Strong European presence
- Third-generation Toyota Avensis, designed, engineered and manufactured in Europe
- Building on Avensis quality, strength and safety
- Reducing CO2 emissions and fuel consumption, while increasing performance
Designed, engineered and built in Europe, the new Toyota Avensis made its world premiere at this year’s Paris Motor Show. Building on the success of the previous two models, the new Avensis projects an athletic and sleek design, giving a strong and dynamic character to the car. Featuring more powerful and cleaner engines, the new Avensis emits less CO2, uses less fuel and offers improved quality and enhanced equipment levels.
First launched in Europe at the end of 1997, over the last 10 years Avensis has gone from a segment share of 6% up to 8% and become a key player in the European D-segment. Toyota expects its newest third generation model will continue to strengthen this role.
Building on Avensis quality, strength and safety
The second generation Avensis held high standards for design, driving comfort and 5-star Euro NCAP safety. Avensis quality was particularly apparent in the finish and feel of the car’s internal mouldings. The second generation Avensis was also the very first D-segment car to achieve a maximum score of five stars in the Euro NCAP test. It came top with a record score of 34 points, which made it officially the safest D-segment car ever to be launched in Europe, and the first car of its kind to introduce a knee SRS airbag for the driver.
For the new third generation Avensis, Toyota was determined to increase the level of input from Europe. To ensure the success of the new Avensis, the Chief Engineer, Takashi Yamamoto, first came to Europe and drove more than 5000km through ten different European countries – from the very north to the south tip - to assess the needs and requirements of the European D-segment motorists. The third generation Avensis holds a large portion of European creative input, both from designers as well as engineers.
Chief Engineer Takashi Yamamoto explains: “From the start, we have put a strong European mark on the project. A total of 35 engineers from Toyota Motor Europe were invited to Japan to join forces with the Toyota Motor Corporation development team. When the project team returned to Europe for finalisation, these engineers played a key role in the knowledge transfer between the two development teams. I think this is one of the key reasons why today we can look back at a highly efficient development process and be proud of our achievement, that I believe is nothing less than “Cutting Edge” in the D-segment”.
Reducing CO2 emissions and fuel consumption, while increasing performance
One huge challenge facing the team designing the third generation Avensis was creating a car that is both powerful, safe and fun to drive, but still makes a substantial commitment to reducing CO2 and other harmful emissions in Europe.
“With the rapid advancement of society in the 21st century, our lifestyles have become extremely complex. Accordingly, people’s demands toward cars have become diverse. Drivers are not satisfied with cars that are simply fast and comfortable. Today, more owners are concerned about safety, ecology, and social responsibility,” explains Wahei Hirai, Managing Officer, Toyota Design Center.
Takashi Yamamoto, Avensis Chief Engineer explains the challenge that faces his team: “When we started to plan the third generation Avensis, we were determined to build on the strong points of the current generation. Features like well-proven safety levels and highly appreciated quality and performance. However, we also had to predict what factors would be of great importance in five to ten years time to ensure the Avensis remains competitive throughout its lifecycle. One of the main development requirements we identified was the importance of CO2-emissions. Whatever product we launch today, it has to contribute to lowering CO2 emission levels. Wherever possible, in every part of the vehicle, we have applied all our engineering efforts in a CO2-and-fuel-reducing manner.”
Innovative Toyota Optimal Drive technology is applied to the third generation Avensis through a powerful new range of petrol engines, upgraded diesel engines and advanced new transmissions offering customers reduced emissions and fuel consumption, yet without compromising on power and driving pleasure. Every new Avensis powertrain is optimised for fuel efficiency, low emissions and powerful performance. Thanks to Toyota Optimal Drive, the new Avensis will also contribute to reduce Toyota’s CO2 fleet average below 140g/km by 2009. The result for the overall European Avensis fleet is an average reduction per vehicle by 6.7g/km down to 153.5g/km.
Athletic design — powerful and dynamic
- Designed using Vibrant Clarity, Toyota’s unique design language
- Inspired by “J-factor” that reflects Japanese originality and global appeal
- The new Avensis offers greater perceived space and quality
Conceived by ED2 – Toyota’s advanced design studio in the South of France – the new Avensis expresses athletic power, yet without relying on bulk or mass to do so. At ED2, the Vibrant Clarity design language helped meet the three key challenges of the new Avensis:
- To project power, yet without being a massive car
- To be dynamic to drive, yet with top-class ride comfort
- To deliver low emissions and fuel consumption, yet with impressive performance
“The new Avensis innovates athleticism by balancing opposing elements of dynamism and comfort, emotion and functionality, image and self-gratification. It is not done by relying on mass to express power, but through synergy of opposing elements. Athletic imagery relates more to speed-skaters, swimmers or racehorses rather than a muscular bull: powerful but not massive.” – Simon Humphries, General Manager Toyota Design Center.
The new Avensis will be available in two athletic body shapes: a sedan and a wagon. Instead of simply stretching and raising the rear section of the sedan, the Avensis wagon was designed specifically for its purpose, and to match the same elegant flowing lines as the sedan. The design team sculpting the wagon focused on incorporating the seductive nature of the sedan while at the same time allowing practicality and luggage space matching all the most recent D-segment competitors.
As Takashi Yamamoto, Avensis Chief Engineer explains: “We wanted the third generation Avensis to be innovative and dynamic, carrying over the positive character of the second generation model, but making it stronger and more robust.”
Vibrant Clarity, resolving paradoxes
Vibrant Clarity, is about resolving paradoxes. Drawing on Japanese J-factor heritage as its foundation, Vibrant Clarity is a design ethos that aims to infuse future vehicles with a completely original identity and emotional intensity that will be uniquely identifiable as Toyota. Vibrant Clarity is the key to answering a long-standing paradox – how to create vehicles that are both energised and dynamic (vibrant), but also at the same time, rational and ingenious (clarity).
