Toyota unveils all-new 2008 Sequoia at 2007 Los Angeles Auto Show

    LOS ANGELES, Nov. 14 /CNW/ - Toyota unveiled the second-generation
Sequoia full-size sport utility vehicle at a press conference today at the
2007 Los Angeles Auto Show. Sequoia is completely new for 2008, with a new
body, a new interior, a new chassis, an available new 5.7L V8 engine/six-speed
transmission combination and an increased focus on efficiency, performance and
driver/passenger comfort.
    Since the Sequoia was introduced in 2000, the world has changed. With
both gasoline prices and environmental concerns on the rise, Toyota's
engineers and designers have taken steps to increase not just the 2008
Sequoia's performance and comfort, but also its efficiency and environmental
    To that end, the Sequoia is equipped with an available powerful new
5.7L V8 engine that generates excellent fuel efficiency and very low
    An all-new platform now provides exterior dimensions that are competitive
with other vehicles in the Sequoia's class. Inside, highly efficient packaging
gives the new Sequoia a very roomy cabin and a capacious luggage space.
    In his efforts to be sure he got the 2008 Sequoia right, Chief Engineer
Motoharu Araya immersed himself in American culture for two-and-a-half years
as he began his design brief for the Sequoia. He even went so far as to live
for a time with an American family that owned a fullsize SUV so that he could
better understand the way SUV users relate to their vehicles. He also used the
Internet to circulate a questionnaire so that he could acquire detailed
information about how North Americans use their SUVs and what their
preferences are, right down to the side of the vehicle on which drivers prefer
their fuel fillers to be located. The result is a class-leading vehicle with
the efficiency, performance, comfort and convenience that SUV buyers want.

    Engines and Transmissions
    An available new DOHC 5.7L V8 engine enables the 2008 Sequoia to provide
acceleration performance that is among the leaders in its class, especially
while towing. Sequoia engineers developed the new engine to produce 381 hp,
one of the highest outputs in this vehicle class. This engine, which is Tier
II Bin 5 compliant, uses four valves per cylinder and Dual Variable Valve
Timing with intelligence (VVT-i) to produce 401 lb-ft of torque.
    Dual VVT-i continually alters the phase of each camshaft by operating the
oil-control valve and controlling oil pressure on the advance/retard chamber
of the VVT-i cam pulley through signals from the engine control computer. It
produces optimized valve timing, contributing to higher output and increased
    Compact pentroof combustion chambers and high-strength pistons that are
resin-coated to reduce friction, low-tension piston rings and a low-friction
valve train that uses roller rocker arms also are important features of this
engine, as is an Acoustic Control Induction System that changes the length of
the intake manifold runners based on engine speed and throttle opening. The
exhaust system, constructed of stainless steel, uses a valve in the main
muffler to alter exhaust flow, reduce exhaust noise and improve performance.
It also employs four catalytic converters - two for cold starts and two main.
    As a result, the 2008 Sequoia provides the acceleration desired by users
and an available towing capacity of just over 4,082 kg (9,000 lbs). In
addition to the available 5.7L V8 engine, the 4.7L iForce V8 continues to be
offered as standard.
    A smooth-shifting electronically controlled five-speed automatic ECT
(Electronically Controlled Transmission) is mated to the standard 4.7L V8,
while a new six-speed ECT automatic is part of the powertrain package when the
available 5.7L V8 is selected.
    This transmission benefits from hydraulic pressures that are very
carefully controlled for smoother shifts, and from highly accurate gear-tooth
surfaces that help ensure low noise levels. A Tow/Haul mode that extends use
of the lower gear ratios also is part of this transmission's package.
    Both transmissions are controlled by floor-mounted shifters and are
equipped with torque converters that use Toyota's flexible lock-up control for
enhanced fuel efficiency, and both transmissions can be shifted sequentially.
    Additionally, the six-speed transmission's torque converter will lock up
in fourth and fifth gear, as well as in sixth gear.
    On four-wheel-drive models, a two-speed transfer case that contains a
lockable Torsen limited-slip differential is used to transmit power to both
the front and rear wheels. Interestingly, this transfer case, with its 1:1
high-range gear ratio and its 2.618:1 low-range gear ratio, uses a durable
six-gear planetary ring instead of the more usual four-gear ring. The transfer
case is shifted electronically via a rotary knob within easy reach of the
driver, and it locks with the push of a button. High-capacity universal joints
are used in the drive line to accommodate the available power of the engines.
    The front and rear differentials are larger for added strength and
measure 8.7 inches in diameter (front) and 10.0 inches (rear). The standard
differential ratio is 4.3:1 ratio available as part of Sequoia's towing

