After dropping the first details on the fourth generation Avalon , Toyota has announced that the new model will also be offered with a hybrid powertrain - a first for this sedan. Toyota has promised that this hybrid Avalon will deliver excellent fuel economy with an EPA-rating of 40 mpg combined.
The new hybrid Avalon combines a 2.5-liter, Atkinson-cycle, four-cylinder engine, with a 244.8-volt nickel-metal hydride battery pack and a pair of electric motor/generators within the trans-axle. It will deliver an impressive output of 200 HP and delivers a fuel economy of 40 mpg in the city and a 39 mpg on the highway. The model comes with three unique modes of operation: EV, Eco, and Sport. In EV mode, the model can travel as an all-electric vehicle to speeds of up to 25 mph. Eco mode combines the two, while in Sport mode, the model takes full advantage of the car’s improved chassis and enhanced suspension.
The hybrid transaxle in the new Avalon contains two high-output electric motor/generators, a power-split device, an open differential, and the final drive ratio. Motor/Generator 1 (MG1) is used to start the gasoline engine and generate the energy that is returned to the battery to power the system. Motor/Generator 2 (MG2) is primarily responsible for electric drivetrain propulsion and regenerative braking. The hybrid vehicle transaxle also incorporates a flywheel-damper design that helps reduce noise and vibration during engine engagement.
The new Toyota Avalon Hybrid goes on sale later in 2012 and prices will be announced at a later date.