With the all-new 2013 Toyota Avalon, Toyota is aiming for high style. The new full-size sedan wears a swooping roofline with a polarizing new front end, which will start appearing elsewhere on Toyota vehicles.
For the 2013 model, the Avalon takes a big step forward in the design department. It is clear that Toyota benchmarked the fashion-forward Audi A7 and Mercedes-Benz CLS in designing the new Avalon. The long arch of the roof leads into a short decklid – though it is still has a traditional trunk, unlike the hatchback on the A7. In profile, the Avalon has a shoulder crease that creates a concave detailing framing the door handles. Mercedes' influence can be seen in the Avalon's taillights: two red rows of LEDs frame a row of white LEDs that house the reverse lights and turn signals.
Up front, the 2013 Avalon mergers the design philosophies of the new Camry and Scion FR-S/Toyota GT 86. A large, upright hexagonal lower grille dominates the front end and is topped by a smiling version of the same grille seen on the 2012 Camry. The headlights include Toyota's new Double-eye PES (Projector Ellipsoid System), which has a two-piece headlight -- similar to what Infiniti offered on the third-generation 2001-2006 Q45 -- outlined by LED daytime running lights. Below the headlights are trapezoidal foglight and turn signal clusters almost identical to those on the FR-S.
Inside, Toyota may be trying to rival its Lexus division with the 2013 Avalon – the interior is swathed in premium leather and the brand's Entune infotainment system. In the Avalon, Entune is controlled through touch-capacitive buttons similar to Ford's MyFordTouch or Cadillac's CUE system.
Since the 2013 Avalon rides on a two-inch longer version of the Camry's platform, all of the mechanicals from Toyota's bestseller carry over to its flagship sedan. Toyota has yet to announce powertrain details, but don't be surprised to see the familiar 3.5-liter V-6 that made 268 hp in the outgoing model. Expect a six-speed automatic transmission to channel that power to the front wheels. We wouldn't be surprised to see an all-new hybrid version that packs the same 2.5-liter four-cylinder Atkinson cycle engine as the Camry Hybrid and the all-new Lexus ES 300h.
The 2013 Toyota Avalon will go on sale later this year, though pricing -- and technical details -- should be announced just prior to the car's on-sale date.
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