Nevertheless, the Japanese carmaker is moving ahead with plans for an all-new version; that should bring some youthfulness back into a dying large sedan market. How fresh will it look? Well let’s take an illustrative sneak-peak.
Bolder, Camry-Like Styling:
If you thought the grille on the out-going car was big enough, then think again. A larger front opening flares out from the bottom and intersects with a smaller grille between the LED headlamps.
The side view highlights the Avalon’s typical front-wheel-drive proportions mixed with a fastback profile. Sheet-metal surfacing along the doors exudes a curious mix of swept creases, lower door scollops and prominent rear haunches. Speaking of the rear, there’s more than a hint of Lexus with its horizontal led tail-lights, quad exhaust tips and subtle spoiler.
New Global Underpinnings:
Toyota’s new flexible global architecture (TNGA) will underpin the next Avalon – although it’s not known if it’ll be a global offering. What does this mean for North American buyers? Well, more occupant space in a lighter body, that isn’t much bigger than the current car.
Lessons learned with latest Camry will also yield a better drive, with a new multilink rear suspension to aid in driving dynamics. Advanced driver assist technologies, better cabin materials, comfort and presentation will also feature.
Starting out the range will be Toyota’s latest 2.5-litre, ‘Dynamic Force’ gasoline four-cylinder with around 206 HP and 186 lb-ft of torque, sending power to the front wheels via a 8-speed auto. Don’t expect the current car’s V6 to disappear either, but rather gain some extra horsepower and improved fuel efficiency.
For the ultimate blend of power and efficiency, look for the Atkinson/Otto cycle hybrid to appear utilizing a 2.5-litre dynamic force mill mated to an electric motor.
A Dwindling Segment:
Let’s be frank here; large saloons no longer sell in huge numbers. Most buyers are flocking to SUV’s with rivals like Kia’s Cadenza, Chevrolet Impala, Chrysler 300, Dodge Charger and Ford Taurus battling to keep afloat – even the latter is being relegated for Chinese-only consumption in the near future.
Look for an official reveal later this year or possibly at the 2018 Detroit Motor Show.