Toyota to offer Avalon Hybrid variant in fall image

Toyota continues its push to spread hybrid technology throughout its automotive lineup.

The Japanese automaker will offer a gas-electric hybrid version of its all-new Avalon big sedan when the car comes out in the fall.

Like the Camry, the Avalon hybrid combines a 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine with an electric motor and 244.8-volt nickel-metal hydride batteries to produce 200 horsepower.

The hybrid system will be able to power the car in all-electric mode as far as a mile at up to 25 mph. In addition the driver will be able to select between three driving modes: EV, Eco, and Sport.

“EV” mode lets the driver direct the car to operate only electrically, when quiet operation is desired.
Eco dials down the performance and the heating and ventilation, for better fuel efficiency.
Sport does the opposite, allowing faster acceleration and quicker steering response when sportier performance is needed.

In addition to its aforementioned 40 mpg combined rating, the EPA says the Avalon Hybrid will achieve 40 mpg in the city, and a 39 mpg on the highway.

That’s 1 mpg higher than the outgoing 2012 Lincoln MKZ Hybrid, and far higher than the mild-hybrid Buick LaCrosse with eAssist, which is rated at 29 mpg.

Details on interior or exterior changes are few, but exterior photos show requisite hybrid decals and blue-tinted Toyota badges.

New features for the Avalon include Entune, the mobile-app system that ports functionality from phones to the Avalon’s infotainment system–streaming Pandora music into the stereo, for example.
A USB port, satellite radio, and ambient lighting are featured, as are an optional navigation system, heated and ventilated front seats, heated rear seats, and a three-zone climate control system.

No prices have been released for either Avalon model. The current Avalon starts at $33,195.