“In our design process, synergizing contradictory elements in harmony is central to the creation of new design values. This way of thinking originates in Japanese aesthetics. This is what we call our J-factor. J-factor is quite simply Japanese originality that will have global appeal.” explains Wahei Hirai, Managing Officer, Toyota Design Center.
On the new Avensis, Vibrant Clarity was applied with its three fundamental building blocks: Perfect Imbalance, Integrated Component Architecture and Freeform Geometrics.
The prevalent use of asymmetry in Japanese aesthetics can be described as Perfect Imbalance. An unexpected element in an otherwise perfect composition is often the element that makes it more natural, enthralling and dynamic. Stereotypical notions of vehicles, which look ‘balanced’, are often easy to understand at first, but soon become boring. Creating energy and vitality in the overall proportion of a vehicle is essential in design, which endures.
The third generation Avensis profile is almost mono-form in nature, with the cowl pushed forward and the rear pillar pulled backward, creating a striking, powerful and distinct identity with a high-class feeling. The raised face of the vehicle seamlessly flows into the mono-form cabin and steeply wedged beltline, before leading to the raised boot, creating a unique form, as well as excellent aerodynamics.
Using the idea of “Perfect Imbalance”, designers of the third generation Avensis managed to stretch front and rear pillars to create a flowing form and roominess, while almost maintaining outer dimensions. And the clean dynamic form has surprising interior space, but at the same time Toyota designers managed to optimise pedestrian safety whilst at the same time keeping a low and aerodynamic bonnet. Excellent aerodynamics give a Coefficient of Drag (Cd) of just 0.28 for the sedan body type and 0.29 for the wagon body, which has helped in reducing the CO2 emission levels.
Avensis is just 50mm longer than the previous generation, giving the sedan and the wagon a length of 4695mm and 4765mm respectively. Both versions have the same 2700mm wheelbase and they also keep the same height as their predecessors at 1480mm. Thanks to the new platform, the front tread width has been increased by 45mm and the rear tread width by 30mm, while the width of the car has increased by 50mm, to 1810mm.
Relocating the wheels towards the outside edges of the floorplan has achieved a more solid, powerful presence, without adding unnecessary weight or mass.
Integrated Component Architecture
As the title infers, Integrated Component Architecture aims to develop striking architectural features, which contribute to the whole form of a vehicle while giving emphasis to each individual component. In addition to the proportion of the vehicle, revealing the architectural construction and theme of the design further communicates energy without the need for exaggeration.
To the front of the third generation Avensis, the wrap around architecture of the bonnet clearly expresses the construction of the vehicle, yet at the same time is integrated into the entire form. The rear end of the vehicle echoes this approach with its bumper character line that flows out towards the corners, connects to the rear combination lamps and finally integrates in the body.
Freeform Geometrics is how Vibrant Clarity is applied to the surfacing of the vehicle. A clear combination of geometric lines and surfaces giving the feeling of it being handmade, results in a simplistic, yet highly seductive overall aesthetic. The surfaces are almost mathematical in their cleanliness and precision, but at the same time have movement and emotion to keep the design fresh and energised.
“Our design philosophy is based on a belief that design should emphasise endurance, in a philosophy that connects the past to the future. We believe that design should touch people’s hearts and represent a dream that has come true.” Wahei Hirai – Managing Officer, Toyota Design Center, Toyota Motor Corporation.
The new Avensis offers greater perceived space and quality
The second generation Avensis was praised for being a very roomy car. On the new Avensis, Toyota worked on the perception of space by moving the A-pillar forward by 110mm and the C-pillar backwards by 50mm. The cargo area in the wagon is very flexible, with thoughtful optional features like sliding cargo rails to allow for dividing and securing separate loads. Retractable smart rear seats allow flexible one-touch flat folding to create extra space in both wagon and sedan.
The new instrument panel design maximizes interior width, emphasising the car’s roominess. In the wagon version the feeling of space can be further enhanced by the optional panoramic roof, which creates a seamless connection to the outside environment.
The interior materials express prestige and dynamism and are available in black or in a combination of grey and beige. The dashboard trim has a softly textured, grained quality while the centre console comes in different layouts ranging from black metallic paint to titanium-tinted ornamentation, depending on grade. On the high grades, the new Avensis’ centre console features a warm and intriguingly textured finish, which is inspired by Takesumi (charcoal made out of bamboo).
The instrument console has a flowing high quality look with crisply illuminated speedometer and tachometer dials with chrome surrounding rings. The Optitron display ensures clear legibility regardless of lighting conditions and helps to maintain your long sight vision, immediately after checking the meters.
Toyota Optimal Drive — increased power and torque, with lower CO2 emissions and fuel consumption
- Innovative Valvematic petrol technology – more power, lower CO2 emissions and fuel consumption
- Upgraded D-4D engines with CO2 and fuel consumption levels decreased by up to 10%, meeting Euro V
- Advanced new Multidrive S and 6-speed automatic transmissions
Avensis owners no longer have to choose between fuel effciency and performance. Now, both are standard across the range as every new Avensis benefits from Toyota Optimal Drive: innovative environmental solutions that deliver a powerful balance of reduced fuel consumption, low CO2 emissions and uncompromised driving pleasure.
Toyota Optimal Drive is made possible by an ingenious line-up of new engine technologies and advanced transmissions that feature low friction components, lightweight compact design and enhanced combustion effciency.
On the new Avensis petrol engines, Toyota Optimal Drive has maximised the effciency, power and torque through advanced new Valvematic technology that allows optimal valve lift and timing to generate top-level performance.
For the Avensis diesel engines, a series of component systems have been re-engineered, using Toyota Optimal Drive technology, to make the engines deliver higher performance while emitting fewer emissions and consuming less fuel.
Avensis owners can now also enjoy the smoothness of driving effciently, with advanced and highly responsive Multidrive S and 6-speed automatic transmission technology.
