[Update - the 2013 Toyota Avalon was unveiled - read all about it here] - To regain leadership, Toyota has created a plan to release a lineup of new or redesigned products within the next two years. Under the timeframe that Toyota has given, there will be at least 10 products that will appear in dealerships by the end of 2012.
Toyota will undertake a significant change in how it develops its products. Toyota will now lengthen the platform cadence. What Toyota did previously was for the models to be redesigned after every five years and for there to be a slight change in the fascia after the third year. With this new approach, the cycle could be extended to six years but at the midpoint, there will be more significant sheet metal revisions as well as powertrain upgrades.
Toyota revealed that the styling of the global subcompact Yaris will be more aggressive. It will arrive this fall, after having been slightly delayed as its Iwate plant was damaged by the March 11 earthquake. This new version will feature a 98.8-inch wheelbase, making it longer than the existing model by about two inches.
Initially, Toyota will offer a three-door and five-door hatch. However, Toyota is also planning a sedan. Toyota offers the new 98-hp 1.3-liter engine overseas, but it’s likely that Toyota will keep the 106-hp 1.5-liter engine for North America.
For transmission, consumers can choose between a five-speed manual or a continuously variable transmission. What Toyota plans for the Scion iQ is that by 2012, an electric version would already be available. Toyota is targeting a range of about 50 miles for this iQ EV. It will be offered to commercial fleets that have short routes and centralized charging systems.
With regards to the much-awaited Avalon, Toyota announced that it will arrive in the fall of 2012. Last June, dealerships that attended the national meeting in Las Vegas became even more excited about the Avalon rather than the Camry. The Avalon’s styling is inspired by the Audi A7, Jaguar XJ and the Lexus lines, says Autonews. The Avalon will retain the 3.5-liter V-6 engine but its handling will be enhanced.
Toyota has repositioned the Toyota Avalon to help change the perception of consumers about the sedan. And they partnered with Calty Design Research to that end. Calty gave the exterior a much more aggressive look. The latest Avalon sedan features a style that is so different from its predecessors.
The 2013 Avalon combines an athletic and elegant design featuring a longer and flowing roofline that makes the side profile even more appealing. The beltline is lower, hinting at the car’s dynamic movements with superior road holding. It also has a chiseled shoulder line that you can find on the side sheet metal, and this line goes from the front wheels and flows fluidly through the body, giving the car an even more athletic look. All of these exterior elements all hint at the car’s agility and performance.
Compared to the earlier model, the 2013 Avalon is more compact and sportier. It strikes a balance between eye-catching style and utmost interior comfort. The Avalon also enjoys an improved stance with solid exterior dimensions. It is now 25 millimeters shorter with 15 millimeters shorter front overhang and 45 millimeters shorter rear overhang. The car’s body also hugs the tires, with a reduced gap by 7 millimeters. The rear side rails’ width has also been reduced by 33 millimeters, giving a taut look to the greenhouse. You also have 10 millimeters more vehicle tread at the front and 15 millimeters at the back that results in a wider wheel placement.
The exterior lighting follows the same expressive and athletic design philosophy. You have the Quadrabeam headlight cluster that uses the PES headlight design. It has a pair of square glass condenser lenses for the low beams. It also offers great lighting performance. You can also choose halogen and high intensity discharge bulbs for this. The daytime running lights have half a dozen LED bulbs.
The more aggressive front fascia design features a bigger grille opening that helps uphold its sporty appearance and enhances pedestrian impact protection and cooling air flow. The turn signal indicators have moved to the lower front bumper to give it an even slimmer and sleeker look. The sculpted rear tail lamps use LED to make the trunk and the rear quarter panel even more visible.