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Press Kits

2003 Toyota Rav4 / Avensis 2.4 Litre Press Kit

  1. TOYOTA IMPROVES TWO HIGH-DEMAND VEHICLES
  2. LATEST ENGINE TECHNOLOGY POWERS MARKET SHARE GROWTH
  3. UPGRADES ENHANCE VALUE FOR MONEY
  4. POINEER TOYOTA SETS THE TRENDS
  5. AVENSIS AND RAV4 FIND THEIR NICHE
  6. NEW RAV4 AND AVENSIS VERSO HAVE HIGH TECH ENGINE
  7. 2.4 ENGINE POWERS FOUR TOYOTAS
  8. IMPROVED SUSPENSION AND BRAKES FOR AVENSIS VERSO
  9. AVENSIS VERSO OFFERED IN TWO MODEL GRADES
  10. AVENSIS VERSO HAS ENERGY SAVING AIR-CON SYSTEM
  11. AVENSIS VERSO NOW HAS HIGH EFFICIENCY TRANSMISSION
  12. SIX NEW COLOURS FOR AVENSIS VERSO
  13. AVENSIS IS BACK-TO-BACK WINNER
  14. NEW TOYOTA RAV4 HAS 2.4-LITRE ENGINE
  15. EIGHT MODELS IN RAV4 RANGE
  16. NEW ENGINE BRINGS RAFT OF BENEFITS
  17. RAV4 HAS VSC AVAILABILITY
  18. RAV4 CRUISER HAS BRAKE ASSIST
  19. NEW MANUAL TRANSMISSION FOR RAV4
  20. NEW RAV4 HAS IMPROVED STEERING AND SUSPENSION

TOYOTA IMPROVES TWO HIGH-DEMAND VEHICLES


Toyota has made a significant readjustment to two of its most in-demand models.

It has re-powered, refined and respecified RAV4 and Avensis Verso.

All new RAV4 3-Door and 5-Door AWDs and new seven-seat Avensis Verso family wagons have a VVT-i 2.4-litre Twin Cam Multi-valve engine.

The 2.4-litre engine offers up to17 percent more torque and up to nine percent more power than the two-litre engine it supersedes - coupled with reduced emissions.

It has a flatter torque curve than the superseded engine, for increased driveability and initial acceleration.

The Toyota 2AZ-FE engine has a linkless drive-by-wire throttle and twin counter-rotating balance shafts.

Specification improvements include cruise control and air conditioning as standard equipment across the full range of eight RAV4 and two Avensis Verso models. Avensis Verso has climate control air conditioning.

Both models have Toyota’s new generation linear control valve dampers - for improved body control and handling.

The new RAV4 has increased safety, improved steering, higher feature levels, and less noise, vibration and harshness.

The 2.4-litre Avensis Verso has significantly increased comfort and feature levels, and improved ride and handling.

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LATEST ENGINE TECHNOLOGY POWERS MARKET SHARE GROWTH


Almost a quarter of all Toyotas sold in Australia in 2004 are likely to be powered by the company’s all-alloy VVTi 2.4litre four cylinder engine.

The high specific output yet fuel-efficient engine is now fitted to locally made Camry four as well as RAV4, and people movers Tarago and Avensis Verso.

On an annualised basis the four vehicles will this year account for just on 41,000 of Toyota’s expected 185,000 deliveries – around 22 percent.

In 2004, increased demand for the power enhanced models could drive sales to almost 50,000.

The late-2003 launch of the 2.4litre VVTi engine in RAV4 and Avensis Verso is expected to provide both vehicles with major competitive impetus.

Toyota’s Australian plant, which supplies Camry four cylinder engine needs, is one of only four in the world to produce the 2.4litre VVTi engine.

The 2.4 litre was the first all-alloy engine manufactured in Australia and the production technique devised for its inclusion in the current model Camry range is world leading.

A locally developed technique allows the alloy for the engine block to be delivered to the plant in molten form rather than as an ingot, saving an entire production process.

YTD (November 2003) 22,908 locally manufactured Camry four cylinder vehicles have been sold in the Australian domestic market, giving Toyota a dominant 53 percent of the medium segment.

The engines of Avensis Verso, Tarago and RAV4 are manufactured in Japan.

YTD (Nov 2003) Toyota Tarago leads the people mover segment with 25.5 percent of all deliveries.

RAV4 - which has been a consistent leader of the compact SUV market since its launch 10 years ago - is currently in second place, 733 vehicles (YTD Nov) behind the segment leader.

It is expected the new powerful four cylinder engine will drive RAV4 back to segment leadership.

Avensis Verso has been a strong performer for Toyota, capturing on average 102 orders per month since its launch in December 2001.

Between them, Avensis Verso and Tarago dominate the People Mover market, fulfilling 34 percent of all demand.

Avensis Verso is largely pitched at the private market while Tarago meets fleet and business demand.

The new engine gives the potential for Avensis Verso to capture even more private market sales.

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UPGRADES ENHANCE VALUE FOR MONEY


Toyota has been able to introduce the 2.4litre VVT-i engine upgrade and specification improvements on RAV4 and Avensis Verso with minimal increases in recommended retail price.

The inclusion of air conditioning – with climate control air conditioning on Avensis - and cruise control in the specifications of the new models has effectively negated the price increases.

