Toyota stages world debut of all-new Venza at 2008 North American International Auto Show



    DETROIT, Jan. 14 /CNW/ - Toyota unveiled the all-new 2009 Venza crossover
sedan at a press conference here today at the 2008 North American
International Auto Show (NAIAS). Venza will raise the crossover vehicle to new
levels by combining a unique blend of sedan refinement and sport utility
vehicle (SUV) functionality.
    "The all-new Venza was developed as a vehicle that combines the styling,
comfort and fun-to-drive performance elements of a five-passenger sedan with
the surprising utility of an SUV," said Tony Wearing, Managing Director,
Toyota Canada Inc. "This winning combination will be ideal for active
'boomers' and young couples with small families."
    All aspects of Venza's engineering and design were targeted specifically
for the North American market where it will be sold exclusively. Venza was
engineered at Toyota Technical Center in Ann Arbor, Mich., and designed at
Toyota's Calty design studios in Newport Beach, Calif. and Ann Arbor, Mich.
Venza will be assembled at Toyota Motor Manufacturing Kentucky (TMMK), in
Georgetown, Ky.
    The development focus of the Venza design team was to create a new
crossover vehicle that shifted away from the more traditional SUV styling
themes that tend to dominate the segment. Calty designers leaned more heavily
on a sleek sedan concept with a wide stance that featured a sporty exterior
and premium comfort interior but would also be equipped with important SUV
attributes such as cargo space, towing capability and all-wheel-drive
performance.
    The exterior design of the four-door Venza begins with an imposing front
end featuring a distinctive grille, headlights and fog lamps for an
aggressive, yet classy appearance. The front conforms to a sleek and
aerodynamic shape with short overhangs, crisp character lines and a roofline
and ground clearance that are lower than a typical crossover. From behind,
Venza's refined appearance is complete with an angled rear hatch, rear spoiler
and wide wraparound tail lights that interconnect with the hatch door.
    On the inside, Calty designers and TTC engineers made comfort, refinement
and utility a priority for the five-passenger Venza. A lower rocker design
will allow occupants to more easily step in and out of the vehicle than a
typical sedan. Venza will also feature a higher ride height and hip points
that will provide significantly better driver visibility than most sedans and
easier ingress and egress than most SUVs.
    Venza will feature a spacious interior providing ample room for all five
passengers and abundant SUV-like cargo space behind the second row of seats.
The rear hatch provides a low cargo height that allows for easy loading and
unloading of luggage and outdoor gear. Easy-to-use levers, one on each side of
the rear cargo area, allow the 60/40 split rear seats to fold flat, providing
additional storage space for extra long items such as surf boards, skis,
camping gear and gardening equipment. For added passenger comfort, the rear
seats recline up to 14 degrees.
    A creative interior design complemented with an array of comfort and
convenience features provides Venza with a refined look and feel that is
commonly reserved for a luxury sedan. The flow of the instrumentation panel
(IP) creates a unique 60/60 design that gives both driver and front passenger
the look and feeling that 60 percent of the IP is accessible from their
seating position.
    An extra long center console extends from the IP and slopes down to a
center compartment with a unique sliding console cover. Sliding open the
compartment lid reveals a large storage well deep enough to hold a large
purse. The compartment is also illuminated and equipped with an auxiliary
audio jack and 12-volt power point. The upper portion of the center console
houses the gear-shift lever for easy and comfortable driver access. Climate
control functions are centrally located on the upper center console, providing
easy accessibility for both driver and passenger. The center console also
contains an iPod/MP3 storage compartment with wire management and illuminated
dual cupholders.
    All Venza models will be equipped with an array of standard features
including auto dual zone air conditioning, AM/FM six-disc CD, tilt/telescopic
steering wheel with audio controls, remote keyless entry, electrochromic
rearview mirror with compass, a multi-information display, cruise control,
optitron gauges, rear wiper, privacy glass, and much more. On V6 models Venza
will come standard with dual exhaust tips and will be the first Toyota model
to ride on standard 20-inch alloy wheels. Four-cylinder models will come
standard with 19-inch alloy wheels.
