New Toyota Aurion: In Depth (AU)

 New Toyota Aurion: In Depth (AU)
Toyota Aurion Sportivo ZR6 (AU)

Toyota's new flagship sedan for Australia

Text & Photos edited by F. de Leeuw van Weenen October 17, 2006 2:42 pm
Filed Under: Japanese, Toyota

Press Release

Toyota's new flagship sedan for Australia

Toyota Australia's new flagship sedan - the Aurion V6 - delivers on the unique demands of Australian large-car buyers. It has the most advanced and powerful engine ever offered in a Toyota vehicle in Australia - a new 3.5-litre Quad Cam V6. The engine develops 200kW of power at 6200rpm and 336Nm of torque at 4700rpm on regular unleaded petrol. It has ADR 81/01 fuel economy of just 9.9 litres of 95-octane unleaded fuel per 100km#. Power output rises to 204kW with 95-octane unleaded fuel. All grades of Aurion are fitted with a six-speed automatic sequential gearbox.

All Aurion grades are also equipped with Vehicle Stability Control (VSC). Aurion is the only Australian-made big six to comply with Euro IV emissions. Aurion scores four stars on the Federal Government's Green Vehicle Guide - better than any of its six-cylinder rivals in the VFACTS large passenger category.

The Aurion V6 range starts at $34,990 (RRP*) - a price that includes the 200kW V6 engine, adaptive electronic six-speed automatic transmission, six SRS airbags, Vehicle Stability Control, Traction Control and anti-lock brakes with Brake Assist and Electronic Brakeforce Distribution. Standard features also include air conditioning, power driver's seat, cruise control, power windows and mirrors, remote central locking, dual exhaust and security alarm.

Toyota Australia's senior executive director sales and marketing, David Buttner, said Aurion - built at the company's Altona manufacturing plant in Melbourne - defines Toyota's view of the future for Australian six-cylinder cars.

"Aurion is a value-for-money Aussie car that is better priced and better equipped than its major VFACTS large passenger car class competitors," Mr Buttner said. "It has more power than the naturally aspirated six-cylinder rivals in its class and better fuel economy than any of the large-six competitors in its class. Aurion has been developed for the benefit of Australian families and others who need a large six-cylinder car. It is styled for Australian tastes, tuned for Australian driving preferences, and has the power and comfort required for driving vast distances. At the same time, it is endowed with technology that ensures excellent fuel economy, with high levels of active and passive safety features as standard equipment on all models."

Aurion's V6 engine features dual VVT-i technology that varies the timing of both the inlet and exhaust valves, providing optimum power and economy. It is mated to an electronic six-speed automatic transmission with a sequential gearshift. The transmission uses artificial intelligence to adapt shift points to the driver's style and road conditions.

Aurion has been engineered to deliver the handling stability, steering response and ride comfort demanded by Australian large-car buyers. Toyota achieved these requirements by producing a car with a visually low-slung, wide-wheeled and aggressive stance. Building on the car's large footprint, Aurion features keep the car level during acceleration and braking. Two Sportivo models in the range feature sports suspension settings and a full body kit.

Aurion takes advantage of the packaging efficiency of its front-engine/front-wheel-drive design to achieve a virtually flat rear floor, providing ample space for three adult passengers in the rear. Noise insulation materials ensure the cabin is very quiet. Aurion is produced on Toyota's world-leading flexible manufacturing system at Altona, alongside four-cylinder Camry models. Both cars are built for the domestic and export markets.

#Fuel consumption will vary depending on driving conditions/style, vehicle conditions and options/accessories.
*Recommended retail price, unless otherwise stated, excludes dealer delivery, government and statutory charges, and optional extras

Aurion means innovation and style

Toyota's new flagship sedan is called Aurion - a name derived from the ancient Greek for "tomorrow" or "first light". While the name's origins are in antiquity, its meaning makes Aurion an ideal name for an innovative vehicle arriving in the Aussie big six segment.

Aurion was chosen after extensive research involving more than 30 other possible names. Consumers associated the name with style and innovation - a positioning that matched the car's design philosophy. Research among Australian International Motor Show patrons showed they associated the word Aurion with qualities such as futuristic (33 per cent), technology (17 per cent), innovation (17 per cent) and sophistication (13 per cent).

Aurion to reinvigorate the large car market

Toyota Australia's new Aurion V6 will play a key role in reinvigorating the Australian large-car market, according to senior executive director sales and marketing David Buttner. Mr Buttner said Toyota expected the overall market to be strong in the fourth quarter of 2006 and into 2007, with the big-six segment making a significant contribution.

"The new Aurion, which goes on sale in early November, will stimulate the large-car sector because it will attract new buyers," Mr Buttner said. Aurion provides compelling reasons for existing large-six customers to stay in the segment and for former large-six customers to return. It is a serious contender - a modern alternative that will also take sales from the traditional large six-cylinder models."

Aurion is the latest entrant in a hectic few months of activity for the large-six market that will reinvigorate a segment which is important to Australia's domestic vehicle manufacturing industry. Mr Buttner said Aurion, built at the company's state-of-the-art manufacturing facility in Melbourne's Altona, came at a critical time for the local industry. The large-car segment peaked at 211,791 sales in 2003, but its share of the total market has been in long-term decline.

"In 1996, passenger cars accounted for 75.7 per cent of the total new-vehicle market and large cars made up 43.4 per cent of those sales," Mr Buttner said. But, by 2005, passenger cars accounted for just 61.6 per cent of the market and large cars were just 27.5 per cent of that number. Last year, for the first time, the large-car segment wasn't the largest sector in our market."

Mr Buttner said the new Aurion will be successful because it addresses many of the reasons that have led people to move away from the current large-six offerings. He said Toyota's research showed the market for large six-cylinder cars is split into three distinct groups: the tribalists, the one-timers and the V6 solution seekers. "The tribalists love tradition and grunt: they've bought the same car for generations, largely determined by what their father bought - or which car won at Bathurst. They are a diminishing sub-segment, accounting for about 20 per cent of the market - and they will not consider alternatives."

Mr Buttner said the "one-timers", who account for about 40 per cent of the potential market, are there to be won by Toyota. "They are yet to be convinced that a large six is the car for them, and they're not convinced by the current offerings. They make decisions based on what they want right now. They're not loyal to any brand or model, so they're likely to switch the next time they buy a car."