Innovative Valvematic petrol technology – more power, lower CO2 emissions and fuel consumption
- Lower emissions through a more effective combustion process
- Increased fuel efficiency through reduced pumping losses
- Increased power through higher inlet valve lift
- Better engine response through reduced air intake delay
One of the key pillars underpinning Toyota Optimal Drive is the new Valvematic petrol engine line-up with CO2 emissions and fuel consumption decreased by 10 to 26% depending on powertrain, while at the same time increasing power by 3 to 20%.
Valvematic is an innovative development of Toyota’s proven dual Variable Valve Timing - intelligent (dual VVT-i) technology. In addition to the variable timing of the inlet and outlet valves, Valvematic adds a lift control system that continually varies the lift of the inlet valves in order to better control the intake airflow volume and speed. This provides a breakthrough in combustion efficiency, that ultimately delivers more power for less fuel.
Compact and simple design for effectiveness
The basic two elements of the Valvematic system are an actuator and a continuous valve lift control unit. The opening motion of the inlet valves is transferred from the camshaft to the valves by a rocker. To control the amount the valve is opened, the continuous valve lift control unit varies the clearance between the valve and the rocker, and hence the amount the valve is opened.
Compactly situated on the end of the cylinder head, the Valvematic actuator utilises a screw thread mechanism to adjust the clearance and contact period between the rocker and the valve. As a result, Toyota has been able to package the Valvematic operating system within the cylinder head, without the need to increase the height and width of the engine.
Fewer restrictions for efficient combustion
The control of the valve lift height makes it possible to even more precisely control the airflow, compared to the outgoing VVT-i engines. Valvematic also enables other parts of the combustion engine to be engineered for higher efficiency. Together this helps to reduce the restrictions that limit the efficiency of conventional petrol engines, leading to four tangible benefits:
High efficiency Good efficiency Less good efficiency
Engine speed range
Increased fuel efficiency
Throttle valve fully opened
Low to Medium
Medium to High
Reduced mechanical friction
Low to Medium
Medium to High
Low to Medium
Medium to High
Higher valve lift
Low to Medium
Medium to High
Variable length of intake manifold
Low to Medium
Medium to High
Better engine response
Throttle valve fully opened
Low to Medium
Medium to High
High efficiency Good efficie Less good efficiency
Benefit of increased fuel efficiency
One restraining force in a conventional internal combustion engine is the so called “pumping loss”, which means the vacuum that is created in the intake manifold (air intake) at low- to medium engine speeds. At low- to medium engine speeds a reduced amount of air- and fuel mix is needed. Hence, in a conventional combustion engine, the throttle is just partially open and a vacuum is created in the intake manifold when the combustion chamber is being filled with air- and fuel mix.
The piston, therefore, has to work continuously against this vacuum, which lowers the efficiency of the engine. On the Valvematic engines, the valve lift height is variable, so at low- to medium engine speed range this enables the air- and fuel mix to be controlled by the lower lift height of the valves instead, and practically leaves the throttle fully opened, which lowers the pumping loss.
The air- and fuel mix being controlled by a lower lift height in the low- to medium engine speed range also brings another fuel saving advantage - reduced mechanical friction. Each valve is positioned with a spring, and when opening the valve a force working towards this spring is applied. On a conventional petrol engine, the valve is continually opened to its maximum lift at every engine revolution. With the Valvematic system, which varies the amount of valve lift according to engine speed or load, the energy required for the valve opening is reduced.
Benefit of lower emissions
The key principle to combustion efficiency – delivering more power from less fuel and hence low emissions – is to ensure the best possible mixing of the air and fuel as it enters the combustion chamber.
If the air intake speed is too low, the air and the fuel cannot fully mix, meaning lower combustion efficiency and higher emissions for a given power output. The principle of the Valvematic system is to control both the speed and the volume of air and fuel mixture into the engine by varying the inlet valve lift and duration.
At low- to medium engine speed range, when traditionally the air intake speed is lower, the Valvematic system only partially opens the inlet valve. For a given volume flow, the air and fuel has to pass faster through the smaller valve opening. A faster airflow is created and the mixing of the air and fuel is optimised – dramatically improving combustion efficiency and reducing emissions. As low- to medium engine speed range is the most commonly used operating range in everyday driving, the significance and impact of this improvement is extremely important.
Benefit of increased power
The continuous valve lift control unit not only allows for a lower lift height during normal driving conditions, it also allows for an increased lift height under conditions where maximum power is needed. With the higher valve lift it is possible to maximise the volume of air and fuel entering the combustion chamber, resulting in a higher overall power output.
To further optimise combustion efficiency Toyota has designed a variable length of the inlet manifold. At low- to medium engine speed range a valve in the inlet manifold is kept closed, requiring the air to take a longer route. This route is carefully designed to serve as an accelerator, to ensure that the inlet air speed is maximised as it approaches the inlet valve, further improving the efficiency of the combustion process. At higher engine speed ranges, the valve in the manifold is opened. This allows air to enter via a shorter, less restrictive route, maximising the air volume able to reach the engine and ultimately increasing the engine power output.
Benefit of better engine response
As the volume of air and fuel entering the engine is controlled by the opening of the inlet valve, the role of the traditional throttle has changed. Instead of controlling the airflow into the engine at all times it is now mainly utilised to restrict airflow at engine shut down or as part of the vehicle stability control system.
This means, for the most part, the throttle can be held fully open when the engine is running minimising restriction and hence maximising airflow efficiency into the inlet manifold.
This, in turn, improves engine response, as there is no longer a delay for air to reach the engine when the throttle is opened.
Toyota Optimal Drive 1.6-litre Valvematic
The new 1.6-litre Valvematic benefits from a brand-new 6-speed manual transmission. The 1.6 -litre Valvematic power has been increased by 20% compared to the previous 1.6 VVT-i – up to 132 DIN hp, with torque up by 10Nm to 160Nm at 4400rpm. The CO2 emission level is reduced by 12% to 152g/km* (sedan body type).