New RAV4 recommended retail prices* start at $28,390 for the three-door CV manual, a $790 increase over the superseded model, and at $31,290 for the five-door CV, an increase of $800.

Recommended retail prices* for both the Avensis Verso GXL and Ultima have risen by $1200 to $43,100* and $48,100* respectively.

RAV4 is the least expensive, and arguably the most cost effective, of the four brands which lead the still growing compact SUV market.

Toyota has sought to make both vehicles a far more complete package by minimising extras.

The upgraded RAV4 also has a new front bumper, grille, new front combination lamps, white indicator lenses and new rear combination lamps.

Improved active and passive safety, steering, suspension and feature levels, and less noise, vibration and harshness are also features of the upgrade.

RAV4 CV has body-coloured door handles and exterior mirrors, and a hard spare wheel cover.

The RAV4 Cruiser model has new five-spoke 16-inch diameter alloy wheels and large front foglamps, set into the bumper.

Mechanical improvements include new steering hardware, for improved steering feel on-road and increased power assistance at parking speeds.

The hardware improvements consist of a new steering rack ratio, new steering bushes and recalibrated power steering pump.

A new front suspension calibration improves stability, ride and handling.

Primary safety features include an improved impact-absorbing body structure, with new roof side member shapes (3-Door and 5-Door) and energy-absorbing pads installed underneath the dashboard carpet.

Five-door models have energy absorbing head-impact protection (HIP) material on the roof rails.

High-grade RAV4 Cruiser has the new safety pack option of front seat mounted SRS side airbags and front and rear curtain-shield airbags, vehicle stability control and traction control.

There are six new exterior colours - Glacier White, Storm Grey (Mica), Racing Green (Mica), Merlot Red (Mica Metallic), Dune (Metallic), and Mist Green (Metallic) - in RAV4’s nine-colour range.

Interior upgrades include ignition-key illumination, hard-case type vanity mirrors, a new combination meter, new Dark Grey trim and new three-spoke steering wheel design.

In addition, RAV4 has improved seats, with seat tilt adjustment as standard equipment, improved seat rigidity and new seat fabric.

Noise, vibration and harshness improvements include refined dash panel and door trim silencer panels, and increased sound insulation in the instrument panel and centre console.

The new Avensis Verso also offers significantly increased comfort and feature levels, and improved ride and handling.

Toyota has fitted push-button climate control air conditioning, cruise control and sports front seats to new Avensis as standard equipment.

Mechanical upgrades include new-generation linear control valve dampers, for improved control of damper force at low damper velocities.

The new dampers improve vehicle response to steering input, flat-ride comfort and ride comfort on roughly surfaced roads.

A new brake master cylinder has improved braking performance and brake feel.

Interior upgrades also include a new dark grey colour, new seat trim, new steering wheel, new instruments and a saddle-type head restraint for the centre position of the second-row seat, to improve rear vision.

Exterior upgrades on all models include new headlamps, radiator grille, front and rear bumpers, bonnet, rear combination lamps, body coloured exterior mirrors, a glass radio antenna in place of a pole-type antenna, and fuel cap holder with tether.

In addition to these upgrades, high-grade Ultima has new eight-spoke 16-inch alloy wheels.

Avensis Verso also now has driver and front passenger vanity mirrors with lamps, UV-cut windscreen glass, and a lockable glovebox with a damper on the lid.

Toyota has also developed a new spring mechanism for the door lock, to improve the operational feel of the door handles.

There are six new exterior colours - Silver Ash, Ebony, Crimson, Millennium Gold, Luna Mist and Galaxy Blue - in Avensis Verso’s eight-colour range.

* Recommended retail price excludes dealer delivery and statutory charges.

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POINEER TOYOTA SETS THE TRENDS


Australians have bought just on 200,000 people movers since the vehicle type was introduced 20 years ago this year.

Toyota’s Tarago and its stable mates Spacia* and Avensis Verso have accounted for almost half total deliveries.

The Toyota Tarago, introduced in 1983, has been a powerful force in the significant increase in popularity of people movers.

RAV4, launched in 1994, was a pioneering purpose-built SUV – an all wheel drive vehicle without a transfer case but with 4x4 attributes of high seating, good ground clearance and better than limited off road capability.

More than 72,000 RAV4s have been delivered in the last decade and it is the most popular compact SUV of the period.

Both markets are performing well in the face of an increasing evolution in buyer demand.

YTD November 2003, the SUV compact segment is up 2.5 percent over the same period last year, and demand for people movers is down only 3.8 percent.

Both segments are under increasing pressure from so-called crossover vehicles in the medium SUV sector which in 2003 has risen more than 10.4 percent.

Toyota Tarago, the sales leader in the people mover market, is up three percent. …more The six percent reduction in demand for Avensis Verso is likely to be addressed by the upgraded model, especially with its more powerful engine.

The two categories – People Mover and SUV – essentially fulfil the same basic function but in completely different ways.

People Movers fulfil a stage-of-life need while SUVs are a lifestyle purchase.

Avensis Verso has come closest to translating the function of a people mover into a car-like driving and occupant comfort experience.

The new 2.4litre VVTi engine will substantially contribute to the vehicle’s ability to carry up to seven people without effort.