He said a further 40 per cent segment of the potential market that is open to the Aurion V6 is what the researchers call 'six-cylinder solution seekers'. "These are people who need to be given strong reasons to stay in or come back to the large-car market and who will logically assess alternatives to the traditional participants. They're open to new ideas, they're looking for something different and they're tech-savvy. While they see value in an Australian-made product, they're not bound by it. They want a car that handles well, and they're also aware of petrol prices. They're looking for a solution - and we've developed the Aurion to deliver to their needs."

Aurion offered in five grades

Toyota's new Aurion range has five models, all with 3.5-litre Quad Cam V6 engine and six-speed sequential-style automatic transmission. The five grades in ascending order of equipment level are: AT-X, Sportivo, SX6, Prodigy, Sportivo ZR6 and Presara.
All Aurion models have the 200kW dual-VVT-i engine, sequential style shift function on the ECT, six SRS airbags, Vehicle Stability Control (VSC), Traction Control (TRC), and ABS with Brake Assist (BA) and Electronic Brakeforce Distribution (EBD) - known as AB-i or Active Braking with intelligence.
They also have:

These features are standard equipment in AT-X grade. AT-X's equipment also includes projector-type low-beam headlamps, rear LED combination lamps, Optitron meters, 16-inch diameter steel wheels and six-speaker audio system with CD/tuner. AT-X options are 16-inch alloy wheels, the combination of alloy wheels and rear wing spoiler, and metallic paint.

Prodigy standard features over AT-X include:

Two options are offered for Prodigy - the combination of moonroof, personal rear lamps and sunvisors with lamps, and metallic paint.
Sportivo SX6 standard features over AT-X include:

Options for Aurion SX6 are the combination of moonroof, rear personal lamps and lamps for the vanity mirrors, and metallic paint.
Sportivo ZR6 has the additional features, over SX6, of:

Sportivo ZR6's options are the combination moonroof, rear personal lamps and lamps for the vanity mirrors, and the same combination with the addition of Bluetooth-enabled AVN Satellite Navigation.

Top-of-the-range Presara includes the following features, over and above Prodigy grade:

Locally made for domestic and export markets

The Australian-built Aurion V6 large car is destined to become a feature in many export markets as well as the Australian domestic scene. Aurion is built in Toyota Australia's state-of-the-art manufacturing plant at Altona, Melbourne, alongside the four-cylinder Camry. Both cars are manufactured for the domestic market and in left and right-hand drive for export markets including the Middle East. Aurion goes on sale in Australia from November and the first exports will be shipped within a few weeks.

New Camry was launched to the domestic market in August and export sales began in September. The Altona plant has been substantially upgraded to meet the projected export and domestic sales of the two new cars. Toyota Australia has invested $450 million to lift production capacity from 110,000 vehicles to 140,000 a year. Export is a vital part of those plans because the plant's capacity clearly exceeds the demands of the local market.

Toyota Australia's chairman emeritus John Conomos said the investment includes a new global bodyline in the weld shop, new bumper manufacturing facility and a range of other improvements throughout the manufacturing area. "Both the Aurion V6 and four-cylinder Camry are built at Altona by Australians who are justifiably proud of the quality of the vehicles they produce," Mr Conomos said. "Next year, we expect to export close to 80,000 cars - and we've already got substantial orders for the new Aurion V6. Australian-built Aurion V6 sedans will be sold in the Middle East and we expect strong demand. Around 10 per cent of the export output of Altona will be devoted to Aurion, which recognises the vehicle's strong global appeal."

Mr Conomos said the flexibility of the Altona plant is an important part of Toyota Australia's plans. "In this fluid market, we have the best of both worlds," Mr Conomos said. "We are the only local manufacturer to produce both a four-cylinder car and a six-cylinder model. That gives us the unique ability to react to market conditions, both domestically and in our export activities," he said.

Toyota link saves on insurance

Toyota Financial Services has offered a 'confidence discount' to support the release of Toyota Link on the Aurion Presara. Toyota Insurance will waive its standard policy excess if the Aurion Presara or a Toyota Link-equipped Toyota vehicle is stolen*. The offer represents a potential saving of between $250 and $500, depending on the State in which the vehicle is registered. This benefit is available to all Toyota owners who comprehensively insure their Toyota Link-equipped Toyota vehicle with Toyota Insurance.

"With Toyota Link the chances of the vehicle being stolen are reduced, and if it is stolen the likelihood of recovery is substantially improved," said Toyota Insurance General Manager Peter Jones. "This reduces the cost of insuring the vehicle and allows us to offer the excess waiver. It is a tangible financial benefit in the event that the Toyota vehicle is stolen."

The benefits of Toyota Insurance's comprehensive motor vehicle policy include*:

Toyota Insurance is underwritten by Aioi Insurance Co. Ltd, a member of the Toyota Group of Companies. Please read the Product Disclosure Statement for this product before making any decision in relation to it.
*Subject to the terms and conditions of the Toyota Insurance Motor Vehicle Insurance policy.

Aurion achieves power and economy double

Toyota Australia's new Aurion V6 will have the most power and best fuel economy of the naturally aspirated Aussie big-six family cars. It is the most powerful vehicle ever sold by Toyota in Australia - and has more power than its naturally aspirated six-cylinder competitors in the large-car class.

Aurion's advanced 3.5-litre V6 engine delivers 200kW of power using regular unleaded petrol (ULP). Premium unleaded petrol (PULP) will produce even more power, lifting maximum output to 204kW. Aurion is also the most fuel-efficient six-cylinder car in the large-car segment, consuming just 9.9 litres/100km, based on the official combined cycle (ADR 81/01).

Toyota Australia's senior executive director sales and marketing David Buttner said Aurion defied conventional wisdom that achieving these levels of power and economy from the same engine was a paradox. "This is the automotive equivalent of breaking the three-minute mile," Mr Buttner said. "Aurion is the first Australian-built production car to achieve this power and economy double - a rare feat previously only possible with a small number of imported vehicles, such as those with hybrid drivetrains. Aurion is the performance leader among non-turbo Aussie six-cylinder family cars, delivering the power demanded by Australia's large-car buyers. At the same time, it achieves fuel efficiency that is not matched by the six-cylinder competitors in its class*."
*VFACTS Large class

Aurion V6 VVT-i engine built for performance and efficiency

Aurion's new 3.5-litre Quad Cam V6 is the most advanced engine in Toyota's Australian model line-up. It is Toyota's first dual variable valve timing with intelligence (VVT-i) engine in Australia, providing improved performance and fuel efficiency with lower emissions, and an intelligent electronic throttle (ETCS-i).

