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Old 02-11-2006, 01:49 AM   #1
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Default Toyota Aurion Sportivo

Toyota Aurion Sportivo first of many
By Glenn Butler
February 9, 2006

It may be hard to pronounce, but the all-new Toyota Aurion was the name of everyone's lips at this year's Melbourne motor show. The Aurion will be built at Toyota's Altona plant and will replace the Avalon locally-built large sedan in Toyota's Australian line-up when it launches in the second half of 2006.

"This is the most significant car in the history of Toyota Australia," Mr Conomos said. "It's styled specifically for Australian tastes: It has style, a strong visual presence, and tonnes of power."

Despite bold plans at Avalon's launch in 2000 to take the fight to the locally-built RWD large cars from Ford and Holden, the front-drive Toyota failed to ignite Australian passions. The Aurion was designed specifically for Australians by Australian Nick Hogios. Toyota Australia CEO John Conomos believes it delivers exactly what Australian large car buyers are looking for. He's also passionate about the 'performance' potential of the car, confirming a supercharged 3.5-litre V6 version for launch under the Sportivo brand in early 2007.

This performance sedan was previewed in the form of the Aurion Future Performance Concept alongside the Aurion sedan on the Toyota stand. Conomos would make no indications on price of the production version more than 12 months away. He said the Aurion-based performance sedan will "be unique in the Toyota world and will take styling cues from Toyota's Formula One car". He would not disclose the power output of the Aurion FPC's supercharged V6 engine, though it would need to be around 240kW to be competitive with Ford's turbo Falcon, and to separate it from the 'base' engine producing in excess of 190kW in naturally aspirated form.

Mr Conomos concedes the car's front wheel drive chassis could be an issue in a country dominated by rear-drive performance sedans. "Certainly, I think it could be an issue, but it's also an opportunity for us. Our job is to convince the Australian public of the merits of the car as a whole."

He also said the Aurion Sportivo would be the first of many for the fledgling performance brand, stating a desire to have "an image leader" for much of the Toyotas passenger car range. Toyota first used the Sportivo moniker on a He would not be drawn on which variants could follow, though Toyota has previously sold Sportivo versions of Corolla and Echo small cars.
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Old 02-11-2006, 10:41 PM   #2
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That thing looks hot. I do agree, though, that I'd be worried about trying to introduce a FWD car in Australia where cars like that are proudly RWD.
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Old 02-11-2006, 10:55 PM   #3
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Old 02-12-2006, 04:38 AM   #4
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Meh. I don't hink I am that impressed really. Just another bland car with some tacked-on body kit to make it "hip" looking.

Sorry Toyota, I know you make very high-quality cars, but it takes more than some peices of plastic glued onto the lower part of a car to make it "cool".
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Old 02-12-2006, 05:04 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by shemoves
I started getting excited as I read the story, but then it mentioned FWD...zzzzzzz
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Old 02-12-2006, 07:09 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by kage
I started getting excited as I read the story, but then it mentioned FWD...zzzzzzz
i got excited too till that, was hoping something inline with cressida/chaser deal.
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Old 02-13-2006, 12:35 AM   #7
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Toyota Stuns Melbourne with New Large Car: Aurion
Motoring Channel Staff - 9/Feb/2006

Toyota this morning took the wraps off its new large car that will challenge the dominance of the Ford Falcon and Holden Commodore.

And unlike the Avalon, this one actually looks pretty good.

In addition to a range of other new vehicles launched at the 2006 Melbourne Motor Show today, which we'll get to later, it was the new large car that attracted the most interest.

Toyota explains that the new Australian-built 6-cylinder sedan is being previewed a few months out from its launch in order to allow potential large car buyers to know the vehicle is soon to be available.

The company says that the car will be launching in Australia in the second half of 2006, where it will replace the discontinued Avalon sedan as Toyota’s offering in the large car segment.

Larger than the Toyota Camry, and more powerful, the company is expected to go an advertising blitz before the car's launch, ensuring that absolutely everyone will know about the car that plans to challenge Commodore's dominance.