* Spacia is no longer in the Toyota range.

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AVENSIS AND RAV4 FIND THEIR NICHE


Toyota Avensis Verso would seem to be purpose built for couples with three children, according to customer surveys.

Forty-nine percent of all Avensis Versos sold have gone to people with three children, compared to a general people mover market average of 34 percent.

Avensis Verso is the people mover most in demand for people with three children.

Comparatively, in Toyota Tarago, 41 percent of private deliveries were to people with four or more children.

Only 11 percent of Avensis Verso sales are to families of this size.

Customer research indicates Avensis Verso is used to regularly carry up to a driver and two passengers - with more at least once or twice a week.

The seven seat configuration and its car-like interior allowed owners to treat it as a regular wagon and to expand it to become a people mover on demand.

Its adaptability is a strong point in the purchase decision.

Both Avensis Verso and RAV4 were particularly popular with buyers under 35. Avensis Verso attracted more than 16 percent of its buyers from couples between 30 and 34, one of the highest in the people mover category.

RAV4 has two distinct buyer groups.

The three-door RAV4 is particularly popular amongst 25-to-29-year-old singles, while the five-door RAV4 attracts 25-to-34 year old predominantly married couples.

Demand for RAV4’s two grades – CV (previously Edge) and Cruiser – is almost equal.

However demand for the five-door RAV4 is almost four times that of the three door.

Three quarters of all sales are to private customers.

According to comparative research, the need for a more powerful engine was becoming a significant concern.

The new 2.4litre VVTi engine is expected to redress the issue.

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NEW RAV4 AND AVENSIS VERSO HAVE HIGH TECH ENGINE


Toyota’s repowered RAV4 and Avensis Verso share one of the most technically advanced and lightest mass-production four-cylinder engines in the world.

The all-alloy 2362cm3 Toyota 2AZ-FE engine offers six-cylinder levels of engine performance coupled with exceptional fuel economy.

It has significant improvements compared with the 2.0-litre engine it replaces.

These improvements include an electronic throttle, twin contra-rotating balance shafts, a plastic intake manifold and die-cast aluminium cylinder block.

The Toyota 2AZ-FE engine has an intelligent infinitely variable inlet timing system (VVT-i) that offers variable timing over a range of 40 degrees (relative to crankshaft angle).

In addition to VVT-i, leading-edge technical features include sequential fuel injection, multi-hole injectors in the inlet ports and an offset crankshaft.

The 2AZ-FE engine has an under under-square bore/stroke relationship (compared with the 2.0-litre engine’s square relationship), to maximise torque.

It delivers maximum power at lower engine revolutions, compared to the previous model, for improved driveability.

Toyota has adopted leading-edge engine technology throughout, for maximum fuel and package efficiency coupled with optimum serviceability, low NVH and low emissions.

Features of the 2AZ-FE engine include:
• compact, all-alloy construction for the cylinder head and engine block, for maximum thermal efficiency and minimum weight.
• a horizontally split crankcase/ladder type main bearing cap, for maximum rigidity, and hence high durability and reduced NVH
• in-built mountings in the block and bearing cap for ancillaries such as the water pump, thermostat, oil filter and air conditioner compressor - to improve package efficiency and reduce service weight
• passage holes in the crankshaft bearing area of the block, to reduce pumping losses within the engine and hence boost power
• a fully balanced crankshaft and high-strength connecting rods with plastic region tightening bolts, for optimum rigidity with low reciprocating weight
• the crankshaft centre line is offset to the thrust side, to reduce friction and hence maximise torque
• an under square bore and stroke relationship of 88.5mm by 96.0mm, to boost torque
• low reciprocating mass, lightweight valve-train components, and low-friction pistons and piston rings, to maximise fuel efficiency
• a Twin Cam Multi-valve cylinder head, for maximum engine breathing efficiency
• variable valve timing with intelligence (VVT-i), to optimise performance across the engine revolution range and significantly reduce emissions
• a long-branch inlet system with resonator, to maximise low-to-mid range torque. The inlet system is made of plastic, to reduce heat transfer from the engine to the inlet charge and hence increase volumetric efficiency
• sequential fuel injection with multi-hole injector nozzles mounted in the inlet ports, for maximum fuel atomisation and reduced wall wetting - and hence reduced hydrocarbon emissions
• a hot-wire L-type air flow meter for the EFI, for more accurate air-flow measurement and hence more accurate fuel/air mixing
• stainless steel extractor-style exhaust headers, for maximum performance and durability, and lower emissions
• a two-stage muffler to improve engine performance
• an engine-ECU controlled cooling fan, for optimum cooling efficiency and reduced engine load.

Additional fuel and emission saving technology includes computer engine management, individual Toyota Direct Ignition for each of the four cylinders and electronic spark advance with a knock control system.

The engine ECU determines the spark advance - the only tune-up variation is valve clearance adjustment.

Further serviceability improvements include multiplex engine diagnostics (which can detect a malfunction and memorise details of the failure for dealer diagnosis), a vertically installed oil filter and adoption of chain drive to the camshafts.

The 8mm pitch roller cam chain has a lubricating oil jet and auto tensioner.

Offset Crankshaft:

The Toyota 2AZ-FE engine crankshaft is offset 10mm to the thrust side of the cylinder bore centre line.

