Toyota's weight reduction strategy makes 2013 Avalon lighter, more fuel efficient
While Toyota's fuel efficiency fame rests on the Toyota Hybrid Synergy drive train powering the Toyota Prius and Toyota's other hybrid cars, the company is looking into weight reduction to also increase fuel efficiency. The 2013 Toyota Avalon is a case-in-point.
The 2013 Toyota Avalon is lighter, yet more rigid, than the 2012 Avalon and will be the lightest vehicle in the premium mid-size segment. The 2013 Avalon has shed 110 lbs over the 2012 Avalon tipping the scales at 3,461 lbs. compared to 3,571 for the 2012 model.
“Our target was to dramatically improve all aspects of dynamic performance,” Avalon Chief Engineer Randy Stephens explained, “Especially in the areas of fuel efficiency, handling and performance.”
The weight reduction plan came head-to-head with another goal, the weight penalty imposed by equipment necessitated by increased regulations, improved performance targets and added customer features. Toyota's engineers collaborated on potential weight-loss areas, stayed focused on an overall weight reduction goal, and achieved significant mass reduction in several key areas like body structure, seat structure and wheel design.