The Avensis - Toyota’s European Flagship, Built In Britain

Launched in 2002, the Avensis is the flagship of Toyota’s European model range, bringing outstanding safety performance, style and all-embracing superior quality to the D segment.

In 2004 Avensis achieved its highest sales figures yet in the UK, rising by more than 12 per cent on the previous year with a 5.7 per cent segment share. This surge was fuelled by a rise of more than a third in fleet sales.

The model’s success in the UK is reflected across Europe as a whole where sales rose above 145,000 units in 2004, an increase of more than 25 per cent on 2003. This raised Avensis to fifth place in the European D segment.

Worldwide production of the Avensis is at Toyota’s Burnaston factory near Derby. Last year rising demand, including the first Avensis imports to Japan, prompted an increase in production capacity at the factory to 285,000 units a year from mid-2005. Toyota invested an extra £50 million at Burnaston, creating an extra 500 jobs. Toyota’s total investment in its UK manufacturing operations now stands at more than £1.75 billion.

Lightweight Engine Construction

Toyota has adopted an all-aluminium construction for its new 2.2-litre D-4D engines, following the concept it pioneered with the 1.4-litre D-4D unit used in the Corolla and Yaris models.

As a result, both versions (148 and 175bhp) of the new engine are lighter than competitor units that still use a cast iron block.

The 148bhp D-4D Engine

The 148bhp 2.2-litre D-4D engine has been designed to offer a good balance of power and economy.

Key to its performance is its strong torque performance: with a maximum 310Nm from 2,000 to 3,200rpm, it provides great driveability. This is demonstrated in a time of 10.6 seconds for acceleration from 50 to 70mph in fifth gear.

The unit is positioned at the heart of the D segment diesel market, which should ensure it becomes the best-selling engine in the Avensis range. Carbon dioxide emissions are 156g/km, just 1g/km more than Toyota’s 2.0-litre D-4D unit, which means models using the new engine are placed in the same company car tax bracket as their 2.0-litre diesel equivalents.

The 2.2-litre D-4D will power the Avensis from rest to 62mph in 9.3 seconds and attain a top speed of 130mph. Combined cycle fuel consumption is 47.9mpg (47.1mpg for Tourer versions).

continues... | Part Three

Published : 31/05/05 Author : Melanie Carter

Toyota Avensis News

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