The Toyota dual VVT-i system provides optimum inlet and exhaust valve timing across the range of engine operating conditions. The dual VVT-i system in the 2GR-FE engine can independently vary inlet timing across a range of 40 degrees (relative to crankshaft angle) and independently vary exhaust timing over a range of 35 degrees. The dual VVT-i system boosts torque in the low-to-medium and high engine speed ranges.

It optimises the valve overlap period, according to engine and driving conditions, to make full use of exhaust gas recirculation. This achieves a more complete burn, and improved inlet suction resulting from exhaust gasses escaping at high speed to increase cylinder filling at high rpm. The system can vary the amount of valve overlap from one degree to 76 degrees relative to crankshaft angle. The inlet camshafts have 258 degrees of duration and the exhaust camshafts have duration of 244 degrees.

There are four main operating scenarios:
Low engine temperature, engine start, idling or light load: inlet camshaft on full retard, exhaust camshaft on full advance. This eliminates valve overlap, thereby reducing volume of exhaust gas blowback into the cylinder and inlet ports, providing stable combustion and improved fuel economy.
Medium load range: inlet timing is advanced and exhaust timing is retarded for increased overlap. This creates two parallel effects - increased internal exhaust gas recirculation to reduce oxides of nitrogen and hydrocarbon, reduced pumping losses and hence improved fuel economy.
High load range, low-to-medium engine speed: inlet timing is advanced to close the intake valve earlier, thereby reducing the volume of intake air blowback into the inlet ports and improving volumetric efficiency.
High load range, high engine speed: inlet timing retarded, exhaust timing advanced. Retarding the inlet timing (according to the inertial force of the inlet air) improves volumetric efficiency and hence power.

The engine ECU controls camshaft advance and retard via an oil control valve mounted on the cylinder head and vane-type actuators on the ends of the four camshafts. In addition, the engine has roller rockers, an electronic Acoustic Control Induction System (ACIS), Direct Ignition System (DIS) and a lightweight cast-aluminium cylinder block.

Toyota designed the 60-degree V6 for a combination of high performance, fuel efficiency, package efficiency and reliability, coupled with minimal weight, noise, vibration and harshness (NVH) and low emissions. The engine has an oversquare bore-and-stroke relationship of 94.0mm by 83.0mm for a swept capacity of 3456 cubic centimetres. Compression ratio is 10.8:1 for optimum power and economy across the engine revolution range.

The new 24-valve 2GR-FE engine has Siamese inlet ports to reduce the overall surface area of the port walls - reducing wall wetting and hydrocarbon emissions. The combustion pentroof chamber design is based on a narrow included valve angle to create a compact combustion chamber shape. It offers a low surface-to-volume ratio, thereby reducing cooling losses and increasing fuel efficiency.

The cylinder head and piston crown design have taper squish areas around the circumference of the combustion chamber and piston crown to improve both intake efficiency and anti-knocking performance. Toyota engineers have adopted roller rockers (with maintenance-free valve clearance adjusters) to reduce friction and hence optimise fuel economy.

In addition to the roller rockers, the 2GR-FE engine has cam profiles with a rounded concave portion on the ramp to increase valve lift as the valve begins to open and finishes closing, thereby increasing engine output. The Toyota 2GR-FE engine has electronic control for the ACIS - based on information on engine revolutions and throttle position.

The ACIS varies the effective length of the inlet runners to make maximum use of the inlet pulsation effect for increased breathing efficiency. It creates a long manifold effect to boost torque in the medium engine speed range and a short manifold effect to boost power at high rpm.

The stainless-steel exhaust manifold has a built-in three-way catalyst to boost catalyst temperature and reduce hydrocarbon emissions from cold start. This design accelerates the warm-up of the catalyst immediately after start-up, thus reducing exhaust emissions. Dual main mufflers are fitted to reduce exhaust back-pressure and hence boost performance.

Toyota has maximised reliability and serviceability by adopting chain camshaft drive, maintenance-free valve clearance adjusters, a replaceable element oil filter, direct ignition, electronic engine control and an air/fuel ratio sensor. Aurion's 2GR-FE engine has a service weight of 163kg.

Six speed transmission had artificial intelligence

Aurion's new six-speed electronically controlled automatic transmission has artificial intelligence and a sequential-style manual gear select shift. The Toyota U660E transmission was designed to complement Aurion's Quad Cam dual VVT-i V6 engine. The combination of Aurion's V6 engine, electronic throttle, six-speed transmission and advanced ECT software is designed to optimise driveability, acceleration feel, shift quality and fuel economy. The U660E's electronic control software has new fuel-saving features, including increased range of low-speed torque-converter lock-up control and flexible lock-up control.

The Toyota artificial intelligence (AI) shift control is a transmission algorithm designed to manage the shift regime according to road conditions and driver intention. It uses data on throttle opening angle, vehicle speed and engine speed, brake signal and accelerator pedal operation.

The transmission ECU uses this information to provide three functions: basic shift control pattern, road condition support control and driver intention support control. The AI shift can adjust the shift pattern to suit different drivers and provide engine braking for hill descents. It also reduces 'gear hunting' when going uphill.

The uphill/downhill shift control judges if the vehicle is climbing or descending, based on inputs such as throttle opening and vehicle speed. It prohibits unnecessary up-shifting if the vehicle is ascending steeply and automatically downshifts when the vehicle is descending steeply, to take advantage of engine braking.

Road condition support control (i.e. intelligent transmission software) gives Aurion smooth shifting performance in automatic mode, particularly on hilly roads. Driver intention support control judges the driver's intention based on accelerator usage and vehicle condition, to provide gear shift patterns that suit individual driving styles.
Aurion's sequential style shift has an S-mode gate shift lever. A gear position indicator is included in the instrument cluster.

Toyota's development targets for the U660E transmission were improved dynamic performance, optimum fuel economy, light weight and optimum package efficiency, smoother gear shifting, increased responsiveness and low noise. The design includes two planetary gear sets, to create a six-speed transmission with a shorter shaft length and smaller exterior dimensions than a typical five-speed ECT. It has ratios of: first, 3.300; second, 1.900; third, 1.420; fourth, 1.000; fifth, 0.713; sixth, 0.608 and reverse, 4.148. It is matched to a 3.685:1 final drive ratio.

