unique “hero” statement.
       
      The 2019 Ram 1500 features the first application of Uconnect 4C NAV on a 12-inch fully configurable touchscreen, tailor-made for various Ram models. The touchscreen can house one application, such as the navigation map, across the whole 12-inch screen, or can be divided in half, operating two different applications at once. An all-new toggle switch bank lies below the touchscreen giving physical control of specific features. An active noise cancellation system on 5.7-liter HEMI V-8 equipped models and acoustic glass reduce ambient sounds down to a low 67.1 db – the quietest Ram 1500 ever.
       
      New features gave designers the opportunity to reinvent the Human Machine Interface. Across all trim levels, the 2019 Ram 1500 features push-button start, an electronic parking brake and a redesigned rotary e-shifter dial. The new shifter area also intelligently groups new feature buttons, including engine stop-start from eTorque, Hill-decent Control, axle lock and transfer case controls, when equipped.
       
      The center stack has been raised and brought closer to the driver to accommodate the 12-inch Uconnect touchscreen and improve overall reachability of system controls.
       
      The new HVAC system features nearly 25 percent more air flow at lower noise levels, including larger front defroster vents for better performance. Improved vents give rear passengers 50 percent more airflow when compared to the previous generation.
       
      With 151 liters of interior storage volume, the 2019 Ram 1500 includes nearly 100 percent more storage capacity versus closest the competitor.
       
      The reimagined center console is a useable, complex piece of art with more than 12 different storage combinations. Center stage, a wider docking area with optional wireless charging can hold a small tablet or smartphone. A three-position sliding cup holder tray can be stowed under the center armrest to reveal a deep storage tub designed to hold a 15-inch laptop. Lifting the lid of the center armrest also reveals an additional lined storage compartment sized to fit a tablet and/or hang a full-size file. At the rear of the console, there are two additional cup holders, which include a tablet holder for rear passengers. 
       
      To keep devices charged, five USB ports reside in the center console – three up front and two in back. Three of the USB ports, including one in the rear seating area, are fully functioning and communicate with the Uconnect interface. Two three-pronged 115-volt household plugs can be found in the first and second rows (one in the center stack and one at the rear of the center console). An additional 115-volt plug can be found in the RamBox, when equipped, tripling the number of outlets on the previous model, and now handling up to 400 watts.
      The redesigned upper glove box acts as an open shelf for smaller items. On higher trims, the upper glove box is covered by a wood and metal accent that can slide upwards, hidden in the dash. The Laramie Longhorn takes advantage of this space with an actual burned-in branded “Longhorn.”
       
      The 2019 Ram 1500’s cab length has increased a total of four inches inside. B- and C-pillars moved an inch rearward, and the rear of the cab is pushed an additional two inches. Thus, front and rear doors are now one inch larger on Crew Cab configurations, while the rear door is one inch shorter on Quad Cab models compared to the previous model.
       
      Along with the largest cab in the segment, the second-row features eight degrees of slide-recline with best-in-class leg room of 45.1 inches, passenger comfort and an exclusive SmartFold center armrest that creates a captain’s chair experience.
       
      A true flat-load floor provides increased rear passenger comfort and usability. Folding up the rear bench seat reveals 20 liters of additional contained storage space with under-seat compartments. With the clever fold out feature, contained storage doubles to 40 liters.
       
      Bookending the flat-load floor are two RamBins. Now 5.5 inches longer than the previous model, these covered in-floor storage bins can hold larger items, including up to a four-inch drop hitch – keeping cargo out of sight and the interior clean. On top of each Ram Bin are two tie downs to keep cargo secure.
       
      The all-new Ram 1500 key fobs also feature new design treatment and functions, including power release tailgate. The fob also features branding for higher trim levels and a battery life improvement of up to six years.
       
