Sedan sales aren’t what they used to be — heck, they’re in a free-fall — but that doesn’t mean there is no longer a market for them. At the 2018 Detroit Auto Show, Toyota Motors unveiled the all-new 2019 Toyota Avalon, which it hopes will standout in an automotive landscape increasingly dominated by crossovers.
Based on the Toyota New Global Architecture (TNGA), which also underpins the Camry and Prius, the fifth generation Avalon is longer, wider and lower than before, adopting a new design philosophy that Toyota calls “Technical Beauty.” It’s bold, different and, with that gaping whopper of a grille, not for everyone.
The interior is what you would expect from a car described as a ‘mid-premium’ sedan, offering just about every luxury amenity you could want and featuring more soft-touch materials than in the previous Avalon. The design is clean, sophisticated and elegant and centers around a 9.0-inch infotainment system (supports Apple CarPlay, Android Auto and Android Alexa) and a 7.0-inch central display on the instrument cluster. Higher trim levels get a massive 10-inch head-up display that presents vehicle and engine speeds, navigation information, audio settings and other data.
The new Avalon is the first Toyota-badged model to be available with adaptive variable suspension for improved ride quality and handling.
Power comes from a choice of either a 3.5L V6 or a hybrid system that utilizes a 2.5L four-cylinder engine, two electric motors and its Nickel-Metal battery situated under the rear seat. The former is mated to a new 8-speed automatic transmission, while the hybrid system makes due with a CVT.
Toyota likely hopes the Avalon’s bold new styling, new technology and refinement will appeal to more buyers after sales in 2017 tumbled by 32 percent in the United States, it largest and most important market. Sales begin in late spring 2018.
Detroit Auto Show Moving From January To October?
With an increasing number of automakers shifting their attention to the Consumer Electronics Show (CES), Detroit finds itself in a difficult situation. The Motor city is considering moving the North American International Auto Show (NAIAS) from January to October in an effort to keep it relevant.
Sources close to show organizers revealed to that the first October NAIAS would most likely take place in 2020, but a final decision has yet to be made.
What city would wan their auto show to be held in the dead of winter anyways? I’ll go with the milder Automun breeze, thank you very much.
Despite the change in dates, the show will continue to be held in the Cobo Center but could finally have some of its events take place outdoors, allowing the press and the public to possibly drive some of the cars on display. That’s precisely what automakers do at CES in Las Vegas.
The announcement comes in the wake of Mercedes-Benz’s decision to forgo the 2019 Detroit Auto Show, a decision that reflects the broader trend of the world’s automakers skipping the often expensive shows in favor of standalone, invite-only events.
Infiniti Previews Its Future Design And Technology With Q Inspiration Concept
At the 2018 Detroit Auto Show, Infiniti took the wraps off a concept vehicle that it says previews its future.
Not only does the so-called Q Inspiration Concept preview Infiniti’s new design direction, but it also ushers in a new era of technology for its vehicles.
It features the company’s next-generation ProPILOT system, which supposedly “liberates the driver from mundane and stressful driving situations.” However, because it can be overridden at any time, it doesn’t completely cut the driver out of the equation.
Power is provided by by Infiniti’s new Variable Compression (VC) turbo four that is said to continually transforms, adjusting its compression ratio to optimize power and fuel efficiency. The VC also powers the new QX50 crossover, where it produces 268 horsepower and 280 lb-ft of torque in the
Jumping to styling, the Q Inspiration Concept is a four-door sedan with coupe-like profile that’s sleeker, more sculpted and more flowing than any of Infiniti’s current models, even Q60 coupe. Rear-hinged rear doors give excellent access to a futuristic interior.
Christian Meunier, Infiniti Global Division Vice President, stated:
“The premium sedan segment has become rather conservative. The Infiniti Q Inspiration previews something that could appeal to a younger audience, who seek modern design and new technologies to inspire and empower them.”
Although the Q Inspiration Concept is only a design study and isn’t destined for production, there is a chance it will influence the next-generation Q70 sedan or even a spiritual successor the Q45 flagship sedan.
Ford Will Release 40 Plugin Hybrid And Electric Vehicles By 2022
Like crosstown rival General Motors, Ford Motor Co has an onslaught of hybrid and electric cars on the way, having confirmed plans to release 40 plug-in hybrid and electric vehicles by 2022.
This includes electrified versions of the popular F-150 pickup and Mustang sports cars and a fully-electric performance SUV (possible called ‘Mach 1’) that offers at least a 300-mile range and goes on sale by 2020. In fact, 16 of the 40 models will be fully-electric.
To make this happen, Ford will invest more than $11 billion by 2022 and has formed ‘Team Edison’ to “own the strategy, own the planning, and interface into the trend” of EV development and production.
The Ford Escape and Expedition, as well as the Lincoln MKC and Navigator, are expected to get plug-in hybrid versions soon. Speaking of Lincoln, the brand is expected to offer a hybrid version of each of its models.
Ford is clearly sinking its feet into the inevitable electric future.