The Detroit Post
Saturday, 04 December, 2021

Fastest Toyota Avalon

Maria Garcia
• Saturday, 05 December, 2020
• 8 min read

Toyota ’s most popular cars tend to be practical, reliable models that get good gas mileage. But just because the RAV4 has proven to be one of the top-selling vehicles in the U.S., that doesn’t mean the Japanese automaker has completely abandoned the performance market, either.

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It was made famous by Initial-D, a series depicting the rich and vibrant history of Japanese downhill racing. The 86 was able to overcome even Nissan GT-R skylines by virtue of its immensely light body and exemplary cornering capabilities.

The 1.8-liter 136 hp inline-four 4A-GE capped out at 7600 RPM, allowing drivers to enter and exit corners at very high rev rates without losing top-end power, thanks to TEC predecessor variable valve timing. The GT-Four was made famous in the 1995 Wax Rally series due to an ingenious design which effectively allowed them to cheat by bypassing the restrict or plate.

The GT-Four remains one of the best-performing cars from Toyota in the 1994 range, which also saw superstars such as the MR2 Turbo and Mk IV twin-turbo Supra, the Celia’s big brother. Toyota canceled the MR2 Turbo from the Firestone Fire hawk Series in 1992, but the improvements they made as a result of these races led to the wildly successful street variant.

The Toyota eight-six has been made infamous by Initial D, though this vehicle bears no major resemblance to the iconic AE86 True no. Seeking to excite younger audiences, the Avalon has developed a higher performance profile than its predecessors.

When the fourth-generation Supra was being developed, Japanese automakers were taxed according to displacement, so Toyota improvised, using a twin sequential turbo setup with one of the greatest engines of all time to create a sports car which still holds as one of the most feared and respected machines on the street. Some of the most notable reasons include its tapered cylinders, Siamese bore, and internal oiling mechanics.

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Despite the lack of a Toyota -built successor to the throne of the 2JZ, the 2020 Supra delivers excellent handling and impressive acceleration. Only time will tell if the new Supra can be tuned like the Mk IV, or if it will become the ultimate engine swap shell for 2JZ owners everywhere.

Both were applied in every area of Avalon ’s sophisticated essence, and throughout the four available grades: the athletic Use (all-new) and Touring, as well as the more opulent Axle and Limited. Its expressive looks diligently reflect the mixture of all-encompassing, performance-focused personality, the invigorating driver experience, and a premium, spacious image.

Because of its adaptable TNA core, the Salty team penned Avalon ’s exterior to be longer, lower, and wider than before. Unique, never-before-accomplished stamping methods also aided in the deep draw panels that express distinguishable sculpted forms.

Complex surfaces could now be shaped, like at Avalon ’s door handles that coincide with its profile’s bold character line. A distinct, carved lower rocker panel behind the front wheels visually exemplifies the benefits of TNA.

Simple horizontal character lines slice across the backside, at the top, center, and lower portions. Connected LED tail lamps shaped in a three-dimensional, “aero fin” style differentiate the landscape from the current iteration.


A dark gray front grille with chrome border, for instance, is a telltale sign of the Axle and Limited versions. So too are the machined-silver LED headlight bezels, body-color rearview mirror housings, and unique wheels ranging in diameter from 17 to 19 inches.

The lamp fades in and out for seamless activations and transitions, and adds 60 percent more foreground width to the low beam’s pattern. Avalon ’s LED taillights also implement laser ablation on Limited and Touring’s units, as well as Dynamic Auxiliary Turn Signal.

Its TNA platform’s thin structural pillars and broad windshield lend to the wide, open impression that passengers garner, be they seated in front or rear rows. Upon opening Avalon ’s doors, an overarching simplicity and a purposeful placement of amenities and controls welcomes passengers.

A rear cup and device holder, accented in piano black and satin chrome-finish, folds up and down in the armrest between passengers. Ahead of their knees and within arm’s reach: air vents, controls for the available seat warmers, and essential USB charging ports.

Below the panel, passengers have easy access to the slide-open bin containing a 12-volt plug and the standard wireless QI mobile device charger. A trio of USB power ports (making for five total) is located inside the center console.


