Selasa, 07 Oktober 2008


Toyota unveils 3 new models in Paris

Post on 7 October 2008 : by Neil Winton

PARIS -- Toyota of Japan launched three models at the car show, including the iQ, a Smart minicar lookalike which can carry four people.

Toyota also unveiled the Urban Cruiser, a small SUV which slots into the lineup under the RAV4, and a new Avensis, Toyota's biggest sedan for the European market.

Toyota Europe Senior Vice President Andrea Formica said despite its size the iQ would protect its passengers well.

"IQ is ultra-safe. It features nine air bags, including the world's first rear-window curtain shield air bag. It is also based on a newly developed multi-load path body structure. And it includes ABS, VSC and traction control as standard. With such an extensive 360 degree protection, we're aiming for 5-star NCAP safety rating," Formica said.

That is the European Union's safety organization's highest rating.

Sales of the iQ start in January, and annual sales should reach around 80,000. Engines include a 1.0-liter gasoline and 1.4-liter diesel motor.

The Urban Cruiser's basic engine is a 1.4-liter diesel with four-wheel drive. A 1.33-liter petrol engine will include stop-start, which switches off the engine in traffic and fires it up again when the clutch is engaged. The annual sales target is 30,000.

The big Avensis was the star of the Toyota presentation, featuring tumbling gymnasts, smoke and loud music. When the Avensis emerged into the light, the new car looked rather handsome, with lines reminiscent of the top-of-the-line Lexus LS, made by Toyota's premium subsidiary. This was a surprise to those used to the Avensis's traditional sober, even dull lines.

Toyota hopes to move 115,000 Avensis models annually, including sales in Russia