    Chassis and Suspension
    To improve ride comfort and overall vehicle dynamics, the 2008 Sequoia
was given an all-new platform that features independent suspension at both
front and rear. This new suspension not only provides unparalleled ride,
handling and straight-line stability, but it also equips Sequoia with an
available towing capacity of just over 4,082 kg (9,000 lbs) which puts Sequoia
among the leaders in its class.
    To provide a vehicle that will not fatigue its driver or passengers even
on very long trips, Sequoia engineers focused on improved ride comfort and
quietness, and on enhanced straight-line stability.
    The new independent suspension employs upper and lower A-arms at each
wheel, tubular shock absorbers, coil springs and a hollow tubular antiroll
bar. It provides not only improved chassis dynamics thanks to reduced unsprung
weight, but also a turning radius of about 19 feet, the tightest in Sequoia's
class. Additionally, increased suspension travel and a newly developed upper
front shock-absorber support and lower bushing help enhance ride quality.
    An available air suspension package and Active Variable Suspension (AVS),
with settings for comfort, normal and sport, improves the ride comfort and
augments the Sequoia's ability to tow and haul heavy loads while maintaining
an appropriate ride height and chassis attitude.
    Larger tires and wheels were adopted to complete the chassis equation.
Standard are 275/65R18 tires and 18-inch aluminum wheels, while 275/55R20
tires and specially designed 20-inch aluminum wheels are available.
    Inside those wheels, Sequoia uses 13.9-inch ventilated disc brakes up
front and 13.6-inch ventilated disc brakes at the rear. To improve braking
performance and fade resistance, calipers with four opposed pistons - two per
side - are used for the front brakes. The Anti-lock Braking System is equipped
with EBD (Electronic Brake-force Distribution) and Brake Assist.

    Design and Styling
    Working from a design theme articulated as "Rugged and Advanced,"
engineers gave the 2008 Sequoia a new, larger body size and a tough new look.
    Sequoia's overall length, width and height are increased, its wheelbase
lengthened and its front and rear track is widened. Front and rear overhang,
meanwhile, is reduced.
    Larger headlamps, with available headlamp washers, were adopted, as were
large side-view mirrors that are available with power retraction, automatic
glare-resistance, puddle lamps, turn-signal lamps, position memory and
reverse-linked tilt functions.
    This new design achieves a drag coefficient of 0.35, which means the
vehicle offers exceptional aerodynamic characteristics and low wind-noise. The
vehicle's mirrors, wipers, A-pillar and roof header are shaped to maximize
aerodynamic efficiency and minimize wind noise.
    The Sequoia's underside, meanwhile, also is optimized to reduce drag and
wind noise, and to help improve directional stability.

    Interior and Comfort
    A primary design goal was to ensure that the 2008 Sequoia is useful and
user-friendly and its driver and passengers, regardless of size and build,
have sufficient space to ride in comfort. To that end, the Sequoia's cabin
interior is longer, wider and taller than the previous Sequoia. Indeed, space
sufficient to comfortably accommodate people well above normal height is
available in each of Sequoia's eight seats.
    Additionally, the second-row seat is equipped with a sliding-type seat
adjuster that allows the seat to be adjusted for added comfort when the number
of passengers is limited. For the third-row seat, an advanced seat-cushion
linkage reclining mechanism is adopted that elevates rear passenger comfort to
new levels.
    Designers took special care to create comfortable, spacious seats in all
positions. To help achieve this goal, a new seat framework, with increased
seat width, was adopted. The driver's seat is standard-equipped with power
lumbar support, and available as an option on the front passenger seat. Seat
heaters are available for the driver seat and front passenger seat.
    The second-row seats are split 40:20:40, and separate captain's seats are
available. The second-row seat is equipped with a seat-slide mechanism that
offers an adjustment range of 14.9 centimetres.
    This seat can also be folded down flat and uses an easy-slide action to
allow passenger access to the third-row seat. A seat heater is standard on
second row seats (including the available captain's seats) with the Platinum
grade, and child-seat restraints for the second row are standard on all
    The third-row seat is split 60:40, and it also has a seatback reclining
mechanism. It too can be easily folded flat.
    The interior surrounding these seats is a model of comfort, safety and
efficiency and is filled with thoughtful details. For example, the rear-view
mirror incorporates an automatic electro chromic function, and also
incorporates a compass, a map lamp and garage-door-opener functions. Other
thoughtful features include automatic up-and-down and jam protection for the
front power windows, a back-door power window with automatic up-and-down, jam
protection, and an available power back door equipped with an easy-closer and
remote-control functions. An illuminated entry system is standard.
    For the dash, designers incorporated a modular instrument panel structure
and they endowed it, and other interior surfaces, with a finish and feel
worthy of comparison with similar surfaces in the finest luxury cars. Rings
around Sequoia's Optitron gauges, and the climate control knobs, are chrome
colored, and panels on the dash are silver metallic.
    A newly designed four-spoke steering wheel contains controls for the
Sequoia's air conditioning system, Bluetooth(R)-capable phones and other
functions. It is connected to a newly developed steering column with a
floating intermediate shaft that helps enhance steering feel and minimize
noise and vibration. This steering column offers both tilt and telescopic
functions, and a powered memory feature is available.
    The 2008 Sequoia offers automatic air-conditioning with solar sensors and
automatic left and right independent temperature controls. Rear air
conditioning also is part of the package. This three-zone system uses a newly
developed multi-layer filter to ensure that air brought into the passenger
cabin is as free from dust, pollen and other contaminants as possible.
    To help keep driver and passengers entertained, the Sequoia's audio
system is improved and speaker placement is optimized. An AM/FM/CD sound
system with eight speakers is standard for SR5. Also available is a 660-watt
JBL Synthesis 14-speaker system. The JBL systems are Bluetooth-compatible and
are capable of receiving XM Satellite radio with the appropriately installed
equipment and service subscription. Both are equipped with MP3 ports. A
new-generation navigation system with a new menu screen and an improved
seven-inch display is available for 2008.
    To enhance the travel experience for passengers in the second- and
third-row seats, a Rear Seat Entertainment system with a DVD player and
nine-inch display is available.
    The same efficient packaging that allows class-leading interior comfort,
allows hauling pieces up to 3352.8 mm (11 feet) in length.
    Throughout, there are eight extra-large cup holders and eight bottle
holders, and designers also took steps to enhance Sequoia's availability of
storage spaces. For instance, the glove box now measures 9.5 litres, and the
second-row console box will hold 12 CDs or four DVD cases.
    For the seating surfaces, leather is standard. Three interior colors are
available, one of which is new. The new one is Red Rock/Black, available only
in the Platinum grade, while the others are Gray and Sand Beige.