Toyota Optimal Drive 1.8-litre Valvematic
The new 1.8-litre Valvematic offers a choice of a new 6-speed manual transmission or a brand-new Multidrive S transmission, Toyota’s latest continuously variable transmission technology. The 1.8-litre Valvematic power has been increased by 14% compared to the previous 1.8-litre VVT-i – up to 147 DIN hp, with torque up by 10Nm to 180Nm at 4000rpm. The CO2 emission level is down by 10% to 154g/km* when combined with the manual transmission version and by 16% to 157g/km* when combined with the Multidrive S transmission (sedan body type).
Toyota Optimal Drive 2.0-litre Valvematic
At the top of the petrol range is the 2.0-litre Valvematic, which also comes with either the 6-speed manual transmission or the brand-new Multidrive S transmission. Its improved performance gives 152 DIN hp, an increase of 3% compared to the old 2.0 D-4, and 196Nm torque at 4000rpm. The CO2 emission level is down by 15% to 163g/km* when combined with the manual transmission version and by 26% to 164g/km* when combined with the Multidrive S transmission (sedan body type).
With these new petrol engines, the new Avensis delivers top-class power to CO2 ratio.
Upgraded D-4D engines with CO2 and fuel consumption reduced by up to 10%, meeting Euro V
- Increased torque available at lower speeds
- Next-generation common-rail and piezoelectric injector technology
- One of the highest injection pressures of this type – 2000 bar
Another example of Toyota Optimal Drive can be seen on the new Avensis diesel line-up. Here the challenge was re-engineering engines to deliver excellent performance, low CO2 emissions and fuel consumption, but at the same time also make a substantial reduction in the amount of particulate matter and NOx produced by the engines. The Toyota Optimal Drive D-4D engines now all meet Euro V standards.
The new third-generation Avensis will offer customers one of the most comprehensive diesel engine ranges in the segment. All fitted with Toyota Optimal Drive technology, the 2.0-litre D-4D 125 is the entry-level engine, followed by the 2.2-litre D-4D 150 as the mid-power offer and, ﬁnally, the 2.2-litre D-4D 180, which will cover the high-power band of this segment.
A series of component systems has been re-engineered on the Avensis D-4D range, using Toyota Optimal Drive technology, to make the engines deliver higher performance while at the same time lowering emissions and consumption.
The three powerful and refined Toyota Optimal Drive diesel engines on the new generation Avensis deliver more torque at lower speed, leading to an increased level of driving pleasure. Power is present at lower speeds and less frequent gear shifting is needed. The low speed torque performance is increased by up to 5.5% depending on engine.
The new Toyota Optimal Drive D-4D engines use the very latest piezoelectric technology. The solenoid injectors of the 2.0-litre D-4D 125 and the 2.2-litre D-4D 150 have been replaced by new efficient piezoelectric injectors and the 2.2-litre D-4D 180 has adopted the same new injectors too. Piezoelectric injectors can more accurately control the fuel volume and the timing of the injection. The increased injection pressure in combination with the new piezoelectric injectors leads to a shorter injection time. Toyota’s piezoelectric common-rail system produces one of the highest injection pressures among systems of this type – 2000 bar. This state-of-the-art system is a central factor in achieving class-leading levels of power and torque, with high fuel efficiency.
The more refined control of the fuel injection provided by the new piezoelectric injectors helps to reduce CO2 emissions, fuel consumption and other emissions such as particulate matter (PM) and NOx. Also contributing to this is a new shape of the combustion chamber that optimises the combustion process, and the adoption of a low viscosity oil to reduce the level of friction.
These new diesel engine technology features lead to CO2 and fuel consumption level reduction from 1 to 10% depending on the powertrain compared to the outgoing Avensis model.
Toyota Optimal Drive 2.0-litre D-4D 125
The entry-level 2.0-litre D-4D 125 engine, available with a Diesel Particulate Filter (DPF), delivers power via a 6-speed manual transmission. It produces 126 DIN hp and 310Nm torque between 1800 and 2400rpm. Emissions are reduced by 7% to 134g/km* when equipped with Oxidation Catalytic Converter (CCo), and by 9% to 139g/km* when fitted with the DPF (sedan body type).
Toyota Optimal Drive 2.2-litre D-4D 150
The 2.2-litre D-4D 150, equipped as standard with a DPF when ordered with the 6-speed manual transmission, offers a well-balanced proposition of power and economy. Power output is 150DIN hp while torque has been increased on this engine by nearly 10% to 340Nm between 2000 and 2,00rpm. In addition, its wide torque range means maximum torque is available in most driving conditions, without the need for frequent gear changes. CO2 emissions are reduced by 6% to 147g/km* (sedan body type).
A brand-new 6-speed automatic transmission is also available. When combined with the 6-speed automatic transmission, this engine is equipped with Toyota’s unique emissions control technology called Toyota D-CAT (Diesel - Clean Advanced Technology), delivering a CO2 emission level of 169g/km* (sedan body type). Here Toyota D-CAT technology reduces emissions of hydrocarbons (HC), Carbon Monoxide (CO), Nitrogen Oxides (NOx), and Particulate Matter (PM) at the same time. The technology is maintenance-free and doesn’t require any component replacement.
Toyota Optimal Drive 2.2-litre D-4D 180
The 2.2 D-4D 180, equipped with a 6-speed manual transmission, puts Avensis in contention with the most powerful diesel cars in the sector. It features the most advanced technologies available today: all- aluminium construction, high-pressure piezoelectric common-rail system, electrically-activated turbocharger, latest-generation ceramic glow plugs and the unique Toyota D-CAT technology.