This reduces the side force generated at maximum compression, for reduced friction and maximum torque.

Toyota calculates the offset crankshaft configuration reduces fuel consumption by between one and three percent.

Twin Balance Shafts:

The Toyota 2AZ-FE engine has twin contra-rotating balance shafts, for smooth and quiet operation.

The balance shafts eliminate secondary inertia forces that are inherent in an in-line four-cylinder four-stroke engine.

The 2.4 engine has short, two-weight balance shafts to achieve NVH goals while minimising engine weight and package size.

Drive for the balance shafts is via a gear on the number three crankshaft counter weight.

The balance shafts have resin gears to suppress noise and vibration and a separate balance shaft cover, within the engine's horizontally split crankcase.

Twin Cam Multi-valve:

Toyota’s 2AZ-FE engine has an aluminium alloy cylinder head to achieve maximum thermal efficiency.

The cylinder head has two overhead camshafts and four valves per cylinder.

The twin cam design provides for direct valve actuation, which minimises valve train inertia and allows for optimum cam profiles, for more positive actuation and less free play.

Toyota employs four valves per cylinder on all its passenger car engines to increase intake valve area (and hence engine breathing) and reduce valve inertia compared with a two-valve design with equivalent intake area.

The four-valves per cylinder concept also allows for a more efficient combustion chamber, with a central spark plug.

The four-valve design also allows the engine designer to employ milder valve timing, while still achieving full cylinder filling.

The 2AZ-FE engine has vertical intake ports, to further boost engine breathing.

The 2.4 engine has a compact cylinder head design, with an included valve angle of 27.5 degrees, for maximum efficiency.

The 27.5 degree included valve angle improves engine breathing and allows space for chain drive to the two camshafts.

Cylinder-Head Design:

The 2AZ-FE engine’s compression ratio has been set at 9.6:1, for optimum combustion efficiency and power output across the revolution range.

The combustion chambers employ a slanted (oblique) squish design, to improve thermal efficiency and reduce the chance of engine knock (pre-ignition).

The squish angle has been shaped obliquely along the wall surface of the combustion chamber, improving airflow, promoting swirl and speeding flame travel.

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2.4 ENGINE POWERS FOUR TOYOTAS


Toyota’s leading-edge 2.4-litre all-alloy VVT-i and balance-shaft equipped 2AZ-FE engine now powers four models in Australia.

The 2AZ-FE engine - one of the lightest mass-production 2.4-litre passenger car engines in the world - powers RAV4, Avensis Verso, Tarago and built-in-Australia Camry four-cylinder.

The Toyota 2AZ-FE engine made its debut in Australia in Tarago in 2000.

Variations in camshaft timing and packaging for the inlet and exhaust systems create minor variations in maximum power and torque across the four models.

RAV4’s new engine is (by a margin of 3kW) the most powerful of the four variants, with 120kW of power at 5700rpm and 224Nm of torque at 4000rpm.

RAV4 and Avensis Verso have the added feature of linkless (drive by wire) electronic throttle.

The Camry, RAV4 and Tarago 2AZ-FE engines have two-stage main mufflers.

The four engines have subtle variations in valve timing and hence valve overlap.

Valve overlap range for Camry and Tarago is from 49 degrees (relative to crankshaft angle) on maximum inlet camshaft advance to one degree with both valves closed.

Valve overlap range on RAV4 and Avensis Verso is from 46 degrees on the maximum advance VVT-I setting to six degrees on RAV4 and Avensis Verso.

RAV4 and Avensis Verso have a maximum 50-degree range of inlet valve timing variation.

Camry and Tarago have a 50-degree range of inlet timing variation.

RAV4 and Avensis Verso both have 243 degrees of inlet duration.

However, the exhaust valves on RAV4 open eight degrees earlier.

RAV4 has 228 degrees of exhaust duration, compared with 220 degrees for Avensis Verso.

Camry and Tarago have the same exhaust duration as RAV4, but their inlet duration is seven degrees shorter (236 degrees).

The Camry and Tarago inlet valve-opening angle (on maximum inlet camshaft advance) is three degrees earlier than RAV4 or Avensis Verso.

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IMPROVED SUSPENSION AND BRAKES FOR AVENSIS VERSO


Toyota's new 2.4-litre Avensis Verso has improved suspension performance and brake feel.

The new Avensis Verso has larger diameter dampers following Toyota’s latest linear control valve design.

On rough road surfaces the new dampers improve body control during cornering and ride.

Improved damper characteristics reduce vehicle pitching on rough roads.

Toyota’s improved linear control valve dampers have multiple laminated valves of varying diameters.

The new dampers give the suspension engineers greater scope to control damper force at different damper velocities.

They provide for greater control of ultra-low-speed damping force – for improved body roll control and initial damping characteristic.

In addition, Toyota has retuned Avensis Verso’s rear trailing arm bushings – to improve road holding and stability.

Avensis Verso’s braking system has been improved by adopting a long-stroke master cylinder – to improve brake performance and brake feel.

Avensis Verso has long-travel coil-spring suspension all round.

The combination of Avensis Verso's highly rigid body, long wheelbase/short overhang design and long-travel suspension gives a European handling flavour, with optimum straight-line stability, handling, steering feel, ride comfort and NVH.