The U660E transmission has an ultra-flat torque converter to reduce transmission length and weight. The new design reduces the torque converter length by around 12mm, compared with the torque converter for a typical five-speed ECT. The torque converter has a low-speed lock-up damper to ensure smooth low-speed lock-up.

Euro IV more than twice as tough

Toyota's new Aurion meets Euro IV emissions standards, well in advance of their mandated introduction in Australia. The Euro IV limits are less than half the Euro III standards currently required under Australian Design Rule 79/01. ADR 79/01 applies to petrol, diesel and LPG-powered passenger vehicles with a gross vehicle mass under 3.5 tonnes launched from 2005 and for all new vehicles from 2006, and mandates that they meet Euro III emissions standards.

The change from Euro III to Euro IV means carbon monoxide (CO) emissions must be more than halved, from 2.3g/km to 1.0g/km. Hydrocarbon (HC) emissions are halved under Euro IV, from 0.2g/km to 0.1g/km and allowable oxide of nitrogen emissions (NOx) are reduced from 0.15g/km under Euro III to 0.08g/km under Euro IV. In addition to reduced emission levels, Euro IV has a stricter testing regime, under which vehicles must pass the emissions benchmark at sub-zero cold start.

Aurion wins weight efficiency stakes

Toyota's new Aurion has a weight advantage over its three locally manufactured large six-cylinder rivals. Aurion delivers this advantage while providing high levels of passive safety, body strength and rigidity, and equipment levels, and low interior noise. A comparison of vehicle weights for the Aurion AT-X and its three entry-level competitors clearly shows Toyota's advantage, with the AT-X weighing in at 1590kg. Its three comparative entry-level competitors weighed in between 1625 and 1694kg.

One of the safest cars on the road

Toyota's new Aurion has an impressive package of active safety features. Standard equipment includes Vehicle Stability Control (VSC), Traction Control (TRC) and Active Braking with intelligence (AB-i), incorporating ABS (anti-skid brakes), Brake Assist (BA) and Electronic Brakeforce Distribution (EBD). In addition, Aurion has a large footprint on the road for increased stability, a new chassis, revised suspension, and larger-diameter and wider tyres.

Aurion's new brake hardware includes 296mm by 28mm ventilated front disc rotors and 286mm by 10mm rear disc rotors. Aurion AT-X, Prodigy and Sportivo (SX6 and ZR6) have projector-type low beam headlamps. High-grade Presara has adaptive, self-levelling high-intensity discharge protector-type low-beam headlamps. Prodigy, Sportivo and Presara grades have front foglamps.

Toyota Brake Assist is designed to assist the driver in emergency braking, where the driver cannot apply the high pedal force required in time to minimise braking distance. Brake Assist interprets a quick, hard push of the brake pedal as emergency braking. It supplements the brake pressure applied if the driver has not pushed hard enough on the brake pedal. The Toyota system measures the speed and the force with which the pedal is pushed to determine whether the driver is attempting to brake rapidly. The system then applies additional hydraulic pressure to maximise braking performance. The timing and degree of braking assistance are designed to ensure the driver does not discern anything unusual in the braking operation. The system reduces the amount of assistance it provides when the driver intentionally eases the pressure on the pedal. The Toyota Brake Assist system may help drivers avoid potential incidents.

Electronic Brakeforce Distribution is a sophisticated electronic system designed to minimise stopping distances by maximising braking power to the wheels with the most grip. It replaces the conventional load-sensing and proportioning valve. The system functions electronically rather than mechanically, via an algorithm in the brake system's Electronic Control Unit (ECU). The EBD system in Aurion can adjust the fore/aft brake balance according to vehicle loading conditions and the right/left brake balance if the brakes are applied during cornering.

VSC as standard

Toyota Aurion has Vehicle Stability Control (VSC) and Traction Control (TRC) as standard equipment. It is the first built-in-Australia six-cylinder Toyota with these active safety features across the range.

VSC helps maintain vehicle stability during cornering, and TRC optimises traction when accelerating on slippery surfaces. VSC dampens strong understeer or oversteer to help maximise vehicle stability. The system includes a dedicated electronic control unit, which controls VSC, ABS and TRC. VSC utilises much of Aurion's brake control system hardware and software.

The sensors used in the VSC system include wheel speed sensors for all four wheels, a throttle position sensor, steering wheel angle sensor, and yaw-rate and lateral acceleration sensor. The wheel speed sensors provide information regarding vehicle speed at any time. The yaw-rate and lateral acceleration sensor detects the vehicle's lateral acceleration and angular velocity of the vehicle's rotation around the perpendicular axis.

The VSC system can identify understeer by analysing the vehicle's actual rates of yaw compared with the target rates. The calculation is a function of the steering wheel angle and vehicle speed. By analysing the actual vehicle speed and steering wheel input, the computer can identify the appropriate curve or line the vehicle should be travelling along, which is derived using the target yaw rate. The yaw and lateral acceleration sensor analyses the actual yaw rate or line of travel. If the actual yaw rate is different to the target rate, the skid control ECU recognises potential understeer.

If the car is understeering, VSC reduces throttle opening to reduce engine output and applies brakes to the front wheels and inside rear wheel to help turn the vehicle into the corner. If VSC detects oversteer (loss of rear-wheel grip), the brakes on the outside front wheel are applied. This generates an inertial moment in the vehicle's outward direction and helps dampen its tendency to oversteer. A beeping noise is heard in the cabin when VSC is activated.

VSC has been designed as a driver aid. It works most dramatically under slippery conditions such as wet weather, but will also work in the dry. It is not intended as a cure-all for overdriving.

Traction Control: TRC is designed to prevent the driven wheels from slipping when accelerating on marginal traction surfaces. It ensures the vehicle accelerates in the direction the driver intended.

Examples of marginal or dual-traction surfaces would be in winter driving conditions, on tarmac roads when rain has fallen after a prolonged dry spell and when accelerating with one side of the vehicle on a low-traction road surface, like grass or gravel. If the skid control ECU detects wheel slippage, it reduces the engine output and also applies some braking pressure to the slipping wheel(s).

Strong safe and built to last

The new Aurion has the highest body rigidity ever achieved in a built-in-Australia Toyota model. The foundation for Aurion's new body is a global underbody that optimises ride, handling and safety. Aurion's strong body contributes to high levels of passive safety and low noise vibration and harshness (NVH). The highly rigid body provides a stable platform for Aurion's revised suspension package.

