The New Toyota Avensis: A Superior Quality Experience - Engine Technology | Part Three

World First in Clean Engine Technology

The new Avensis is the first model in the world to be launched with an engine line-up fully compliant with EURO IV emissions legislation, well in advance of its enforcement date of January 2005.

The 129bhp 1.8-litre VVT-i and 147bhp 2.0-litre direct injection petrol engines are developments of units which appeared in the previous generation Avensis, now offering lower CO2 emissions levels.

These will be joined in May 2003 by a 116bhp 2.0 D-4D diesel, one of the first to comply with EURO IV requirements. The diesel profile will be extended during the last quarter of 2003 with the introduction of Toyota’s Diesel Clean Advanced Technologies (D-CAT). Using this system, the 2.0-litre diesel will deliver greatly improved emissions levels with nitrogen oxides (NOx) and particulate matter (PM) emissions way below the EURO IV benchmarks.

Engineered for Success

Central to the handling character of the new Avensis is its double-wishbone-type rear suspension. The system has been derived from the Celica sports coupe, a car which has earned much press and popular acclaim for its handling performance. The system has been adapted for use in the Avensis and tuned to provide a more compliant ride, better suited to a family vehicle. At the front there is a new MacPherson strut independent suspension.

Another key factor in the dynamic quality of the new car is its strong body structure. Constructed in lightweight high-strength steel, it offers excellent torsional rigidity.

Superior Quality Comfort and Convenience

The new Avensis will set new standards in the segment with its refined styling, precision build and excellent ride and handling qualities. The new car is larger than the previous model but not as large from the outside as many of its competitors. The very essence of the design of the new car was not to make it a cumbersome large car but to make it very roomy and spacious from the inside, using intelligent use of space.

The new Avensis at 4,630mm long is 50mm shorter overall than the VW Passat and 100mm shorter than the Ford Mondeo.

High quality materials have been used throughout for the trim and upholstery and NVH levels have been reduced to rival the standard of premium market models.

Central to the elimination of road and engine noise has been the introduction of Ultra Light ConceptTM. This new sound damping material is not only highly effective in absorbing noise, in particular high frequency sound, it is also remarkably light. Weight savings achieved through its use make an important contribution to fuel economy.

Multi-use storage areas are located all around the passenger compartment. Detail touches include damped lids and use of soft-touch plastics. Rear seats split-fold in the hatchback, Tourer and most saloon versions. Extra concealed storage space is available under the load floor in the Tourer. The floor panel can also be adapted to create separate stowage areas.

Toyota’s European Flagship

From the outset, new Avensis has been designed, developed and engineered for the European market, where it will complete Toyota’s core product line-up alongside Yaris and Corolla. It will enjoy the status of Toyota’s European flagship, targeting 130,000 sales annually – around 27,000 of those in the UK market.

New Avensis was designed at Toyota’s ED2 design studio in the South of France and engineered specifically to meet the demands of European drivers. Extensive testing was undertaken on European roads to ensure optimum handling and performance in local conditions.

Formidable Cost of Ownership Qualities

Competitive cost of ownership qualities were engineered into the new Avensis from the outset. Components were designed for simple repair and replacement at low cost in the

event of typical low speed front and rear impacts. The new Avensis also benefits from Toyota’s pan-European Health & Safety schedule with major maintenance services only every 20,000 miles. Health & Safety checks, including an oil change, are required at 10,000-mile intervals or annually.

UK insurance groups begin at an equal-best-in-class 7E for certain versions of the 1.8-litre petrol and 2.0-litre diesel; the rating for the 2.0-litre petrol model starts at a best-in-class 8E. All models have earned the ABI Thatcham ‘E’ classification for exceeding industry standard levels of vehicle security.

On the road prices start from £13,995 for the 1.8 T2 saloon and hatchback, rising to £21,495 for the T Spirit Tourer with sequential automatic transmission.

Published 26 February 2003 Melanie Carter

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