The engine’s unique combination of a low compression ratio and high boost turbocharger creates remarkable power output and engine efficiency. With 177 DIN hp of power and a torque delivery of 400Nm across a range from 2000 to 2800rpm, this is among the most powerful diesel cars in the D-segment. It delivers 0-100km/h in just 8.5 seconds with a CO2 emission level of 157g/km, making it a high power diesel with one of the lowest CO2 levels on the market today.
Engines and transmissions made in Europe
The Toyota Motor Manufacturing UK plant in Deeside will supply the 1.6 and 1.8 Valvematic engines while the brand-new plant Toyota Motor Industries Poland (TMIP), located in Jelcz-Laskowice, Poland, will supply 2.0 and 2.2 D-4D engines. The Toyota Motor Manufacturing Poland (TMMP) plant will provide the new 6-speed manual transmission for the Valvematic engines.
Advanced new transmissions
The new Avensis will have a range of advanced transmissions with focus on the balance between responsiveness and smoothness and of course – fuel efficiency.
The Multidrive S is Toyota’s brand-new and highly advanced Continuously Variable Transmission (CVT) available on the 1.8-litre and 2.0-litre Valvematic engines.
For the first time on a Toyota diesel passenger car, a 6-speed automatic is introduced and will be available on the 2.2-litre D-4D 150.
All petrol engines can also be ordered with a newly developed 6-speed manual transmission while the diesel engines will be available with the proven 6-speed manual transmission.
New Multidrive S for 1.8-litre and 2.0-litre Valvematic engines
- Powerful driving performance, incredibly smooth, refined shift
- Convenience of an automatic with CO2 and fuel efficiency similar to a manual gearbox
- Features 7-speed sequential manual mode
Multidrive S is Toyota’s latest continuously variable transmission technology. It gives an incredibly smooth, refined shift and automatically optimises the torque and fuel consumption by always using the most efficient engine speed.
While conventional automatic or manual transmissions use multiple sets of gears and a clutch to achieve different gear ratios, Toyota’s Multidrive S delivers an infinite number of ratios using two cone-shaped pulleys and a high-strength v-shaped steel belt. With this arrangement Multidrive S changes ratios smoothly and seamlessly, almost eliminating traditional shift shock.
Multidrive S delivers assuring performance:
- The transmission is very CO2 and fuel efficient, because the continuously variable transmission lets the engine utilise the most efficient engine speed region, making the most out of the engine torque.
- Powerful driving performance: due to its innovative pulley and chain v-belt design, it can also continuously maintain the ideal ratio to keep the engine in its optimal power range.
- Incredibly smooth, refined shift, automatically optimising the torque and fuel consumption by always using the optimum engine speed.
Multidrive S continuously and seamlessly adjusts its pulley ratio to always provide the most fuel efficient ratio under normal driving conditions. When pressuring the engine a little harder, the transmission starts to simulate the behaviour of a 7-speed automatic transmission. This helps to eliminate whining sounds associated with a continuously variable transmission, which could occur during fast acceleration. When performing a complete kick-down with the accelerator paddle, the transmission goes back to its normal behaviour to fully benefit from the optimal power range.
For driving in hilly regions an “uphill” or “downhill” control logic has also been developed that will select the best ratios from the Multidrive S. Driving up hills the ratio will be selected to reduce the amount of shifting and driving down hill ratios will be selected to make optimum use of engine braking.
For a sportier drive, the driver simply has to push the “sport” button next to the gearshift. This mode will select a more responsive and power-maximising ratio that better corresponds with the driver’s intention.
For an even more active driving feel, the Multidrive S features a sequential manual 7-speed mode. The gear selection is either performed by the gearshift lever, or on the 2.0-litre Valvematic engine, the driver can also use the paddle-shifts located on each side of the steering wheel.
On this powertrain option, drivers can also use the paddle-shifts to temporarily override the automatic mode. It means that the gearbox is still in D-mode, but when preparing to overtake for example the driver can override the D-mode temporarily to prepare for coming conditions. The transmission goes back to the automatic mode by pressing the “+-paddle” for more than 1 second, or when driving at a constant speed, or when accelerating constantly for more than a specified period of time or when the vehicle is fully stopped.
New 6-speed transmission for all petrol engines
- Wider gear range ratio reduces revs for better fuel economy and lower CO2
- Improved shift feeling for smooth gear shifting
By fitting a wider gear range ratio to this brand-new gearbox, engine speed has been reduced which leads to better fuel economy and with this lower CO2 (the new Avensis petrol engines now feature a 6-speed gearbox instead of 5-speed). Fuel economy was also improved by reducing friction and drag in the transaxle. Here Toyota engineers added an oil separator to decrease the amount of the oil stir as well as specifying low friction bearings and low viscosity oil.
A lot of engineering effort has been put in to improve shift feeling on the new gearbox to make it smoother than the outgoing manual transmission. For the synchronizing system engineers adopted a high capacity synchronizer, decreased the width of the teeth (or pitch) from 2.1mm to 1.6mm and added a separate chamfer (one for synchronizing and one for engaging). For the shift system a highly efficient shift layout and steel fork with symmetrical rigidity was specified. This was the first time that all these three refinements were added to one Toyota gearbox. Together all these changes meant the gearbox is now smoother and represents a breakthrough compared to the second generation Avensis.
In terms of noise and vibration, Computer Aided Engineering methods were used to design the best gearbox possible. High strength oval and conical forms were developed. Computational work resulted in an optimised case shape, bearing support and strengthening rib layout. Teeth geometry was also perfected and a new grinding process was used for the third, 4th and final gear teeth.