Aurion's new body structure makes extensive use of high-strength steel to maximise strength and rigidity while minimising weight. Body structure features include substantial sub-frames and a newly adopted cowl top outer panel that mounts directly to the top of the suspension towers.

All Aurion models have a substantial V-shaped brace behind the rear seat back, connecting the rear suspension towers and the floor. Anti-corrosion steel is used for virtually the entire Aurion body, except the roof and some interior panels, to ensure longevity.

Aurion models fitted with a moonroof have a unique roof panel pressed from anti-corrosion sheet steel, with the moonroof aperture created in the stamping process. Corrosion protection measures also include PVC coating applied to the underside of the body, the rear wheel housings and other key parts. Large rocker panel mouldings help protect the doors from possible stone chipping.

High standard in passive safety

All Aurion models have six SRS airbags, for high levels of passive safety. Toyota uses Computer Aided Design (CAD) and numerous on-vehicle tests to achieve high levels of crashworthiness. Aurion's new body was designed to minimise cabin deformation in front and side collisions.

The body is designed with a comprehensive strategy to act as a crumple zone and channel impact loads away from the cabin. The cabin has been reinforced and the load paths re-engineered to minimise cabin deformation in front or side collisions.

In addition, Aurion has a package of features to reduce the chance of injury to pedestrians, including crash-absorbing brackets in the front guards. This package includes impact-absorbing front fender brackets and a new bonnet support frame to provide uniform distribution of impact loads to reduce trauma to the head and torso of a pedestrian.

Aurion's impact-protection measures for occupants include impact-absorbing material in the door trims to reduce impact to the body in the event of a side collision. It also has head impact protection (HIP) impact-absorbing materials and structures in the pillars and roof side rails. Aurion's front seats employ Toyota's WIL (whiplash-injury lessening) design to reduce the chance of neck injury in a rear-end collision.

Aurion has a dual stage front SRS airbag system, which measures the intensity of the collision and deploys the airbags accordingly. Front-seat side airbags and side curtain-shield airbags are also standard equipment.

Aurion also has height-adjustable seatbelt upper anchorages, pretensioners and force limiters in the front seats and three-point automatic locking retractor/emergency locking retractor seatbelts in all three rear-seat seating positions.

Aurion Presara lights the way

The new top-of-the-range Aurion Presara has the added active safety feature of Toyota's intelligent adaptive headlamp system - to allow drivers to see slightly further ahead of corners. The system, known as AFS (Adaptive Front-lighting System), operates on Aurion Presara's high-intensity discharge projector-type low beam lamps only.

The AFS system is in addition to the auto-levelling headlamp technology specified in Australian Design Rules for HID-type headlamps. The new Toyota AFS technology consists of a swivel actuator for each low beam lamp and a dedicated ECU to extract the required information from the steering angle sensor and the front-wheel speed sensors. The articulation angle is specific to each lamp and to whether the vehicle is turning right or left. The right-hand lamp has a range of 15 degrees movement and the right-hand lamp a range of 10 degrees. The Toyota AFS is activated once the vehicle is travelling forward at more than 10km/h and when the steering articulation angle exceeds six degrees.

Rain sensing wipers

New Aurion Presara has automatic rain-sensing windscreen wipers. It is the first six-cylinder Toyota vehicle built in Australia with this feature. The rain-sensing wiper system automatically establishes wiper speed, including intermittent wiper interval. It is designed to increase convenience and reduce potential driver distraction.
The rain sensor consists of two light-emitting diodes (LED) that emit infra-red rays, a lens and a photo diode that receives those rays. The sensor is attached to the windscreen and located behind the interior mirror. The detection method is based on the infra-red rays that are reflected by the windscreen glass onto the photo diode. If no raindrops are present, all the infra-red rays from the LEDs are reflected to the photo diode.

If raindrops are present in the detection area, the difference in refractive indices of the glass and the area above the windshield changes and a portion of the emitted infra-red rays penetrates the windscreen, reducing the amount of rays received by the photo diode. In addition to detecting rain, the system varies wiper speed according to the volume of rain falling on the windshield.

Toyota F1-inspired aero features

Toyota Aurion's aerodynamic features include an innovative stepped underbody cover to help maximise downforce on the front of the vehicle as standard. The underbody cover creates a venturi effect - a low-pressure area under the front of the vehicle to increase downforce. There are also fairings for the rear wheels, directing airflow around the tyres and hence reducing drag.

Aurion Sportivo SX6 and ZR6 have a full aero kit, consisting of rear wing spoiler, front bumper/spoiler, side skirts and rear skirt/rear bumper. Sportivo also has the additional rear floor and fuel tank undercovers to increase downforce at the rear of the vehicle. Aurion Sportivo models (both SX6 and ZR6) have a coefficient of drag (Cd) of 0.292. Aurion AT-X, Prodigy and Presara have a Cd of 0.301.

Styled by Australians for Australians

An Australian stylist was the central point of the international design team for the new Aurion V6. Nick Hogios, design manager at Toyota Style Australia, was invited to move to TMC in Nagoya, Japan. This was a significant first for Toyota in Australia and highlights the regard for its design capabilities by TMC.

A winner of the Wheels magazine Young Designer of the Year award, Mr Hogios said a strong understanding of the Australian market was essential for defining a new car for the local large-car market.

"Australia is a unique nation," Mr Hogios said. "We tend to like American-sized sedans with European style," he said. We know our market, and for the first time we've had a big say in the design of our own vehicle from inception. For this unique exercise, so important and deservedly so Australian, simultaneous clay models were produced in Japan and Australia and developments were paralleled."

Mr Hogios said Aurion was a very recent example of Toyota's styling protocol, known as Vibrant Clarity. Aurion also embodies a Vibrant Clarity theory known as Perfect Imbalance.

"Some cars are overly balanced with predictably constructed design elements. These cars may have immediate appeal, but the design does not stand up to the passing of time," Mr Hogios said. "Other cars attempt to create excitement by being overly imbalanced. They have an immediate impact because of their odd shapes, but they have limited market appeal. Aurion achieves perfect imbalance - the best of both worlds. It has design features which deliberately provide a counter-point to others, and are therefore both interesting and appealing. Due to the proportions and character in the car, people will like it from the start, yet won't grow tired of it."
Mr Hogios said the exterior design for Aurion is simple, strong and elegant. He said Aurion has a strong, proud bonnet to give the car character, create drama and build excitement.

