2013 Toyota Avalon Hybrid announced

Toyota has announced today that they will be offering a hybrid model of the new 2013 Avalon full-size sedan this fall. A striking first for both the Avaolon and the full size sedan segment in America, the new Avalon Hybrid is expected to get 40 mpg combined city and highway.

The new model could not have come sooner as competitors in the full size sedan arena are all getting their game on this year as well. The 2014 Chevrolet Impala will offer a mild hybrid “Eco” model while Ford just launched a 4-cylinder EcoBoost Taurus as a high efficiency options. The Avalon Hybrid however appears to trump them all in mpg capability.

The 2013 Toyota Avalon will use the very same Hybrid Synergy Drive system we recently tested in the 2012 Camry Hybrid. The system pairs a 2.5 liter Atkinson-cycle four-cylinder engine and electric motors to deliver power. A 244 volt nickel-metal hydride battery stores power generated from coasting and braking, then delivers it to the electric motors under acceleration.

Like the Toyota Camry Hybrid, the total system offers up 200 horsepower and offers three unique modes of operation: EV, ECO and SPORT. The EV mode will allow the Avalon Hybrid to operate on electric only power up to 25 mph for a mile provided conditions allow.

ECO driving mode uses both the gas and electric motors, but reduces throttle response and HVAC output to help improve overall efficiency. SPORT driving mode allows both the power sources to be combined for maximum power response.

The new 2013 Avalon has an all new and striking design that has a much more youthful appeal. The lines are more dramatic and the stronger use of chrome enhances the luxury upscale position of this car in the Toyota line. It definitely eschews the Sun City set look of the current model.

Based on the Camry’s underlying platform architecture, the Avalon has a longer wheelbase and its own unique exterior and interior. Rear seat legroom and headroom is substantially increased over the Camry despite the low swept roof line appearance.

The Avalon Hybrid has visual cues that set it apart from the standard Avalon such as a unique front fascia and wheels. Unique badges are the only other items that make it stand out as different from the rest, an increasing plus as many buyers don’t want a car that looks bizarre just because they chose the hybrid model.

Toyota says that the 2013 Avalon Hybrid will achieve an EPA-rated 40 mpg city, 39 mpg highway, and 40 mpg combined, virtually identical to the Camry Hybrid’s performance but in a significantly larger car. Pricing has not yet been announced.

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Sam Haymart

Smoker of fine tires, eater of natural foods, connoisseur of aromatic leathers, and pusher of limits. Publisher and editor of Steed Publications news outlets including this one, ActivityVehicle.com, DieselDig.com and host at TestDriven.TV. Twitter - Facebook - Google+