Avensis Verso has a large footprint on the road for its overall dimensions.

It has a wheelbase of 2825mm, front track of 1505mm and rear track of 1500mm.

Avensis Verso has MacPherson-strut front suspension and torsion-beam rear suspension with toe-correcting bushes.

The front suspension geometry includes anti-dive and anti-lift - to reduce pitching under braking and acceleration and to improve ride comfort.

NVH counter-measures include an anti-vibration subframe and two-path upper suspension mounts, to isolate the body from road shock.

The trailing torsion beam rear suspension system has 220mm of wheel stroke.

The torsion beam is a compact system that saves on weight and intrusion into the body.

Benefits of the torsion beam system also include a built-in stabiliser bar and minimal camber change during cornering.

It consists of a U-shaped torsion beam and two long trailing arms.

Two coil springs and low-pressure gas-filled dampers control the rear suspension.

The stabiliser bar is housed within the U-shaped beam.

The rear springs are mounted on the trailing arms, to allow for a low floor height in the vehicle.

The rear suspension has special toe-correcting bushings and anti-lift geometry - for increased driving stability and ride comfort.

The rear suspension design includes a dynamic damper bushing to reduce road noise.

Avensis Verso GLX has 15-inch steel wheels with 205/65 R15 tyres.

Luxury grade Ultima has new eight-spoke 16-inch alloy wheels with 205/60 R16 tyres.

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AVENSIS VERSO OFFERED IN TWO MODEL GRADES


Toyota's 2.4-litre Avensis Verso has the choice of two model grades, both with seven-seat capacity and highly versatile seating.

Nine major combinations of seating can be configured, including camping mode.

Avensis Verso GLX and Ultima share a highly efficient electronically controlled four-speed overdrive automatic transmission.

Climate-control air conditioning and remote central locking are standard equipment.

Standard safety features include dual SRS airbags and anti-skid brakes.

Avensis Verso GLX has a CD tuner as the standard audio and one-touch power windows and jamb protection on all four doors.

Avensis Verso Ultima has an impressive interior and a high level of specification.

Ultima has the additional features of front seat side airbags and side curtain-shield airbags, 16-inch alloy wheels, roof rails, rear spoiler, 3-in-1 audio, front fog lamps, rear privacy glass, leather accented steering wheel and woodgrain look.

...ends/11307c

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AVENSIS VERSO HAS ENERGY SAVING AIR-CON SYSTEM


Toyota’s new Avensis Verso has an energy saving air conditioning system developed for Australian conditions.

Australian-specification Avensis Verso has the unique features of a variable-capacity compressor and a temperature-humidity integrated sensor.

Push-button climate control air conditioning is standard equipment in new Avensis Verso.

Special features of the system also include a solar sensor to measure sun load, a function to reduce engine load during idling and a new time-lagged airflow control function.

The time-lagged airflow control prevents the air conditioner from discharging hot air from the face or bi-level vents during system start-up.

The system takes a reading from the evaporator temperature sensor before initiating blower motor operation.

If the evaporator temperature is over 30 degrees, the time-lag control delays blower motor rotation until the evaporator has begun cooling air and then operates the blower motor in LO mode for a short period.

If the evaporator temperature is under 30 degrees, the system operates the blower motor on the LO setting, until the system calculates the air output temperature needed to maintain the desired cabin temperature.

Avensis Verso’s climate control air conditioning system has a highly efficient continuously variable swish-plate type compressor.

The compressor has a clutchless drive mechanism, to eliminate engagement shock.

The control software for the compressor optimises fuel economy by using the lowest compressor operating capacity needed for air conditioner operating and driving conditions.

The air con ECU reduces engine load during vehicle acceleration and implements evaporator super cooling when the vehicle decelerates.

Use of the super-cooling phase during deceleration reduces the need for compressor load during engine idle – thereby saving fuel.

Avensis Verso’s temperature-humidity control prevents excessive dehumidification inside the vehicle, reducing the potential discomfort of drying skin and dryness in the throat.

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AVENSIS VERSO NOW HAS HIGH EFFICIENCY TRANSMISSION


Toyota’s new 2.4-litre Avensis Verso has an advanced electronically controlled four-speed automatic transaxle.

The Toyota U241E direct-drive transaxle, already proved in Australia in Camry sedan, offers significant advantages in driveability, drivetrain packaging and comfort.

It reduces shift lag compared with a conventional automatic transmission to achieve improved response.

The transaxle combines the efficiency advantages of Toyota’s latest low-friction technology and hydraulics technology with the smoothness of electronic control.

Its high-efficiency torque converter and new tooth profile for the oil pump gear offer increased driveline efficiency and hence greater fuel economy.

The adoption of Toyota's Super ECT electronic control gives Avensis Verso a range of leading-edge features.

These include torque control during shifting (to minimise shift shock), N to D squat control and A/T shift lock (to minimise the possibility of incorrect operation of the automatic transaxle).

The U241E shares an ECU with the 2.4-litre 2AZ-FE engine.

The ECU uses input on engine speed, crankshaft angle, water temperature, throttle position, the neutral start switch, vehicle speed, input turbine speed, stop light switch (brake actuation), transmission fluid temperature and transmission control switch (overdrive switch) to provide optimum driveability.