New 6-speed automatic transmission on 2.2-litre D-4D 150
- Compact and extremely smooth
- AI-SHIFT control optimising shift pattern that corresponds to road condition and driver’s intention
- “Sport direct shift response” for efficient 6-speed sequential M-mode control
- Paddle shift and “blipping” during downshifts enhances fun and feel
Representing a Toyota first on a diesel passenger car, a brand-new 6-speed automatic transmission is offered on the 2.2 D-4D 150. It provides a fast smooth shift response while maintaining an impressive level of comfort by eliminating harsh shift shocks. To select a shift pattern that corresponds to the road condition and the driver’s intention, it uses Toyota’s AI-SHIFT control (Artificial Intelligence Shift control). The AI-SHIFT control monitors throttle opening angle, brake signal input and vehicle- and engine speed and automatically adjusts the shift pattern to suit. It has a Sport mode that when switched on selects a more aggressive shift pattern, using the AI-SHIFT Control.
This new automatic transmission also offers the exhilaration of a sequential 6-speed manual mode. By moving into the M-gate, the driver can change gear either by using the sequential shift of the gearshift lever or by using paddle-shifts on the steering wheel.
Toyota engineers added a newly developed M-mode control, “Sports direct shift response”. The M-mode gives a more direct feeling and lock-up is used from second to 6th gears for as wide a range as possible right up to the red zone. This allows a sporty drive like on a manual transmission. The paddle shift option and “blipping” during the downshift process adds to driving fun and feel. Blipping is achieved by controlling the injection volume of diesel and hydraulically controlling the clutch engagement and disengagement. Through this the change time and response could be improved greatly. Here, Toyota has achieved a world best for downshift times in diesel engines.
As on the 2.0-litre Valvematic Multidrive S, the Avensis 2.2-litre D-4D 150 drivers can also override the D-mode temporarily. This means that the gearbox is still in D-mode, but to prepare for overtaking or cornering the driver can temporarily select a lower gear. It can also be used when engine braking is needed. This function selects a fixed highest gear range mode and stays in this condition until either the vehicle is stopped, the vehicle has been driving at a constant speed or has been accelerating constantly for more than a specified period of time or by pressing the “+-paddle” for more than 1 second.
The gearbox is 384mm long and it weights 94.5 kilos with liquids. It displays very smooth gear shifts without shock, but at the same time is very responsive – another example of solving very different aims. Even the take-off control (from stand still), is very well balanced with a quick responsive take-off without hesitation but at the same time no shock which means a comfortable ride.
Engineering efforts were also focused on improving shift quality. An advanced electromagnetic linear solenoid was used to control large oil flows in the clutch more accurately and software for “engine torque demand control” and “multiple shift sequence logic” was developed. Closer ratio gearing was also adopted that leads to improved acceleration performance in the middle and lower vehicle speed range.
Fuel economy was also optimised by changing the groove shape on the friction discs in the torque converter, and re-engineering the torque converter gives a 90% efficiency level. Thanks to these changes the torque converter was able to operate right down to 1000 revs. In addition Toyota also increased the fuel cut duration during deceleration that further increases fuel economy.
Proven 6-speed manual transmission for diesels
- Robust, but also exceptionally compact at a mere 384mm in length
- Adopts low viscosity oil for low CO2 emissions and fuel consumption level
The Toyota Optimal Drive D-4D engines can be specified with a 6-speed manual transmission that delivers smooth, quick and precise gear changes. The gearbox’s construction is not only robust, but also exceptionally compact; at a mere 384mm in length beating other six-speed transmissions of identical or even inferior torque capacity.
The 6-speed transmission adopts the lowest viscosity oil available today for manual transmissions, which helps keeping CO2 emissions and fuel consumption at a low level.
This transmission was developed to offer a very wide gear range ratio, which is made possible with a 6-speed conﬁguration and the adoption of a different length between the input shaft and each of the output shafts.
Dynamic handling with advanced ride comfort
- New, stiffer platform for a dynamic, yet comfortable ride
- Improved stability, agility, ride comfort and steering feeling
- Very low drag coefficient of just 0.28 and 0.29 Cd (sedan and wagon)
- Reduced Noise Vibration and Harshness (NVH) levels
The precise and flexible responses of the new Avensis are built on strong foundations: a new, precision-welded platform of extraordinary rigidity and a car body with excellent aerodynamics. Key to the car’s handling, this new platform also contributes greatly to its safety and quiet running. The use of high tensile steels accounts for much of the constituent steel body components. This helps to reduce weight, increase rigidity and ensure class-leading collision safety.
Creating a dynamic, yet comfortable ride
The main focus of Toyota’s suspension and chassis engineers on the new Avensis went into creating a car that is not only dynamic and fun to drive, but one that is smooth and relaxing to drive on long journeys.
The Toyota engineers aimed at developing a car with highly competitive handling characteristics, but also one offering a very high comfort level.
Improving stability, agility, ride comfort and steering feeling
For chassis development the Chief Engineer chose four keywords in the development process. With the input from extensive test driving on closed circuits and on normal roads, Toyota engineers spent three years developing and honing the new Avensis.
Stability: For straight-line stability, Toyota has aimed to offer the most relaxing drive possible. Drivers will notice this most on motorways where minimum steering input is needed. On snowy roads straight-line stability characteristics are even more apparent and this is why Toyota tested extensively in Northern Europe. However, as well as making the car very agile whilst responding quickly to steering input, the car had to be stable enough to handle the agility.
The following measures were taken to improve the stability of the new Avensis:
- Wider tread, front / rear (mm): 1560 / 1550 (16”), 1550 / 1540 (17”& 18”)
- Larger wheel/tyre size: 16”, 17” and 18”
- Front suspension with a higher caster angle for straight-line stability
- Rear suspension, improved torsional rigidity (measure of response) and lateral force steer (measure of rear grip)
Agility: To achieve agility, the new Avensis had to respond quickly to steering input. Here, Toyota engineers focused on achieving maximum yaw rate with minimum delay after steering input, and making sure this yaw rate quickly transforms into a lateral acceleration of the car. The front MacPherson strut suspension and rear double wishbone suspension were given an improved layout. For example, great efforts have been put into optimising the front stabiliser layout for increased roll rigidity to generate fast yet controlled agility.
