Avalon Chief Engineer Randy Stephens and his development team at Toyota Technical Center (TTC) in Ann Arbor, Mich., worked toward a goal of making Avalon lighter, yet more rigid, to help improve overall driving performance. As a result, the new 2013 Avalon is 110 lbs. lighter than the 2012 model, tipping the scales at 3,461 lbs. compared to 3,571 for the 2012 model. When it arrives at dealerships later this year, the 2013 Avalon and will be the lightest-weight vehicle in the premium mid-size segment.
“Our target was to dramatically improve all aspects of dynamic performance,”
Engineering for weight reduction requires examination of all elements of vehicle design and componentry to achieve weight targets and requires collaboration from vehicle design teams to isolate and address a variety of potential weight-loss areas during development. Following this process, the team was able to achieve significant mass reduction in several key areas like body structure, seat structure and wheel design.
It proved to be a challenge, however, due to the weight penalty imposed by equipment necessitated by increased regulations, improved performance targets and added customer features. With each design engineering group’s agreement, mass targets were set and carefully managed to control the overall vehicle target.
The importance of mass reduction as a means of improving fuel economy, vehicle dynamics and enhancing the driving experience of the new Avalon was a major consideration, and that is where Stephen Provost, Manager, Ride and Handling, came in.
“Less mass makes Avalon more responsive and engaging near handling limits,” he explained. “Also, with less mass, less tire width is needed to reach competitive grip levels. The smaller width helps minimize drag losses to help enhance fuel economy, too.”
With the Toyota’s engineering mantra of weight reduction in place, lower vehicle weights are achieved utilizing revised lighter weight materials for vehicle construction.
Rob McConnell, Principal Engineer, Body Shell and Exterior Plastics, said, “Through the installation of a higher class of high performance polypropylene resin (more fluid), we were able to decrease the general thickness of the front and rear bumpers, resulting in a decrease in mass, aiding in achieving improved fuel economy. Also, by adopting a higher content of high-strength steel in the pillars and rocker panels, we were able to conserve mass while maintaining crash performance targets.”
Generous weight reduction of 263 lbs. is also evident in the midsize Camry Hybrid from previous generation to current model (3,680 lbs. for 2011 Camry Hybrid vs. 3,417 lbs. for 2012 model), and despite increased length and width, the new 2013 Avalon Hybrid still enjoys a weight advantage over the smaller, previous generation 2011 Camry Hybrid. Though the 2011 Camry Hybrid and the 2013 Avalon Hybrid both include the Hybrid Synergy Drive hardware (electric motors, battery, power control unit, etc.), the new 2013 Avalon model still weighs 87 lbs. less than the smaller 2011 Camry Hybrid (3,593 lbs. for 2013 Avalon compared to 3,680 lbs. for 2011 Camry). The 2013 Avalon offers a combined 40 mpg EPA-rating while the 2011 Camry Hybrid was EPA-rated at 33 mpg combined. This is as much a testament to engineering weight reduction into the vehicle structure as it is to powertrain developments that reduce component mass and overall friction in the name of efficiency.
Tin Bui, a Toyota engineer in charge of Avalon fuel economy and road load development said, “To improve the vehicle's fuel economy we focused on reducing the vehicle's resistance which lowers the engine's effort and fuel consumption. One resistance area we worked on is reducing the vehicle's weight. With reduced vehicle weight, there is less resistance to accelerate the vehicle. Lower vehicle weight also reduces the vehicle's tire rolling resistance allowing it to roll more freely.”
One reason Toyota enjoys success with consumers is because of the brand’s focus on producing highly fuel efficient vehicles. In fact, in the U.S. market, Toyota is the most fuel efficient full-line manufacturer offering a vehicle lineup that includes the Prius family (Prius, Prius Plug-in, Prius v, and Prius c) boasting an average combined fuel economy rating of 48 mpg. In addition, the popular Camry sedan offers a 33 mpg average combined fuel economy rating across its models. By the end of 2012, the premium mid-size Avalon Hybrid sedan, that employs many weight-savings engineering tactics, will arrive to Toyota of Cool Springs with a combined 40 mpg rating, and offer consumers another highly efficient option.
About Toyota of Cool Springs
Toyota of Cool Springs, located in Franklin and serving Nashville, TN is the destination for the latest Toyota dealer cars, Hybrids, trucks and SUVs. New Toyota vehicles at Toyota of Cool Springs embody the combination of performance, luxury, and styling, that's unique to the Toyota brand. From the fuel efficient Camry Hybrid to the sought after 4Runner SUV, Toyota of Cool Springs gives you a chance to find the new vehicle that will truly be able to satisfy your needs and desires. In addition, there's plenty of new Toyota inventory to make it as easy as possible for new car shoppers to find the precise vehicle to complement their needs. We encourage shoppers to view our online Toyota inventory, or simply visit our dealership showroom which is conveniently located in Franklin just a short drive from the interstate and minutes away from Nashville, Tennessee.
Toyota of Cool Springs is centrally located in Franklin, Williamson County, Tennessee, and neighbors to Nashville, Madison, Antioch, Brentwood, Murfreesboro, Clarksville, Dickson, and Columbia. We are also very proud to serve many customers from other cities, even in other states like Georgia and beyond. It is through accountability that we hold ourselves to the highest possible expectations so that customers are willing to drive to see us. While we aren't very far, it's still nice to know that we're just a short drive from the highway. We work hard to be the Franklin, TN dealer you go back to time after time.
Our Sales Department's goal is to provide you with the best car buying experience possible. If you're looking for a New or Pre-owned vehicle , in Central Tennessee just minutes away from Nashville,
Toyota of Cool Springs has a huge inventory and wide variety to choose from!
At Toyota of Cool Springs’ Service Department , our highly qualified technicians are here to provide exceptional service in a timely manner. From oil changes to transmission replacements, we are dedicated to maintaining top tier customer service, for both new and pre-owned car buyers!
If you don't see a particular vehicle, click on CarFinder and complete the form. We will gladly inform you when a matching car arrives. If you see a vehicle of interest, please click on Dealership: Directions for step-by-step driving instructions to our location, or give us a call. We are here to assist you every step of the way from the purchase of your new or pre-owned vehicle with Financing and quotes to Service and Parts maintenance.
It's our commitment to earn your business every day. In addition to offering online Specials and coupons for New Car Sales, Pre-owned Car Sales, Service , and Parts & Accessories , we also offer everyday savings for you! We look forward to serving you!
Toyota of Cool Springs
1875 West McEwen Drive
Franklin, TN 37067
Sales, Service, Part and Collision
Monday – Saturday: 9:00AM - 8:00PM
Monday – Friday: 7:00AM - 6:00PM
Saturday: 7:00AM - 5:00PM
Monday – Friday: 7:00AM - 6:00PM
Saturday and Sunday: Closed