    The 2008 Sequoia employs active and passive safety features to help
provide protection for vehicle occupants. Sequoia is standard equipped with
Toyota's key safety systems, which include the following: VSC (Vehicle
Stability Control), A-TRAC (Active-Traction Control), ABS (Antilock Braking
System) with EBD (Electronic Brake force Distribution), and Brake Assist.
    Sequoia's collision safety performance is enhanced by driver and
passenger seat-mounted side- and side- curtain airbags that are included as
standard equipment; and roll-sensing side curtain airbags that extend from the
front seat to the third-row seat.

    Standard Features and Options
    The 2008 Sequoia is available in three grades - SR5, Limited and
    The list of standard items on the SR5 grade, includes the 276 hp 4.7L V8
engine and automatic transmission, Toyota's key safety systems, Electronic
Brake Distribution with Brake Assist, side curtain airbag with rollover
sensor, engine immobilizer with alarm, direct tire pressure monitoring system,
seating for eight passengers, eight-way manually adjustable driver's seat,
four-way manually adjustable front passenger's seat, fold-flat feature for
second- and third-row seats, auto tri-zone air conditioning, power windows,
locks, back window, keyless entry, AM/FM/CD eight-speaker audio system with a
mini-plug for iPod compatibility, roof rack, rear wiper and defogger,
tilt/telescope steering wheel, cruise control, spare tire and mud guards.
    To that, the Limited grade adds the 5.7L V8 engine and six-speed
transmission, 20 inch alloy wheels, front and rear parking sonar, fog lamps,
heated leather-trimmed seats, 10-way-adjustable driver's seat, leather-trimmed
steering wheel and gear shift knob, Optitron gauges, multi-information
display, electro chromatic rear-view mirror, running boards, rear spoiler,
power back door, sunroof, headlamp cleaner, and JBL Synthesis audio system
with Bluetooth(R) capability.
    The Platinum grade includes all of the above, and also adds,rear
load-leveling air suspension, power seat memory package, heated and
air-conditioned front seats (driver and first-row passenger), second-row
heated seats, and navigation system with a backup camera. Laser cruise control
is an option exclusive to the Platinum grade.

    Interesting Details
    The Sequoia's designers and engineers went to extraordinary lengths to
make sure the vehicle is as comfortable to ride in and convenient to use as
possible. As an example of the conveniences they specified, an available
electrically driven full-flat tilting mechanism was developed for the
third-row seat. When the seat is folded into its flat position, large baggage
or cargo can be loaded without removing the seat.
    Every small detail was carefully planned in the effort to ensure concerns
of quality were attended to. For instance, engineers worked to improve the
operational feel of the Sequoia's switches. They specified large door handles
that would be easy to use, and located the handles at an optimum height.
    Closing the back door requires less force than was required on previous
models, and the back-door glass can be opened and closed for easy loading or
ventilation with the turn of a key. Also included are handy hooks in the cargo
section from which to hang grocery bags.
    The rear door opening angle is 10 degrees wider than the previous model,
providing easier passenger ingress/egress and child seat installation.
    An intuitive parking assist system is standard. This uses sensors and an
audible warning to alert the driver of the position of solid objects, and
their distance from the vehicle.
    As a final interesting touch, the Sequoia's towing hitch is integrated
into the frame as a single unit.

For further information:

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

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