"To balance the hood, it has a lower bumper which cradles it," he said. "That led to the unique tagline for this car: double concave architecture, which is the signature of the front end. Conventionally designed cars have architecture that is primarily horizontal - lamps, grille and bumper surface breaks are placed in a horizontal line. Aurion tries to create more drama and interest with vertically sculpted features balanced by lamps that are placed quite wide. This gives the car a very distinctive 'face'. The side-glass-to-body proportions give the car a sleeker, sportier profile."

Mr Hogios said the car's longer wheelbase and the way the wheels and tyres fill the prominent wheel arches aided its strong stance. He said concave and convex surfaces intersected with crisp lines on the Aurion to create defined light and shade, producing a more innovative look.

"The intersecting positive (convex) and negative (concave) surfaces, combined with slightly twisting surfaces create tension - a very athletic surface language," he said. "The flow from the shoulder of the body side to the front guards, for example, helps give the car substantial road presence. The highly sculpted body side of the car avoids a slab-sided look and heightens the perception of 'visual' value."

At the rear, Aurion's short bootlid provides a sporty impression with a minimal overhang. "The crease line on the C-pillar flows down to the boot line, integrating the cabin with the rear of the car," Mr Hogios said. "In addition, Aurion integrates the tail-lamps across the rear quarter panel and boot lid - a styling feature dependent on Toyota's exceptional fit and finish quality. Detail styling cues at the rear include the after-burner LED tail-lamp clusters and the dual exhaust pipes, signifying power. For the first time, turn indicators are located in each wing mirror - an upmarket feature typical of the attention to detail in Aurion that will surprise and delight customers. The detailed use of chrome in multiple areas and the jewellery-effect headlamps further position this car as a serious contender in the premium six-cylinder market."

Sporty, spacious interior

Interiors for Toyota's new Aurion V6 have been created to appeal directly to Australian demands for a cockpit-feel separation of front seat passengers. Toyota Style Australia design manager Nick Hogios said the design architecture creates maximum visual width and the feeling of even more space.

"The exterior of the vehicle gets people into the showroom. The interior gets people to sign the cheque," Mr Hogios said. "Our research showed Australian large-car buyers love a design where the integrated centre console flows up into the instrument panel. This was a must-have feature for our car. The design envelops the driver and front-seat passenger in a cockpit environment. At the same time, the dash flows away from the driver, creating a feeling of openness."

Mr Hogios said Aurion's interior surfaces are dynamic and crisp with flowing lines harmoniously integrating door trims with the instrument panel. He said colour and trim are used to enhance the sporting character of each model grade. "Textures and finishes are vitally important and received great attention to detail. Metallic and wood-grain finishes have been applied to enhance the visual appeal of each model grade and integrate functional areas."

High-quality European-style flat woven fabrics are used with embossed leather on Prodigy, Sportivo ZR6 and Presara models. A premium, European-style dark grey environment is available on all models along with grey for AT-X and a warmer, upmarket "Grege" (a blend of ivory with a hint of grey) for Prodigy and Presara. The seats are designed with generous surfaces that comfortably wrap around each occupant's body.

Sportivo models provide a genuine sports sedan feeling with a dark grey interior and alloy-look highlights for the instrument panel and pedals. Unique sports seats for the Sportivo models get more pronounced side bolsters for the seat cushions and higher side bolsters for the backrests. Ergonomics are also vital with controls placed logically on all models. The use of all knobs and switches is confident and precise.

On the luxury models, modern four-spoke steering wheels with black or silver accents ensure the "touch and feel" aspects of the interior are at the highest level. Sportivo models have sporty leather-wrapped, three-spoke designs with alloy highlights. Large-diameter Optitron instruments and meters on all models increase the visual contrast for different readings, making them easy to read.

All grades except AT-X have a multi-information display and a "welcome" feature. The display, beneath the speedometer, can be controlled to display outside temperature, estimated range, average speed and fuel consumption and driving time. Aurion's "welcome" feature was designed to deliver an inviting ambience to the driver and passengers.

When the ignition is switched on indicator needles on the tachometer and speedometer are illuminated, the "Aurion" logo appears on the multi-information display and the instruments gradually illuminate at the same time. At night, the audio panel also lights up while the message 'Welcome to Aurion' appears on its LCD display. This is then followed by the gradual illumination of the HVAC panel. The audio unit LCD display (day time) or acrylic panel (night time) gradually illuminates, then 'Welcome to Aurion' scrolls across it (except for models equipped with satellite navigation).

Advanced packaging optimises Aurion interior

Advanced packaging has optimised Aurion's interior space within its 4825mm overall length. Aurion has a wheelbase of 2775mm and utilises FF packaging. Rear shoulder room is maximised within an exterior vehicle width of 1820mm. Aurion also has a wide range of front seat fore/aft adjustment - with 260mm of adjustment on power front seats and 255mm of adjustment on AT-X's manual front passenger seat.

In addition to its roomy interior, Aurion has a range of comfort features. These include all-new seat design and dual-zone auto air conditioning on Prodigy, Sportivo ZR6 and Presara models. All models except AT-X have power-adjustable lumbar support on the driver's seat and a centre armrest on the rear seat. All Aurion models have Whiplash Injury Lessening (WIL) front seats.

Help at your fingertips

All Aurion Presara sedans sold in Australia will be fitted with Toyota Link* - a system that enables the driver to receive roadside assistance or the car to be tracked if stolen. Telematics is a global Toyota initiative that harnesses GPS and mobile telecommunication technology. It provides safety, security and customer convenience through a direct link between the car and the Toyota assistance centre.

Toyota Link was previously available on high-grade Camry Azura and Grande models. It has been enhanced to improve safety, styling and convenience. Owners who insure their car through Toyota Insurance will benefit by having their excess waived if it is stolen.

In a first for an Australian passenger car, owners now have on-line access to Toyota Link services, including their personal and vehicle information. They can update their details, nominate a preferred sales and service dealer, check the location of their vehicle and confirm that other Toyota Link functions are operating for their vehicle.

In-car controls for Toyota Link are now located on the car's overhead console (previously the rear-view mirror) and are better integrated with the car's interior style. A new volume control with improved microphone and speaker system also makes the system easier to use. Drivers owners can talk directly through the system to the Toyota assistance centre.