      Safety and Security
      With more than 100 available safety and security features, the 2019 Ram 1500 is available with the latest in advanced technology. As part of FCA US’s ongoing and continuous efforts to proliferate the most advanced materials engineering, the Ram 1500 frame and body structures feature 98 and 54 percent high-strength steel respectively.
      The new Ram 1500 features the most advanced frame in the segment with equal impact countermeasures on all configurations. Exclusive splayed and tapered frame rail technology creates a highly efficient energy absorbing front frame rail structure for all impact modes. Frame-mounted high-strength steel tire blockers are placed at front cab location to redirect
      the tire outbound in a front-offset impact.
      Some of newest features among more than 100 standard and available safety and security features in the all-new 2019 Ram 1500: 
      Adaptive Cruise Control (ACC) with Stop, Go and Hold: Helps maintain a driver-adjustable distance between the vehicle and the one in front of it, and can bring the vehicle to a controlled stop and hold it there. This system works by decreasing the vehicle’s pre-set cruise-control speed when closing in on another vehicle in the same lane, or when another vehicle moves into the same lane. ACC will accelerate the vehicle back to the pre-set rate once the vehicle in front speeds up or moves into another lane, including full stop Adaptive Front-lighting System (AFS): Points headlamps in the planned direction the vehicle is traveling using steering wheel input to point light around turns, driveways and parking lots Advance Brake Assist: If inadequate force is applied to brakes in response to signal from Full-speed Forward Collision Warning-Plus, Advance Brake Assist increases brake force automatically Blind-spot Monitoring (BSM): Uses dual ultra-wideband radar sensors to aid the driver when changing lanes or if being passed by or passing unseen vehicles. The system notifies the driver of vehicle(s) in their blind spot via illuminated icons on the side-view mirror. BSM also includes easy-to-use trailer coverage Brake assist: In an emergency brake situation, the system applies maximum braking power, minimizing the stopping distance Brake-throttle override: Allows driver to stop the vehicle when throttle and brake inputs occur simultaneously; electronic throttle control reduces engine-power output until vehicle stops or pedal inputs cease Electric parking brake (EPB): Utilizes parking brake switch mounted in the instrument panel, a motor on caliper (MOC) at each rear wheel and an electronic control module. Four modes of operation: static apply and release, dynamic apply, drive away release and safe hold Electronic brake-force distribution: Assists the driver to optimize stopping distances and control under all vehicle loading conditions by regulating braking pressure front-to-rear Forward Collision Warning-Plus: Utilizes radar and video sensors to detect whether the Ram 1500 is approaching another vehicle or large obstacle in its path too rapidly, and warns or assists the driver in avoiding/mitigating the incident Frequency Response Damping: New shock design features a two-valve system to properly adjust wheel movement depending on road input, with two valves, additional tuning helps keep tires to the ground on rough surfaces LaneSense Lane Departure Warning-Plus: Leverages electronic power steering (EPS) to deliver a torque input to alert and assist the driver with corrective action Largest brakes in segment: The all-new Ram 1500 features the largest available front brakes at 14.9 inches for superb stopping distance ParkSense Parallel/Perpendicular Park Assist: Ultrasonic parking sensors on bumper guide the driver into the parking space. The system automatically controls steering-wheel angle, while the driver controls gear position, brake and accelerator. Parallel parking is possible on either side of vehicle by selecting the direction with the turn signal; for perpendicular parking, vehicle backs itself into space ParkSense park assist with reverse stop: The system utilizes ultrasonic sensors at low speeds in reverse to detect stationary objects. The system provides haptic feedback to the driver, with an application of the brake before releasing if a collision is imminent. At speeds below 4 miles per hour, the system will bring the vehicle to a stop before releasing. The forward system utilizes ultrasonic sensors at low speeds to detect stationary objects in front of the vehicle Rear Cross Path (RCP) detection: In parking lot situations, this system warns drivers backing out of parking spaces of traffic moving toward their vehicle. It activates any time the vehicle is in Reverse. The driver is notified of vehicle(s) crossing behind the vehicle via illuminated icons on the side-view mirror and with an audible chime Surround View Camera: Uses four cameras positioned around the vehicle to provide a bird’s-eye perspective of the vehicle and its immediate surroundings. Driver can also select other views, including front or rear cross path Tire blockers: Frame-mounted high-strength steel tire blockers are placed at front cab location to redirect the tire outbound in a front-offset impact Most advanced frame in the segment with exclusive splayed frame rail: All Ram 1500 frames feature 98 percent high strength steel and technology (patent pending) that creates a highly efficient energy absorbing front frame rail structure for frontal impact modes 9-1-1 Call/Assist Call: Mirror-mounted buttons for emergency services, roadside assistance, Uconnect Customer Care and non-collision related emergencies SiriusXM Traffic: Works with the vehicle’s navigation system to display traffic speed and flow information, along with accident information to assist drivers in routing around congested areas SiriusXM Travel Link: Real-time local fuel prices, weather conditions, sports scores and movie locations and times all featured in this subscription-based system provided by SiriusXM Radio Tailgate power release and Passive Entry: Allows the operator to release the tailgate using the key fob or unlock automatically with combination of key fob presence and hand motion under tailgate handle Tailgate ajar notification: Notifies the operator the tailgate is not fully closed with a warning light in the gauge cluster Tilt-and-telescoping steering column: Allows steering column to tilt and move toward or away from the driver to achieve a safe and comfortable distance from the advanced multi-stage front driver air bag, if deployed Tire-fill alert: When adding air pressure to tires, a new tire-fill alert system chirps the horn once you have reached the recommended pressure Uconnect Access voice-to-text: Enables cloud-based text-message dictation via compatible Bluetooth-enabled cell phones; available to registered Uconnect Access subscribers Uconnect Drag and Drop menu bar: Drivers can drag key usage buttons and move them to their Uconnect system’s main menu bar for easier access Previous Page Next Page
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