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Toyota has launched the second generation of its powerful Aurion sedan.
Toyota New Zealand General Manager of Sales and Operations, Steve Prangnell said "Aurion is Toyota's most powerful passenger car. This 2012 model has significant improvements in agility and on-road dynamics. We know customers are going to enjoy the way this new Aurion drives and sounds."
Aurion's 3.5 litre all-alloy quad cam V6 engine achieves a balance between performance and economy, producing 200kW at 6,200 rpm and torque of 336Nm at 4,700 rpm.
Fuel economy across the Aurion range is just 9.3 litres per 100 kilometres with CO2 emissions of only 215 grams per kilometre (ADR81/02 combined cycle).
Key features include dual variable valve timing with intelligence (VVT-i) and an intelligent electronic throttle.
Toyota designed the 2GR-FE engine for a combination of high performance, fuel efficiency and reliability, coupled with minimal weight, and low levels of noise, vibration and harshness (NVH).
Aurion's six speed electronically controlled automatic transmission was designed to complement the car's V6 engine.
It has artificial intelligence and a sequential style manual gear select shift. The Sportivo SX6 also has a quick response paddle shift system.
These paddle shifters can be used while the vehicle is in "D" (Drive) or "S" (Sports) range. In Sports mode, the up/down shift response is faster, and there is a throttle blip on downshifts.
Latest upgrades to the transmission include flex-start control. When starting off, the lock up clutch is proactively engaged to enhance power transfer efficiency and lower the engine speed, contributing to Aurion's excellent fuel economy.
The transmission's electronic control software is packed with fuel saving features, including 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 determines 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 (ie intelligent transmission software) gives Aurion smooth shifting performance in automatic mode, particularly on hilly roads.
Driver intention support control anticipates the driver's intention based on accelerator usage and vehicle condition, to provide gear shift patterns that suit individual driving styles.
The 2012 Aurion has an all-new steering system with improved steering hardware and electric power assisted steering (EPS) for the first time.
Steering mount rigidity has been increased to improve initial yaw response, agility and feeling feel.
Aurion's column-mounted EPS has state-of-the-art control logic, including hysteresis, yaw rate feedback and steering feedback control. These features ensure smooth and stable steering and easy steering correction for a composed ride. The steering feedback is light at low vehicle speed for easier parking and manoeuvring and firmer at high speeds for safe, confident and enjoyable highway driving.
Toyota's second generation Aurion has increased stability coupled with a flat ride, high quality damping feel and improved steering feel.
Aurion has an all-new chassis package, new aerodynamics to increase down force, increased body and steering system rigidity, newly adopted electric power steering and improved tyre performance. Toyota engineers have tuned the chassis package to suit Australasian driving tastes and conditions.
The new body has 20 per cent more rigidity in the front suspension mounting sections thanks to changes in the upper cowl design.
The increased body rigidity allows force generated by the tyres to be transmitted to the body without delay, improving handling stability. This allows the dampers to be recalibrated to provide the same level of compression damping with less damper force, thereby increasing ride comfort.
Rebound damping has been increased at medium to high damper velocities to improve roll feel and complement the changes in compression damping.
Aurion's new tyres reduce rolling resistance and increase grip in both wet and dry conditions. They also increase damping feel and reduce yaw response delay, while reducing noise, vibration and harshness.
The MacPherson strut front and dual-link strut rear suspensions are carried over from the outgoing model, with improvements made to ensure excellent handling and ride comfort.
The Sportivo SX6 has uniquely tuned sports suspension settings for handling stability and a firm, well-planted driving feel.
Various aerodynamic parts have been adopted to enhance Aurion's dynamic performance. Undercover fins channel air towards the rear of the body. Aero corners front and rear smooth airflow across the body and reduce drag.
Aurion's restyled exterior has resulted in a co-efficient of drag of 0.29 for all grades.