For the first time, the next-generation 2013 Toyota Avalon will offer an optional hybrid powertrain in addition to its standard 3.5-litre V-6 gasoline engine, when it goes on sale this fall.
The redesigned 2013 Avalon made its public debut at the New York auto show in April.
With a combined system output of 200 horsepower from its internal combustion engine and electric motors, along with reductions in vehicle weight and improvements in aerodynamics, the Avalon Hybrid will achieve impressive fuel economy ratings, the company says.
Toyota touts U.S. EPA ratings of 40 mpg (US) in the city and 39 mpg (US) on the highway for a combined 40 mpg (US) EPA-rating. Canadian numbers haven't been released yet, but typically are not a direct conversion because of differences in the test procedure applied.
The Avalon Hybrid offers three operating modes: EV, ECO and SPORT:
In EV mode, under certain conditions, the vehicle can operate solely on electric propulsion for up to 1.6 km and at speeds up to 40 km/h.
ECO mode engages the gasoline engine, but reduces throttle response and HVAC output to help improve overall efficiency.
SPORT mode alters the engine’s throttle response and enhances steering feel to give the car a more sporting character.
The Avalon Hybrid incorporates a 2.5-litre, Atkinson-cycle, four-cylinder engine, a 244.8-volt nickel-metal hydride battery pack, and a pair of electric motor/generators within the transaxle – essentially the same package as in the Camry Hybrid, on which it is based.
Its 204-cell battery pack is located in the vehicle's trunk, directly behind the rear seats.
A liquid-cooled power-control unit located in the engine compartment houses an inverter, a DC-DC converter, a step-up converter (which raises voltage to a maximum of 650 volts) and the hybrid-drive ECU, which governs the electric-motor power application and regenerative braking.
The new sedan’s exterior and interior designs were conceived by a team at the company's Calty Design Research facilities in Southern California and Michigan. Its engineering development was led by a Toyota Technical Center in Ann Arbor, Michigan, and the car will be built at Toyota's assembly in Georgetown, Kentucky.