Ride comfort: For optimum ride comfort, work was done to reduce the pitch angle when accelerating and decelerating hard and to reduce bounce amplitude when driving on bumpy roads or over potholes. The upper support structure for the front
MacPherson strut suspension has been changed from a single path structure to a dual path and new shock absorbers were added. This has led to reduction of rubber hardness, which greatly improves the ride comfort via less noise and vibration levels.
Rear suspension was given increased longitudinal compliance to reduce harshness. The upper support material is of a high damping rubber to reduce noise and vibration levels and a soft type suspension member mounting to the body structure is adopted.
Steering feeling: The advanced and precise Electric Power Steering system is extremely quick to react and does not show any fatigue tendencies that can occur with hydraulic systems. This is best shown in situations where drivers need to do quick and sharp continuous turns from one direction to another. The uncomfortable steering kick-back which is especially apparent while driving over potholes in sharp cornering is effectively reduced, but with a strong focus on still maintaining the steering feel. The delay timing from steering input until noticeable effect is also greatly improved.
A new ECU logic has been adopted and the intermediate shaft is of a high rigidity telescopic type to further improve the steering feeling. To improve steering and to supply natural steering feeling, two special features are included in the power steering system: active return control and yaw rate feedback control. The active return control helps to regain straight-line direction after a low speed cornering by adding a returning torque to the steering wheel. The yaw rate feedback control estimates the yaw rate in a high speed cornering and adds a torque to reduce the movement.
Reducing Noise Vibration and Harshness (NVH)
Riding in the third generation Avensis is very quiet. To help reduce wind noise the car has excellent aerodynamics, with a very low drag coefficient of just 0.28 and 0.29 respectively for the sedan and the wagon body type. This is the result of many hours of computer time and extensive real life wind tunnel testing – and the most extreme attention to detail. The bodywork of the new Avensis offers little air resistance, a situation that is enhanced by exceptionally narrow gaps between panels and minimal protrusions.
The third generation Avensis spent numerous hours in the wind tunnel for aerodynamic refinement and noise reduction measures. In order to achieve such aerodynamic performance, engineers used a special Toyota methodology whereby underfloor drag characteristics can be isolated from those of the whole car and studied separately. This helps them develop the smoothest, flattest possible surface so that even at very high speeds the car continues to generate remarkably little wind noise, and is also stable to drive.
The engine is usually the largest source of noise and vibration. For this reason, extraordinary care has been taken to ensure that the engines transmit minimal noise and vibration to the cabin. In particular, the Toyota engineers focused on minimising engine friction, enhancing rotational balance and developing an innovative sound absorption bulkhead between the engine and cabin. Specially insulated carpets and foam mats also improve the peaceful ride in the new Avensis.
Every effort has been made to prevent sound entering the Avensis. Special sound insulating materials, including high-specification laminated glass and foam injected into the body shell surround the cabin. Wind noise is inhibited by the meticulous design of many details including external bodywork seals, a hidden frame on the doors, weather strips and door and window frame mouldings. To further minimise road noise the Avensis is fitted with sound absorbing rear wheel arch liners and sound silencers in the boot.
Toyota built-in quality
- Built by Toyota Manufacturing UK
- Manufactured using the legendary Toyota Production System
- Toyota plants following sustainable manufacturing strategy
Nothing is so good that it cannot be made better. That Toyota engineers strive for constant improvement in everything they do is not a motto or a mission statement that hangs on the wall and gets forgotten about. It is simply the way things are done. Toyota has a word for it: ‘kaizen’. It means ‘continuous improvement’ in Japanese and it is the key principle that guides in the pursuit of superior quality. This is how to achieve the Toyota built-in quality.
The commitment to quality results in real benefits – benefits that enhance the quality feel of the new Avensis. Quality is also evident through the outstanding results the second generation Avensis did achieve in for example the Euro NCAP safety test. Most importantly, the new Avensis has been developed to give the best possible ownership experience, from the day it leaves the production line to the end of its lifecycle.
With a built-in quality feel, the new Avensis wants to deliver a feeling of complete confidence. Confidence that comes from knowing that the car is designed and engineered with the very highest standards of quality and reliability in mind.
Toyota Manufacturing UK
Toyota’s decision to establish a manufacturing operation in Europe was announced in 1989 and Toyota Manufacturing UK (TMUK) was established in December that year.
There are two manufacturing plants in the UK representing a total investment in excess of £1.85 billion and currently 4600 members are employed. The vehicle manufacturing plant is located at Burnaston in Derbyshire, the engine manufacturing plant is located at Deeside in North Wales.
The first car, a Carina E, drove off the Burnaston production line on 16 December 1992. The Avensis replaced the Carina E in 1997 and in 2003 the second generation Avensis was launched. In 1998 a second model, the Corolla, was introduced and in 2001 a new generation Corolla was launched. In 2007 production of Auris, the new Toyota hatchback, started. The processes at Burnaston include stamping, welding, painting, plastic mouldings and assembly and at Deeside machining, assembly and aluminium casting.
From a global viewpoint, Toyota’s philosophy is to localise production so as to provide customers with the products they need where they need them. TMUK’s role is to support that philosophy and to manufacture vehicles for the European market.
To ensure that vehicles manufactured in the UK maintain Toyota’s world-wide reputation for quality, the renowned ‘Toyota Production System’ (TPS) is employed. Based on the key principles of Standardisation, Just-in-Time and Kaizen, the system allows for production to be achieved in a continuous flow to meet customer demand whenever and wherever that may be. TPS incorporates the ability, through process design, to build in quality at every stage.
