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Tuesday, January 22, 2008

New Toyota Aurion: In Depth (AU)

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.

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Related entries:

Toyota TRD Aurion and HiLux at Melbourne
Toyota Aurion Sports Concept Unveiled (AU)
Toyota Aurion V6 Joins Police (AU)


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