Other additions include vehicle mileage output and engine over-temperature warning. Ongoing features include emergency operator assist via the SOS button, remote door unlocking if keys are locked in the vehicle, and a low-battery alert.
*Toyota Link is dependent on the availability and functionality of GSM network and GPS system

New audio systems

Toyota Aurion has six-speaker audio systems throughout, all with psychoacoustic technology. Psychoacoustics can be defined as the subjective effect sound has on those who hear it. It is designed to simulate strong bass playback, which spreads throughout the cabin and across the volume spectrum. The heavy bass playback creates the aural illusion of having a subwoofer in the vehicle. Sound from the speakers, mounted in the trim of the front doors, seems to the listener to come from a position in front of the driver and front passenger -enhancing the audio experience.

Aurion has the choice of three audio systems, according to equipment grade. All variants now have an integrated audio facia design. All three systems have six speakers and MP3/WMA CD compatibility with text display during playback. Aurion AT-X has an AM/FM tuner, single-CD player and large LCD display.

Prodigy and both Sportivo models have an AM/FM tuner, 6-in-dash CD multi-changer and large LCD display. Top-of-the-range Presara has an AM/FM tuner, 4-in-dash CD multi-changer combined with DVD satellite navigation and Bluetooth hands-free mobile telephone connectivity. Presara's audio system has a seven-inch colour LCD display.

Quiet drive

Toyota Aurion's noise reduction strategy begins with its all-alloy V6 engine and highly rigid body. Toyota has minimised engine, road and wind noise to increase comfort and reduce driver fatigue. Aurion has a coefficient drag of 0.292 on the Sportivo grades and 0.301 on other grades, along with a range of wind noise countermeasures.
Wind noise reduction measures include reducing the gap and height difference between the windscreen glass and the roof panel to reduce wind noise. The cowl panel has a rubber seal and the bonnet side has a large rubber seal.

In addition, Toyota has paid special attention to the front door weather strip at the A-pillar, with a solid structure to block any airflow at the front corner of the weather strip. A rubber seal prevents air from blowing through the panel clearance gap between the front fender panel and the bonnet. A rubber parting seal minimises turbulence between the front and rear doors. Sound-absorbing and vibration-damping features include a floor tunnel silencer and dash silencer.

In addition, new Aurion has non-woven felt rear fender liners to minimise grit, water and road noises. Toyota has made extensive use of sound-absorption and sound-insulation asphalt sheets on the vehicle floor to reduce road noise. These features are designed to absorb sound and prevent sound reverberation within the cabin.

Cool and comfortable

All Aurion models have the comfort of factory-fitted air conditioning with pollen filter. Aurion Prodigy, Presara and Sportivo ZR6 have automatic dual-zone climate-control air conditioning, with independent temperature control for the front passenger and the driver/rear passengers.

Special features of Aurion's climate-control air conditioning system also include neural network control, to regulate cabin temperature and air flow. The system monitors outside temperature, sunlight conditions and cabin temperature.

All Aurion drivers can achieve an excellent driving position through the combination of a power driver's seat and a steering wheel that is adjustable for reach and tilt. The electrically operated driver's seat on all models is adjustable in eight directions, which provides optimum posture and reduces fatigue. All models except AT-X and Sportivo SX6 have a power-adjustable front passenger seat.

Top-of-the-range Aurion Presara offers even greater driver convenience with a two-setting memory for the driver's seat and side-mirrors. Presara also has an electrochromatic rear-view mirror that provides the added safety of reducing the headlight glare of following cars.

Aurion's steering column is adjustable for both reach and tilt, helping drivers achieve the most comfortable and therefore the safest driving position.

Aurion Presara has an electrically operated rear sunshade that provides greater comfort for rear-seat passengers. Controlled by an ECU, the rear sunshade blocks direct sunlight from entering through the rear window. It can be operated by using an up/down switch. It is also lowered automatically when reversing.

All models have a pollen filter that treats outside and recirculated air, which may benefit allergy sufferers.

Aurion has two Sportivo models

Toyota's new Aurion range has two sports models - both with locally inspired suspension calibration, sports front seats, 17-inch alloy wheels with Michelin tyres, body kit and large rear wing spoiler fitted as standard equipment. Aurion Sportivo SX6 and ZR6 have a full body kit, consisting of front bumper/spoiler, side skirts, rear skirt and rear-wing spoiler. Sportivo's suspension tuning is designed for optimum handling while maintaining ride quality.

The unique chassis package includes 17-inch alloy wheels with premium Michelin tyres, additional underbody bracing and additional underbody aerodynamic features. Sportivo's rear dampers have TMC-developed rebound springs inside to optimise body control, along with a solid rear stabiliser bar.

Both Sportivo models have Optitron instruments, sports front seats, front and rear 'Sportivo' logo alloy-look scuff plates, alloy-look pedals, three-spoke leather-bound steering wheel, black interior trim and an alloy spare wheel. ZR6's higher feature levels, over SR6, include leather seat trim, dual-zone air conditioning, smart entry and smart start, and front clearance and rear parking sonars.

Chassis tuned for Australian conditions

Toyota Aurion's sure-footed chassis dynamics are based on the new vehicle's high body rigidity, low centre of gravity and large footprint on the road in relation to its overall dimensions. Aurion also has anti-vibration sub-frames front and rear. The new body includes a reinforcing cowl front panel to increase rigidity across the front suspension towers and a large V-shaped rear brace behind the rear seat, linking the rear suspension towers and the floor.

Aurion has the highest body rigidity ever achieved in a built-in-Australia Toyota model. Aurion's high body rigidity provides a stable platform for the suspension, in addition to its passive safety, noise, vibration and harshness (NVH) and vehicle durability benefits.

Aurion has a coil-over suspension package with MacPherson struts all round and wide-based L-shaped lower arms at the front and dual transverse links at the rear. Aurion's suspension has a range of advanced features, including multi-leaf type linear control piston valves in the dampers and a visco-elastic oil seal at the top of the damper body. The multi-leaf linear control valves enable the damper to generate more linear responses than correctional changes, thereby improving body control, road holding and steering feel.

Aurion has sealed, low-pressure gas-filled dampers front and rear. The nitrogen gas in the dampers minimises cavitation of the damper fluid.