Total quality control is carried out using two basic principles: building in quality at every stage and continually improving quality standards in order to achieve total quality and delight the customer. To achieve total quality control TMUK uses standardised work together with visual control to clearly indicate the current status and make it very easy to spot problems. Each member is responsible for the quality of their work and aims never to pass on poor quality to the next stage. If anything unusual is noticed, the member can stop the process. Rigorous scrutiny of key features and functions of each vehicle helps to confirm both the quality of the vehicle and the stability of the production process.
Toyota’s goal of a low carbon society
“Since it was founded over seventy years ago, the Toyota Motor Company has conducted its business based on the guiding principle of contributing to the development of a prosperous society through the manufacture of automobiles. However, now Toyota must seek to combine the power of people and technology to help create a society that maintains a balance between corporate activities and environmental preservation,” explained Toyota President Katsuaki Watanabe, speaking at the 2008 Toyota Environmental Forum in Tokyo.
In 2007, Toyota announced that it would pursue sustainability in different areas as a part of efforts to contribute to the continued development of society and the earth in the future.
Reducing running emissions is critical since these contribute to 80% of a vehicle’s total lifecycle emissions. However, further reductions to benefit the environment can be made at the manufacturing stage. In Europe, Toyota has reduced the average energy required to build a car by 44% since 2001. Emissions have been reduced by using renewable energy including biomass and natural energy sources, such as solar and wind power. Meanwhile, all Toyota manufacturing plants in Europe have achieved the ambitious target of delivering zero waste to landfill.
TMUK aims to minimise the environmental impact of vehicles and their manufacture. To achieve this, TMUK’s environmental policy focuses on the elimination of pollution at source. Toyota’s process to continually strive to achieve this objective is based on ‘The 5 R’s:
- Refine (eg. no CFCs, use water-based paints where possible)
- Reduce (eg. reduce use of natural resources – water, gas, electricity, etc.)
- Re-use (eg. 99.9% of our European packaging is re-used)
- Recycle (eg. recycle as much material as possible – steel, water, plastics, paper, rubber etc.)
- Retrieve energy (eg. exhaust gases reheat other production processes).
World-class safety performance
- Engineered with the aim reaching 5-star rating in more stringent 2009 Euro NCAP
- Seven airbags: driver knee airbag, two front airbags, two front side airbags and side curtain shield airbags front and rear
- Adaptive Front-light System
- Pre-Crash Safety system and Adaptive Cruise Control
- Lane Keeping Assist and Lane Departure Warning
- Rear Parking Camera
Avensis has always been one of the safest cars in its segment with a five star EuroNCAP rating from its original test, back in 2003. Recent real-life accident analysis has also proven that Avensis is one of the safest cars on the road today (rated 2007’s safest car in Swedish insurance company Folksam’s yearly rating of real-life accidents). With this in mind, Chief Engineer Yamamoto has had no other objective than to design this third generation Avensis for top class safety performance once again. The new Avensis will further build on this achievement with the aim at reaching the 5-star rating under the even more stringent Euro NCAP rating planned for 2009.
In the early development phase of the new Avensis, a major requirement was to once again present a car with an advanced safety level. When designing a top class safety level Toyota engineers looked at every detail. For instance, the bonnet has to be designed in a way that minimise the injuries for a pedestrian if an accident would occur. And the new generation Avensis’ bonnet is constructed with crushable bumpers that easily collapse in an impact to better absorb the force. To be able to prevent accidents, visibility is of great importance. The A-pillar base has been reduced in size to further improve visibility, but with strength still maintained.
Active safety for full control
The new Avensis features the latest-generation Anti-lock Braking System (ABS) and Electronic Brake-force Distribution (EBD), which come as standard on all models. Brake Assist (BA) works together with ABS and EBD to provide further braking force in case of emergency braking conditions.
Steering assist Vehicle Stability Control (VSC+) has been newly adopted. The basic function of this system, together with the Traction Control (TRC), boosts safety and traction under low adherence conditions such as rain, snow or gravel. Added to this, the VSC+ increases the protection normally given by VSC during sudden handling changes or slippery roads, by adding a steering torque assist that counteracts yaw movement when the vehicle understeers or oversteers in reaction to an emergency. Practically this means that in an extreme situation, the driver may sense some torque movement on the steering wheel in a given direction to compensate the under- /oversteer and so can further enhance the adjustment made by the VSC itself.
Protective high passive safety level
The new Avensis is equipped with seven airbags, including a driver’s knee airbag, front airbags for the driver and front passenger, two front side airbags and side curtain shield airbags front and rear.
Active front seat headrests are introduced to reduce whiplash injuries in rear end collisions. These headrests are operated automatically should a vehicle run into the back of the new Avensis with sufficient speed. The system causes the headrests to move forward and upwards to support the driver’s and passenger’s heads.
The impact absorbing body has been further improved. The idea of this construction is to effectively protect the passengers through creating a cabin that is strong enough to minimise the intrusion should an accident occur. At the same time, to absorb the crash force, the construction has to collapse in a controlled way. Both brake and clutch pedals also retract to avoid driver’s injuries in case of an accident.
For additional reassurance, ISOFIX child seat fittings in the rear seat come as standard in all models of the new Avensis. The Child Restraint System (CRS) is equipped with a top tether to help prevent the child seat from tipping forward in the event of an impact.
Advanced safety features
The new Avensis’ active and passive safety levels are brought to a higher level thanks to new high-tech safety features.
High-Intensity Discharge bi-xenon headlamps, Adaptive Front-light System
Together with the optional High-Intensity Discharge (HID) bi-xenon headlamps, comes the Adaptive Front-light System (AFS). By measuring the speed of the vehicle and steering wheel rotation, it predicts which area in front of the vehicle it has to light and adjusts headlamps in accordance, for instance as the car corners in the dark. To compensate for heavy load at the rear of the car, it automatically lowers the angle of the beam before starting. It also compensates for heavy braking and acceleration by dynamically adjusting the headlamp angle.
Emergency brake signal
As standard, the new Avensis com