Toyota pulled the wraps off of the all-new 2013 Avalon with much fanfare at this year’s New York auto show. The sinewy sedan was well-received, but Toyota had yet to announce just what would be under the hood. Now we have a formal answer: the exact same V-6 and hybrid powertrains you’ll also find in the 2012 Toyota Camry.
The 2013 Avalon is available with one of two powertrain options – a first for Toyota’s large sedan. The first option, which pairs a 268-hp, 3.5-liter V-6 with a six-speed automatic transmission, is essentially carried over from the previous-generation Avalon. Toyota claims that the 2013 V-6 Avalon can now hit 60 mph in under seven seconds (the old one hit it in 6.2 seconds) and will achieve an EPA-rated 21/31 mpg city/highway — an increase of two and three mpg, respectively. New powertrain programming allows drivers to either increase (Sport mode) or retard (ECO mode) throttle response. Sport mode also alters the electric power steering to provide more feedback and weight, while ECO mode also reduces the amount of energy used by the climate control system.
The all-new powertrain for the 2013 Avalon is shared with the 2012 Camry and 2013 Lexus ES 300h, — fitting, since the Avalon shares its underpinnings with both cars. The Avalon uses the same 2.5-liter Atkinson-cycle I-4, electric motor (powered by a liquid-cooled nickel-metal hydride battery pack), and continuously variable transmission as both cars, but the Avalon’s net output is rated at 200 hp like the ES. Hybrid Avalons have the same ECO, normal, and Sport modes as the V-6 cars, but also add an EV mode that allows the car to travel roughly one mile on electricity alone, assuming speeds are kept below 25 mph. Unsurprisingly, the 2013 Avalon Hybrid achieves the same 40/39 mpg city/highway as the ES 300h.
The 2013 Toyota Avalon is one of the first all-new vehicles to come out of the Japanese juggernaut since CEO Akio Toyoda promised Toyota’s cars to be “more emotional.” Designed in California, engineered in Michigan, and built in Kentucky, the new Avalon is the first Toyota that has been completely conceived end-to-end in the U.S. for the U.S. market. It shows – the design is evocative, drawing on the four-door coupe trend characterized by the Mercedes-Benz CLS without feeling “me too.” Inside, the Avalon may be stepping on Lexus’ toes with a leather-and-wood-swathed interior and advanced technology like Toyota’s Entune infotainment system and a capacitive-touch center stack.
Expect pricing to be announced closer to the 2013 Avalon’s on-sale date this winter, but the 2012 model starts at $33,955 (including $760 destination)