Toyota has unveiled a radically-designed Avalon sedan at the 2012 New York Auto Show this week and confirmed that the car will hit showrooms late this year as a 2013 model.
The new Avalon has been designed from the ground up to be significantly different than the one it replaces, and is the result of a North American-focused design and engineering effort.
Those stirring lines were penned by stylists at Toyota’s Calty Design Research Inc. facilities in Southern California and Michigan, while everything under the skin was crafted by engineers at the Toyota Technical Center in Ann Arbor, Michigan.
The structure underpinning the car is based on the one in the previous model, though numerous improvements were made to enhance the ride quality, straight-line stability and handling. The steering is still handled by an electronic system, though this was also given a few tweaks.
The body structure gains improvements in torsional rigidity thanks to additional welds, improved body bracing, and high-strength steel in key, while the suspension benefits from a retuned MacPherson strut setup with advanced valving and rebound springs. Coil spring rate and front and rear sway bar stiffness was increased from the current model to help improve body control and body roll.
Toyota hasn’t mentioned powertrains for the new Avalon, but since it will still be built alongside the Camry at the automaker’s plant in Kentucky, the familiar 3.5-liter V-6 with 268 horsepower and six-speed automatic with paddle shifters will most likely be fitted.
Toyota did mention, however, that drivers will be able to choose from three distinct drive modes: Normal, Eco and Sport. In Sport mode, throttle response is enhanced and steering effort is weighted from center to offer a sportier character.
Inside, a concave dash panel design helps create an expansive feeling. Interior space is said to improved in most areas. Furthermore, while the rear overhang has been reduced by 1.7 inches, the luggage compartment capacity is 16.0 cubic feet, an increase of 1.6 cubic feet as compared to the outgoing model.
Premium features, either standard of available, include Toyota’s Entune infotainment and connectivity system, leather trim, USB and auxiliary ports, JBL stereo sound, and a HDD-based navigation system with 7-inch display. Ten airbags are also offered, along with a rearview camera and a host of electronic safety systems.