The numbers are showing that the automotive sector has emerged from the grip of the recession and reaching pre-2007 levels once again. Automakers reported sales of about 14.5 million vehicles in the States last year, a 13 percent increase from 2011 and the highest annual total since 2007. If the trend continues, we'll be seeing more and newer models entering the market, especially from top brands like Toyota.
This week, Automotive News came out with a report on the Japanese firm's upcoming product line for the North American market, which includes several redesigns over the course of the next two to three years.
The number of senior drivers with the financial power to buy a car will only go up in the years to come all around the world’s more developed countries, but particularly in the US. It is therefore necessary to engineer and develop these vehicles to appeal to older buyers, which make up a large proportion of the total number of buyers.
After finding their way into our homes and offices, wireless charging systems for cell phones and other electronic devices are now beginning to make their appearance in automobiles.
General Motors has already introduced a wireless cell phone mat and so has Chrysler's Mopar division, but Toyota is laying claims to the "world’s first application of Qi wireless in-car charging" as part of a Technology Package for both the 2013 Avalon and Avalon Hybrid models.
We reached out to Chrysler to ask whether its already available wireless charging system adheres to the "Qi" interface standards and we will post an update once we receive a reply, but for now, we will take Toyota's word for it.
About a month before the regular and hybrid variants of the new 2013 Avalon series arrive in dealerships across the States at the beginning of December, Toyota released detailed pricing info for the two models.
The new Avalon will begin at a lower price point than the car it replaces at $30,990 for the base gasoline model, rising to $41,400 for the hybrid variant in top-spec trim. Keep in mind that these prices do not include a delivery, processing and handling (DPH*) fee of $795.
Toyota seems pretty psyched up about its new and more youthfully designed 2013 Avalon full-size sedan.
While it prepares for the car's North American launch, the Japanese automaker thought it would be a good idea to promote the new Avalon and the customization opportunities it offers at next week's SEMA aftermarket show in Las Vegas with the unveiling of three different project models.
"The new Avalon is an attractive target for performance enhancement," said Toyota Engagement Marketing and Motorsports National Manager Keith Dahl. "Tuners always want to get their hands on a great new design with strong enthusiast appeal."
The first model is the 2013 Avalon TRD Edition developed by the brand's in-house performance arm, Toyota Racing Development (TRD).
The car is finished in a burgundy shade and features a color-keyed grille and tinted taillights with clear lenses. Dual exhaust with polished mufflers and custom tips along with new 19-inch rims wrapped in 225/40R19 Michelin rubber complete the look.
When Toyota pulled the wraps off the all-new 2013 Avalon sedan at the New York Auto Show this past April, it shared many general details about the fourth-generation model but didn't say a word about the powertrain options.
Now, the time has come for Toyota to disclose that the new Avalon will arrive in dealerships later this year with a choice of two engines, a regular V6 gasoline unit and for the first time in the model's history, a fuel-efficient hybrid system.
We'll start with the Avalon Hybrid, which borrows its powertrain from the Toyota Camry Hybrid and Lexus ES 300h and as such, links a 2.5-liter Atkinson-cycle four-cylinder engine to a 244.8-volt nickel-metal hydride battery pack and a pair of electric motor/generators within the transaxle.
If you've been following our coverage of the 2012 New York Auto Show, you will no doubt have noticed that a significant number of automakers revealed brand new sedan offerings.
The mid-size segment is represented by the Fisker Atlantic showcar, which like the RLX, is more or less production ready, the 2013 Lexus ES, the 2013 Lincoln MKZ, the 2013 Nissan Altima and the 2013 Toyota Avalon, which has been re-categorized as a mid-size model.
The Toyota Group seems hell bent to change the image of its more unadventurous models as after the world premiere of the new 2013 Lexus ES on Wednesday, the Japanese company unleashed the brand new 2013 Toyota Avalon at the New York International Auto Show.
And like the Lexus model, the 2013 Avalon sports more stimulating and dynamic exterior and interior designs than the vehicle it replaces.
The re-imagined Avalon was penned at Toyota's Calty Design facilities in Southern California and Michigan, while the car's engineering took place at the Toyota Technical Center in Ann Arbor, Michigan.
The Avalon is slightly smaller in all dimensions at 195.3 inches (4,960mm) long, 72.2 inches (1,835mm) wide, and 57.5 inches tall (1,460mm) tall), though it keeps the same 111 inch (2,820mm) wheelbase as the outgoing model.
Key styling elements include the crispier lines on the body, the sloping roofline and a rather large lower front grille that brings to mind creations from Ford and older Peugeots. The Avalon rides on 17-inch or 18-inch alloy wheels, depending on the model, and also features LED combination tail lamps.
Pictures of mystery models wrapped in sheets shot while being lifted on cranes are the Toyota group's "thing" for this year's edition of the New York International Auto Show.