The Toyota U241E transmission has ratios of: 1st, 3.943; 2nd, 2.197; 3rd, 1.413; 4th 1.020, reverse, 3.145, and 2.923:1 final drive ratio.

The differential has been reinforced to optimise durability.

…ends/11307b

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SIX NEW COLOURS FOR AVENSIS VERSO


Toyota’s new 2.4-litre Avensis Verso has six new colours in an overall range of eight exterior colours.

The new colours are Silver Ash, Ebony, Crimson, Millennium Gold, Luna Mist and Galaxy Blue.

Avensis Verso is also offered in Glacier White and Racing Green.

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AVENSIS IS BACK-TO-BACK WINNER


Avensis Verso has retained its title of Australia’s Best People Mover.

Avensis Verso GLX 2.0-litre automatic has been named as back-to-back winner of the people mover category in Australia’s Best Cars.

Australia’s Best Cars was established in 2000 as a joint initiative by Australia’s seven auto clubs, with a combined membership of 6.3 million car owners.

Nine judges from the seven motoring clubs decide the awards – said to be the nation’s comprehensive and reliable consumer-focused vehicle testing and award program.

The chief judge for Australia’s Best Cars, the RACV’s Ernest Litera, said seven-seat Avensis Verso won in 2003 for the same reasons it won in 2002 – consistency across the whole range of judging criteria.

"On the road, Avensis Verso delivers consistent road, performance, ride, handling and braking," he said.

“It represents value for money in purchase price and fuel economy.

“In the design and function section, Avensis recorded above average scores for safety, comfort, practicality and ergonomics.”

…ends/11307q-award

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NEW TOYOTA RAV4 HAS 2.4-LITRE ENGINE


Toyota has re-powered its RAV4 3-Door and 5-Door 4WD wagon range with a VVT-i equipped 2.4-litre Twin Cam Multi-valve engine.

Improvements to RAV4 also include increased active and passive safety, improved steering, suspension and feature levels, and less noise, vibration and harshness.

Air conditioning and cruise control are now fitted as standard equipment.

The Toyota 2AZ-FE engine, with a drive-by-wire electronic throttle, increases torque by 17 percent and power by nine percent (at lower engine revolutions) compared with the superseded 2.0-litre engine.

It has a flatter torque curve than the superseded engine, for increased driveability and initial acceleration.

The 2.4 litre engine delivers 120kW of power at 5700rpm and 224Nm of torque at 4000rpm.

It has been proven in Tarago and is offered in built-in-Australia Camry.

RAV4’s new 2.4-litre engine can be matched to a new manual transmission with an improved spread of ratios or to an electronically controlled four-speed automatic transmission.

Mechanical improvements include new steering hardware, for improved steering feel on-road and increased power assistance at parking speeds.

The hardware improvements consist of a new steering rack ratio, new steering bushes and recalibrated power steering pump.

A new front suspension calibration improves stability, ride and handling.

Primary safety features include an improved impact-absorbing body structure, with new roof side member shapes (3-Door and 5-Door) and energy-absorbing pads installed underneath the dashboard carpet.

Five-door models have energy absorbing head-impact protection (HIP) material on the roof rails.

High-grade RAV4 Cruiser has the new safety pack option of front seat mounted side airbags and front and rear curtain-shield airbags, vehicle stability control and traction control.

The upgraded RAV4’s exterior improvements include a new front bumper, grille, new front combination lamps, white indicator lenses and new rear combination lamps.

RAV4 CV has body-coloured door handles and exterior mirrors, and a hard spare wheel cover.

The RAV4 Cruiser model has new five-spoke 16-inch diameter alloy wheels and large front foglamps, set into the bumper.

Interior upgrades include ignition-key illumination, hard-case type vanity mirrors, a new combination meter, new Dark Grey trim and new three-spoke steering wheel design.

In addition, RAV4 has improved seats, with seat tilt adjustment as standard equipment, improved seat rigidity and new seat fabric.

Noise, vibration and harshness improvements include refined dash panel and door trim silencer panels, and increased sound insulation in the instrument panel and centre console.

There are six new exterior colours - Glacier White, Storm Grey (Mica), Racing Green (Mica), Merlot Red (Mica Metallic), Dune (Metallic), and Mist Green (Metallic) - in RAV4’s nine-colour range.

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EIGHT MODELS IN RAV4 RANGE


Toyota's new 2.4-litre RAV4 range has eight models, with the choice of two body styles, two transmissions and two model grades.

All RAV4 models have full-time all-wheel drive with a viscous-coupled centre differential.

The new RAV4 is offered as 3-Door hardtop and as a 5-Door wagon, both with the choice of manual or automatic transmission.

Two model grades are offered - CV and Cruiser.

Standard equipment in all RAV4 models includes dual SRS airbags, front seatbelt pretensioners with force limiters, air conditioning, cruise control, keyless remote entry, power windows (front only on three door models) and mirrors, CD/tuner, driver's seat tilt adjustment, tilt-fold slide-adjustable and removable rear seats, front and rear accessory sockets, overhead sunglasses console, variable intermittent wipers, intermittent rear wiper, front seat-back pockets and independent suspension.

Exterior features include colour-coordinated/painted bumpers and side protection moulding, body coloured door handles, exterior mirrors, and hard spare wheel cover.