In addition, Aurion has Nachlauf steering geometry, which means the kingpin axis is located ahead of the axle centre - to optimise straight-line stability and steering feel. Aurion Sportivo SX6 and ZR6 have the additional feature of in-built rebound springs in their rear damper units, to provide a flatter ride during cornering.

The rebound spring restrains elongation of the entire suspension unit during rebound, eliminating harsh top-out. In normal driving, when the suspension stroke is small, it is controlled by the main coil spring to provide a comfortable ride. However, during cornering, the inner wheels are subject to more rebound - so the rebound coil spring and the main coil spring combine to reduce elongation and improve manoeuvrability and stability.

Chassis aimed at driving enthusiast

Toyota Australia has adopted a suspension calibration for the new Aurion Sportivo different to that used on the other Aurion models. Designed to suit the tastes of driving enthusiasts, the suspension calibration takes advantage of the inherent stability of Aurion's high body rigidity and large footprint on the road. Aurion Sportivo ZR6 and SX6 are differentiated from AT-X, Prodigy and Presara models by their additional body bracing and underbody aerodynamics, as well as unique suspension hardware. All Aurion models have a substantial V-shaped rear brace behind the rear seat - linking the rear strut towers and the floor. Aurion Sportivo has the additional feature of underbody stabilising braces at the rear, ensuring rigidity.

Aurion Sportivo's additional aerodynamic parts include the rear-floor undercover - which creates more downforce on the rear section of the vehicle, hence reducing the likelihood of oversteer - and a fuel tank undercover which helps speed up air flow as it moves from the front underbody section towards the rear floor cover. It has unique spring, damper and rear stabiliser bar settings, as well as 17-inch wheels and Michelin sports tyres. The Sportivo rear dampers have the added feature of internal rebound springs, which increase body control and therefore create a flat ride posture during cornering.

Smart entry and smart start

Toyota's new Aurion Presara and Sportivo ZR6 are the first Australian-built Toyota models with Smart Entry and Smart Start. The Smart Entry and Start System means the driver can lock or unlock doors and start the engine by simply carrying the key and pressing the 'start' button.

Three antennae on the vehicle exterior, two in the interior and one in the boot provide actuation areas for the system of approximately 0.7 to 1.0 metre in radius. When the key receives a signal from one of the antennae, it responds with the ID code for the vehicle.

Vehicle unlock simply requires carrying the key within range of an outside front door handle and touching the inner surface of the door handle. Locking the vehicle involves pressing the external lock switch on the driver or front passenger's door while the key is within activation range. The vehicle can also be unlocked or locked by pressing the unlock/lock buttons on the smart key. Similarly, pressing the boot open switch while the key is within range of the boot antenna will open the boot.

Smart Start provides push-button engine start and stop. It operates when the key is within range of the internal antennae. The vehicle can also be started by pressing the smart key's Toyota logo near the smart start button, even if the smart key battery is low. The engine will only start when transmission is in park or neutral and the brake pedal is depressed.

Priced to attract fleet and private buyers

Outstanding value for money will be a strong plus for the new Aurion V6 sedan when potential customers compare it against major rivals. Toyota Australia's senior executive director sales and marketing, David Buttner, said Aurion's unique combination of sharp pricing and high equipment levels made a compelling case for both private and fleet customers. "We have equipped and priced the entire Aurion line-up to offer what we consider better value than the leading competitors in the large-six segment," Mr Buttner said.

Aurion starts at just $34,990 RRP* for the AT-X - which includes a powerful 200kW V6 engine, six-speed automatic transmission, excellent fuel economy, front, side and curtain airbags and Euro IV emissions compliance. It also comes standard with ABS with Brake Assist and Electronic Brakeforce Distribution, air conditioning, cruise control, twin exhausts, an eight-way power adjustable driver's seat and a full-size spare wheel.

"A similarly strong value proposition attaches to the other four models in the Aurion range - Prodigy, Presara and the two Sportivo models SX6 and ZR6," Mr Buttner said. "We believe Aurion's features and pricing represent outstanding value for money in the competitive large-car segment. It is a clear message about just how seriously we regard the growth potential in what has traditionally been the biggest segment of the market."

Prodigy, with an RRP* of $39,500, gains dual-zone air conditioning, leather trim, leather steering wheel and gearshift knob, front foglamps, 16-inch alloys, six-disc in-dash CD player, power-operated front passenger seat, trip computer, woodgrain trim and front and rear parking sonars.

The luxury Presara is priced at $49,990 RRP*. It is the technology bearer with a reverse camera, smart entry/start, 17-inch alloys with Michelin tyres, self-levelling high-intensity discharge headlamps with the ability to light around corners, electrochromatic rear-view mirror, rain-sensing wipers, driver-seat memory, Satellite Navigation with Bluetooth®, a moonroof and rear power sunshade. Presara is also fitted with Toyota Link** - the system that provides assistance at the push of a button and can track down your car if it is stolen.

Mr Buttner said the two Sportivo models, SX6 and ZR6, were important models in a market where people demanded a sporty ride and family car in one vehicle.

In addition to the Aurion AT-X standard features, SX6 gains sports suspension, 17-inch alloys with Michelin tyres, aero kit including rear spoiler, sports seats, front foglamps, unique headlamps and tail-lamps and a six-disc in-dash CD player - all for $38,500 RRP*. The ZR6, priced at $42,500 RRP*, has all the features of the SX6 plus dual-zone air conditioning, smart entry/start, front and rear parking sonars and leather trim. Mr Buttner said Aurion's compelling value equation would gain sales among both fleet and private buyers.

"We understand the challenge for Toyota as sales in the large-six segment are traditionally around 80 per cent fleet and 20 per cent private," he said. "Our plan is to capture a mix of 65 per cent mix fleet and 35 per cent retail. Aurion's price and feature advantages, along with Toyota's reputation for world-class quality and high resale value, give us confidence. We expect Aurion's whole-of-life costs will be a telling factor with both fleet and private consumers."

Aurion pricing

Aurion model

RRP*

AT-X

$34,990

Sportivo SX6

$38,500

Prodigy

$39,500

Sportivo ZR6

$42,500

Presara

$49,990

Aurion options:

*Recommended retail price, unless otherwise stated, excludes dealer delivery and statutory charges.
**Toyota Link services will not be available when your vehicle is outside GSM mobile phone operating range and are dependent on the availability of GPS location information. Please refer to
www.toyota.com.au/toyotalink or your Toyota dealer for full details of Toyota Link limitations.