After the recent release of a similar set of photos for the brand-new 2013 Lexus ES 350, the Toyota brand is now following the same tactics for its as-of-yet, unnamed sedan model.
Toyota just can't get pass its recall problems. Today, the troubled Japanese automaker issued a voluntary recall that involves approximately 283,200 Toyota and 137,000 Lexus vehicles equipped with V6 engines to replace the crankshaft pulley.
According to the company, there is a possibility that the outer ring of the engine's crankshaft pulley may become misaligned with the inner ring, causing noise and/or trigger a warning light on the dashboard.
Toyota officially placed the arrival of the all-new 2012 Camry sedan and its hybrid sibling (2010/2011 Camry pictured above) in the U.S. market for this fall during the company’s annual national dealer meeting which took place on Wednesday in Las Vegas.
“Designed to meet the changing needs of the 21st Century driver, the new Camry will provide technologically advanced features, a contemporary design inside and out, improved performance and refined ride and handling,” Toyota said in a press statement.
The March 11 earthquake and tsunami in Japan caused severe problems to automakers all around the world, mainly due to the lack of parts, but at least Toyota seems to be recovering at a faster pace than expected. Today, the world’s largest automaker said production at its North American facilities will rise to approximately 70 percent of normal in June, up from around 30 percent in May when it was forced to idle factories for several days or reduce shifts.
Toyota has announced a voluntary recall of some 740,000 vehicles in the United States to address a potential leak problem with a seal in the brake master cylinder. The models that are being recalled in the U.S. are the 2005-2006MY Toyota Avalon, 2004-2006MY Highlander (non Hybrid) and Lexus RX330, and 2006 Lexus GS300, IS250, and IS350. Another 600,898 vehicles were recalled in Japan and approximately 200,000 in China for the same issue.
Another day, another recall-nightmare for Toyota Motor Corp. This time, the Japanese automaker said it was recalling around 373,000 of its 2000-2004MY Toyota Avalons, and approximately 39,000 of its 2003-2007MY Lexus LX 470s in the U.S. for unrelated problems concerning steering parts that may be defective.
Toyota has announced pricing for its U.S. market 2011 model year line-up, which will begin arriving at dealerships in August, with the exception of RAV4 that goes on sale in September.
The big news for the 2011 lineup is the installation of brake override technology as standard equipment across the range. This technology is designed to stop a car if the brakes and accelerator are applied simultaneously (see Consumer Report's video after the jump) and was adopted by Toyota to ease consumer concerns over sudden acceleration of its vehicles.
Aside from the redesigned 2011 Avalon that was introduced with the safety feature, brake override technology is now standard on the Yaris, RAV4 SUV, Land Cruiser SUV, Sequoia SUV and Tundra pickup truck.
There are more changes on certain models for the 2011 model year that you can check out in detail in the press release after the jump.
Rest assured, the last thing on anybody's mind during the presentation of the facelifted 2011 Avalon was the car itself. But there's no need to repeat the same questions and answers we've already heard over and over the past couple of weeks, so let's concentrate on the refreshed Avalon saloon.
First of all, Toyota guaranteed that when new Avalon reaches Toyota's US dealerships this spring, it will have the redesigned accelerator pedal assembly and -just in case- a brake override system.
Unfortunately, the faint redesign didn't cure another dangerous feature of the Avalon, its... 'killer' (by boredom) looks. Then again, we reckon that as long as it keeps a steady pace on the road, its "mature" audience won't mind at all.
What Toyota describes as a "bold redesign" on the outside translates to new headlamps, a wider grille, front fog lamps that are now integrated into a trapezoidal front bumper, extra chrome trim down the side and redesigned rocker panels.
The revised tail lights and rear bumper at the back along with the 17-inch wheels on the Limited grade complete the list with the exterior updates.
More attention was paid to the interior that gets a new instrument panel incorporates with... highly readable Optitron gauges and trim finishes, reshaped rear headrests and thicker stitching on the seats.
In addition, the leather-trimmed front seats and seatbacks on the Limited are fitted with ventilation systems and an enlarged perforation area, while Bluetooth connectivity, USB and 1/8-inch auxiliary connections for iPod and other audio devices are now standard across the range.
The optional DVD Navigation system has been revised and includes new displays for road icons and points of interest, and a keyboard screen arranged in the same way as a personal computer.
There are no changes under the hood with all 2011 Avalons featuring a 268HP 3.5-liter V6 petrol engine mated to a multi-mode six-speed automatic transmission. According to Toyota, the 2011 Avalon returns an EPA-estimated 20 mpg in the city, 29 mpg highway, and 23 mpg combined
The 2011 Avalon will begin arriving at Toyota dealerships nationally in spring 2010.