RAV4 Cruiser pack adds ABS anti-skid brakes with electronic brake force distribution, 16-inch alloy wheels with 235/60R16 tyres, cassette player (3-in-1 audio system), 6-disc in-cabin CD changer, front foglamps, rear roof level spoiler, roof rails, power moonroof, and leather accented steering wheel and gearshift lever.

RAV4 Cruiser has the option of a Safety Pack.

It consists of traction control, vehicle stability control, front-seat mounted side SRS airbags and front and rear side curtain-shield airbags.

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NEW ENGINE BRINGS RAFT OF BENEFITS


The Toyota 2.4-litre VVT-i equipped engine in new RAV4 and Avensis Verso delivers a raft of benefits, in addition to increased performance.

It provides improved driveability, optimises fuel economy and meets Euro Step 2 emission standards.

The 2AZ-FE engine fitted to RAV4 and Avensis Verso has a linkless electronic throttle – for increased driveability and to provide improved cruise control response.

The 2.4-litre engine has twin counter-rotating balance shafts to reduce NVH.

New developments compared with the 2.0-litre 1AZ-FE engine in superseded RAV4 and Avensis Verso also include a tapered squish combustion chamber design for improved combustion and direct ignition.

Fuel and emission-saving design measures include new design 12-hole injectors mounted in the inlet ports for improved atomisation, reduced wall wetting and improved combustion.

In addition, new RAV4 and Avensis Verso each have a ceramic-type three-way catalytic converter, a start-up converter and a returnless fuel system.

A plastic intake manifold reduces heat transfer to inlet charge for improved volumetric efficiency.

It also reduces induction noise.

The alternator and air conditioning system for RAV4 and Avensis Verso are also designed to save fuel.

The new segment conductor-type alternator for automatic RAV4 models has control software to reduce the charging level and hence engine load under acceleration, and increase charging level (and hence retardation effort) when the vehicle is decelerating.

The Avensis Verso's air conditioning system features a variable capacity swish-plate type compressor.

The control software for Avensis Verso's air-con reduces compressor load (and hence fuel use) under acceleration and increases compressor output under vehicle deceleration.

The increased cooling effort achieved under deceleration means the compressor load can be reduced when the vehicle comes to a halt, thereby reducing engine idling speed and hence saving fuel.

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RAV4 HAS VSC AVAILABILITY


Toyota’s new 2.4-litre high-grade RAV4 Cruiser has vehicle stability control (VSC) availability.

ABS with electronic brake force distribution is standard equipment on RAV4 Cruiser.

It is part of a Toyota DAT (Driver Assist Technology) package of active safety features, with constant all-wheel drive, traction control and ABS anti-skid brakes with electronic brake force distribution (EBD).

VSC and traction control are optionally available in a tied Safety Pack option with front seat mounted side airbags and front and rear side curtain-shield airbags.

Toyota developed vehicle stability control (VSC) as part of its philosophy of providing the greatest range of active safety technology available.

VSC helps provide optimal traction in cornering, to complement the way in which ABS provides optimal traction and stability under braking.

It dampens strong understeer (loss of front-wheel grip) or oversteer (loss of rear-wheel grip), to ensure vehicle stability.

The VSC system includes a dedicated electronic control unit, which controls VSC, ABS and traction control.

The sensors used in the VSC system include wheel speed sensors for all four wheels, a throttle position sensor, a deceleration sensor, steering wheel angle sensor, G-force sensor and Yaw-rate sensor.

The wheel speed sensors provide information regarding vehicle speed, acceleration and the amount of steering wheel input at any given time.

The G-force sensor detects the vehicle's lateral acceleration and the Yaw sensor detects angular velocity of the vehicle's rotation around the perpendicular axis.

The deceleration sensor, located in the centre console, can detect deceleration in both the longitudinal and lateral directions.

The VSC system can identify an understeer situation by analysing the vehicle's rate of yaw, which is a factor of the steering wheel angle and vehicle speed.

By analysing the actual vehicle speed and steering wheel input, the computer can identify the appropriate curve or line the vehicle should be travelling along, which is called the target yaw rate.

The yaw and G-sensors on the other hand analyse the actual yaw rate or line of travel.

If the actual yaw rate is different to the target rate, the VSC’s ECU recognises a potential understeer situation.

If the car is understeering, the VSC reduces throttle opening, to reduce engine output.

Depending on the degree of understeer, it also applies the front brakes and inner rear brakes in varying degrees – to help turn the vehicle into the corner.

If the VSC system detects an oversteer situation, it controls the engine output and (depending on the extent of the tendency) applies the brakes on the outside front and rear wheels.

This generates an inertial moment in the vehicle’s outward direction and hence helps dampen its tendency to oversteer.

VSC assumes priority over ABS and TRAC.

A beeping noise is heard in the cabin when the VSC is activated.

Toyota designed vehicle stability control as a driver’s aid. It works most dramatically on wet roads and in snow, but will also work in the dry.

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RAV4 CRUISER HAS BRAKE ASSIST


Toyota’s new 2.4-litre RAV4 Cruiser with Safety Pack has the increased primary safety of Brake Assist.

Brake Assist is designed to assist the driver in an emergency braking situation - where the driver cannot apply the high pedal force required to obtain the shortest possible braking distance.