    Chrome accents throughout give Venza a refined look and feel. Models
equipped with an optional leather-trimmed interior will feature
wood-grain-type trim and seats stitched with dark piping that is tastefully
coordinated with Venza's standard linear grain dashboard and steering wheel.
An array of storage space will be available throughout the vehicle to
accommodate passenger belongings. A large storage compartment with an
additional 12-volt power point located on the passenger side of the front
center console will be sizeable enough to contain maps and magazines.
    A panoramic roof will be offered as an option and will be a first for the
Toyota vehicle lineup. The roof will feature separate glass panels over the
front and rear seats. The front glass panel will have a power tilt/slide
function.
    Venza will also offer an Automatic High Beam headlight system, another
Toyota first. When high beam headlights are in use, sensors in the Automatic
High Beam system will detect oncoming traffic and automatically switch the
headlights to low-beam. When the Automatic High Beam sensors no longer detect
oncoming traffic, the system will switch the headlights back to high-beam
mode.
    Additional optional equipment will include a navigation system equipped
with a JBL audio system, integrated satellite radio capability and
Bluetooth(TM) technology; a premium JBL audio system with AM/FM six-disc CD
changer, satellite radio capability and Bluetooth(TM), rear seat entertainment
system, a Smart Key System, back-up camera and a power rear door.
    The sleek and sporty styling, refined interior and outstanding utility
features are complemented with fun-to-drive performance attributes expected by
owners with active lifestyles. Aggressive handling typically found in a
performance coupe is well-balanced by the on-road comfort of an upscale sedan.
    Venza will be available in front- and all-wheel-drive configurations. It
will provide drivers and passengers the best of both worlds by delivering the
quiet comfortable ride expected from a full-size sedan along with the
peace-of-mind that comes with all-wheel-drive.
    Power will be generated by an available 3.5-litre V6 that will produce
268 horsepower at 6,200 rpm and 246 lb.-ft. of torque at 4,700 rpm with a
towing capability of 3,500 pounds (1587.6 kg). Standard power will come from
an all-new 2.7-litre four-cylinder engine that will deliver capable
performance and provide excellent fuel efficiency and low emissions. Both
engines will be mated with a six-speed sequential-shift
electronically-controlled automatic transmission.
    Venza will be equipped with a comprehensive list of standard safety
features. It will provide a total of seven airbags, including a driver's knee
airbag and side and curtain airbags for both rows of seats. Venza will also be
the first sedan with Toyota's 5 prong safety system, featuring anti-lock
brakes, traction control, electronic brake-force distribution, brake assist,
and vehicle stability control. Venza will also feature active head restraints
as standard equipment.
    "Venza will establish an exciting new crossover niche that will combine
the finest attributes of Toyota's diverse vehicle lineup," said Wearing. "It
will cater to buyers who are looking for the value and reliability of a Camry,
the comfort and upscale refinement of an Avalon, and the utility and
functionality of a Highlander SUV in one very stylish and sporty package."
    "When it goes on sale in late 2008, the Venza crossover sedan will
represent Toyota's latest commitment to driving change in the marketplace."

    
    2009 VENZA PRELIMINARY SPECIFICATIONS
               -----------

    POWERTRAIN
    ----------

    2.7-litre four-cylinder engine
    Horsepower:  TBD
    Torque:  TBD
    Six-speed sequential shift automatic transmission

    3.5-litre V6
    Horsepower: 268 @ 6,200 rpm
    Torque: 246 lb.-ft. @ 4,700 rpm
    Six-speed sequential shift automatic transmission
    Drive System: Front- and All-Wheel-Drive

    DIMENSIONS
    ----------

    Overall Length:    4800.6 mm
    Overall Width:     1905.0 mm
    Overall Height:    1610.4 mm
    Wheelbase:         2776.2 mm
    Ground clearance:  205.7 mm
    Wheels:            19-inch alloy wheels (four-cylinder only)
                       20-inch alloy wheels (standard on V6 and available on
                       four-cylinder)
    Tire Size:         20-inch: 245/50R20
                       19-inch: 245/55R19
    Towing Capacity:   3,500 lbs (1587.6 kg) V6 model
    Seating Capacity:  5
    





For further information:

For further information: please email media@toyota.ca or contact:
Kathryn Ruhland, Manager Public Relations, Toyota Canada Inc., (416) 431-8333


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