It shares the same floorpan as the Camry - giving it an identical track - and as well as being built on the same factory line as its smaller sibling it will also borrow the Camry's doors.

The world's second largest automaker (which looks set to overtake GM this year to take the #1 spot) says that the Aurion was styled to suit Australian tastes. The design is world's apart from the superseded Avalon and looks to borrow its overall shape from the current crop of Australian large cars. The front end has similarities with the new Mitsubishi 380 and also Holden's upcoming VE Commodore, the latter of which is set for a Q3 launch later this year.

Power for the Aurion is expected to come from the 2GR-FE Toyota engine, a Japanese-built 3.5-litre V6 with a 4-valve, DOHC cylinder head that produces somewhere within the vicinity of 200kW @ 6200rpm and 336Nm of torque @ 4700rpm.

The design team behind the new Aurion - Toyota Style Australia - and the Toyota Australia engineers also displayed a two Aurion concept cars that hint strongly at the Sportivo model of the Aurion, which the Japanese automaker says will reach the Australian marketplace in the first half of 2007.

Toyota explains that the new vehicle, called the Aurion FPC (Future Performance Concept), will be unique in the Toyota world and will feature styling cues taken from Toyota’s Formula One car.

Headed up by young designer Nick Hogios, the concept will compete with vehicles such as the Holden SS Commodore and Ford Falcon XR8, and though it's unlikely to have access to an 8-cylinder engine, the prototype is said to be powered by a supercharged 3.5-litre V6.

As Toyota explains, the supercharged 2GR-FE engine was developed and tuned in Australia by a team of Toyota engineers working closely with local suppliers, drawing on motorsport engineering principles to deliver a new level of refined power and responsiveness to the performance car market. It is expected to output more than 250kW of power.

Beyond the unveiling of Toyota's promising new large car, the company's exhibit also devoted a good amount of space to the just-launched 2006 RAV4.

Built on an all-new platform with a longer wheelbase and wider track, Toyota says the new compact SUV offers a 20 per cent increase in interior space, while implementing a new AWD system that reduces fuel consumption and combines it’s Driver Assist Technology (DAT) and Vehicle Stability Control (VSC) with steering assist.

The new RAV4 has switched from a full-time AWD system to a new quasi-AWD setup that, according to Toyota, engages the rear wheels only when necessary for traction or cornering control, which results in reduced mechanical drag, further improving fuel economy and enhancing acceleration.

Another new model on the Toyota stand at the 2006 Melbourne Motor Show was the Yaris sedan, set to launch next month. The larger Yaris sedan model follows the successful launch of a 12-model Yaris hatchback range in October 2005, which the company claims has proven popular in its first months on sale.

Featuring a new-look exterior and a revised interior, the small sedan has more interior room than the sedan model it replaces, and will be powered by an updated 1.5-litre VVT-i engine matched to either a 5-speed manual transmission or an electronically controlled 4-speed automatic gearbox.

Toyota also used the 2006 Melbourne Motor Show to draw attention to its new-generation Tarago, which is inked in for a 2006 release (no more specifics were available). According to Toyota, the 2006 model Tarago is the fourth full-model change for the Tarago family, which first made its debut in Australia in 1983. It features eight seats, upgraded interior and exterior designs, a more powerful engine andhigher feature levels in general, including improved levels active and passive safety.

Lastly, the Japanese company showed off a concept car, which sits alongside Toyota's new F1 race car, called the Motor Triathlon Race Car (MTRC) concept vehicle. Powered by a pollution-free hydrogen fuel cell stack, which provides the electricity to drive four electric motors (one in each wheel well), the MTRC looks very strange and can also adjust its adaptive suspension system on the run, depending on the prevailing situations and relevant road surfaces. In addition to 'intelligent' tyres that can adapt to ensure maximum grip on all surface types, Toyota says it allows the concept car to compete on smooth racetracks, narrow street circuits or even off-road courses.

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