It interprets a quick, hard push of the brake pedal as emergency braking and supplements the braking power applied if the driver has not pushed hard enough on the brake pedal.

The Toyota system measures the speed and the force with which the pedal is pushed to determine whether the driver is attempting to brake rapidly.

The system then applies additional hydraulic pressure, to maximise braking performance.

The timing and degree of braking assistance are designed to ensure the driver does not discern anything unusual in the braking operation.

The system reduces the amount of assistance it provides when the driver intentionally eases the pressure on the pedal, thereby allowing the driver to modulate braking forces.

The system means the driver can tailor the duration and severity of hard braking to suit varying driving situations, including accident avoidance.

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NEW MANUAL TRANSMISSION FOR RAV4


Toyota’s 2.4-litre RAV4 has the choice of a new manual transmission and a state- of-the-art electronically controlled four-speed automatic transaxle.

RAV4 is offered with the choice of five-speed overdrive manual or intelligent automatic transaxle.

Both transaxles have integrated front and centre differentials, to optimise package efficiency and reduce weight.

The transfer unit includes a viscous-coupled centre differential, to provide a limited-slip effect.

The provision of a viscous-coupled centre differential improves RAV4’s traction both on and off road.

RAV4’s new manual transaxle offers taller ratios from second to fifth (top) gear, to take advantage of the vehicle’s increased torque.

The Toyota E359F transmission has ratios of: 1st, 3.833; 2nd, 1.913; 3rd, 1.258; 4th, 0.972, 5th, 0.755 and reverse, 3.583.

It is matched to a 4.562:1 final drive ratio.

RAV4 automatic’s final drive ratio has been changed from 3.291:1 to 3.080:1, to complement the new 2.4-litre engine’s 2241Nm maximum torque.

Low-Friction Automatic:

RAV4 automatic has Toyota’s U140F intelligent, low-friction transaxle.

The U140F transaxle offers high levels of driveability, efficiency and comfort advantages.

It reduces shift lag compared with a conventional automatic transmission to achieve improved response.

The U140F transaxle has the efficiency advantages of Toyota’s low-friction technology and the smoothness of electronic control.

The Toyota U140F transmission has ratios of: 1st, 3.938; 2nd, 2.194; 3rd, 1.411; 4th 1.019 and reverse, 3.141.

RAV4 uses a Toyota MF2AV full-time transfer unit for both manual and automatic transmission models.

However, the front and centre differential portions differ slightly in shape, to suit the individual layout of the E359F and U140F transmissions.

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NEW RAV4 HAS IMPROVED STEERING AND SUSPENSION


Toyota’s new 2.4-litre RAV4 has improved steering and suspension.

New steering hardware and new linear control valve front dampers provide improved steering feel on road and increased assistance at parking speeds.

Steering hardware improvements include a new steering rack ratio, new mounting bushings for the steering rack and a new characteristic for the power steering pump.

RAV4’s linear control valve front dampers have been redesigned to improve body control and handling.

Toyota has developed new front dampers with multiple laminated valves of varying diameters.

These improved dampers give the suspension engineers greater scope to control damper force at different damper velocities.

They provide for greater control of ultra-low-speed damping force - for improved body roll control and initial damping characteristic - and enhanced responsiveness to improve the vehicle’s road tracking performance.

Toyota first introduced the linear control valve damper on Celica in 1999.

RAV4 has fully independent, long-travel, all-coil suspension for a balance of handling, ride comfort and low NVH.

The vehicle’s highly rigid body provides a stable platform for the suspension.

The 3-Door and 5-Door RAV4 have a large footprint on the road for their overall dimensions.

RAV4’s front suspension is MacPherson strut, with wide-based L-shaped lower arms to maximise suspension rigidity and provide crisp steering response.

The suspension is mounted from a sub-frame, to optimise suspension rigidity.

The front sub-frame in RAV4 has a tube-shaped reinforcement between the mounting points for the lower arms, to optimise vehicle manoeuvrability and stability.

RAV4’s front stabiliser bar is attached to the damper body via ball jointed drop links, to reduce uncontrolled body roll and hence increase steering stability and ride comfort.

The front suspension has been designed with a small king-pin offset, to increase stability under brakes.

The centre axis of the coil spring is offset on the damper body, to reduce lateral force on the damper rod and piston.

RAV4 has double-wishbone type rear suspension.

The rear suspension was designed to optimise controllability, stability and ride comfort.

A steel sub-frame supports the rear differential and acts as a mounting point for the tube-type upper and lower suspension arms.

The upper and lower arms have special rubber bushings on the sub-frame side and pillow-ball type bushings on the axle side, to reduce twist and wrench torque while maintaining excellent suspension rigidity.

The rear suspension geometry has been designed to minimise toe variation during suspension travel.

Two coil springs and low-pressure gas-filled dampers control the rear suspension.

The dampers and compact coil springs are located separately, to provide a low, flat floor line.

The rear stabiliser bar is ball-joint mounted, to reduce uncontrolled body roll.

RAV4 CV has 6.5JJ x 16inch steel wheels with 215/70-R16 tyres.

RAV4 Cruiser has 7.0JJ x 16inch alloy wheels with 235/60-R16 tyres.

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