A three-spoke steering wheel welcomes drivers’ eyes and hands with smooth, satin chrome-finish accents and conveniently placed multifunction controls. Visually, the wheel’s aesthetic is neater, having a trimmed inner physique and smaller switch cluster, while hand grips have been enlarged.

Past the steering wheel, a 7-inch Multi-Information Display (MID) shows vehicle information, turn-by-turn navigation, and various vehicle settings (including those pertaining to Lane Departure Alert with Steering Assist, Pre-Collision System with Pedestrian Detection, available Intelligent Clearance Sonar, Blind Spot Monitor with Rear Cross-Traffic Alert, and Head-Up Display). Save for Axle’s gauges, the tachometer/hybrid powertrain meter and speedometer on Use, Limited, and Touring are surrounded by 3D Glow Rings.

Its refresh rate is quicker, its voice recognition is more perceptive, and it better recognizes users’ gestures. This innovative connection allows drivers to lock/unlock their doors, start their engine, or check their fuel level, all from the convenience of their smartwatch or Amazon Alexa-enabled device.

Hardware: Four 1-inch freestanding JB Horn Tweeters control the creativity of sound waves to maximize the optimal listening area at ear level One 12-channel next-generation, Class-D HID12 amplifier to pump 1200 watts of total power to the system, allowing for improved performance and unparalleled efficiency One 10-inch Dual Voice Coil Subwoofer to provide more powerful, deep bass response Two 6-inch Wide Dispersion Speakers in rear doors Two 8×9-inch Wide Dispersion Woofers in front doors Five 3-inch Wide Dispersion Midrange Speakers throughout Software: Clarify rebuilds crucial audio signals lost during digital compression Quantum Logic Surround (Toyota First) to create an unprecedented 7.1-channel surround sound listening experience from any signal source Structure: Sealed inner doors for cleaner, more powerful bass JBL Branding, located on A-Pillar, door trim, and multimedia display The Toyota first Quantum Logic Surround combines individual signal streams of music by using patented filter bank technology and psycho acoustic modeling to create an immersive multi-channel listening experience with exceptional clarity, detail, and image specificity.

The use of Atkinson cycle, too, reduces the V6’s fuel appetite, particularly in cold climates or during wide-open throttle (WOT) situations. An all-new TNA 8-speed Direct Shift-8AT automatic transaxle gearbox (UA80E) channels power to the Avalon ’s front wheels.

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It merges smooth, precise gear selection throughout the RPM range with an alacrity for fuel efficiency and on-demand power. A wider range, specifically at the increased 8th gear ratio, allows for improved high-speed cruising fuel economy.

A new torque converter provides a wider range of lock-up operation (versus the outgoing 6-speed automatic transmission) to imbue a more enveloping and direct driving feel. The converter contributes to low fuel consumption and passenger comfort, since engine revving is kept to a minimum.

The most thrilling shifting experience, however, is reserved for Use and Touring drivers, whose optional steering wheel-mounted paddle shifters up Avalon ’s sportiness ante without question. The paddles give quick access to gear selection, and when downshifting, the gearbox automatically “rev-matches” for smoother shifts.

A new TNA 2.5-liter four-cylinder Dynamic Force Engine is more fuel efficient, runs cleaner, and is more powerful than previous iterations, and excels at dissipating thermal inefficiencies. Doing it all took the implementation of Toyota ’s vast catalog of advanced engine technologies: Dual VVT-i with Vote (Variable Valve Timing intelligent system by Electric motor); D-4S (Direct injection 4-stroke gasoline engine Superior version) direct injection and laser-clad valve seats; longer stroke (4.07 inches; bore remains at 3.44 inches) and high compression ratio (14:1); multi-hole direct fuel injectors; a variable cooling system; cooled Exhaust Gas Recirculation (Ear) system; and a full variable oil pump.

When driving normally, engine braking will slow the vehicle down when the driver lifts off from the accelerator pedal. Adding more than a sprinkle of spark to Avalon Hybrid’s sporty skillet is the inclusion of a new Sport drive mode and Sequential Schismatic technology.

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The astute setup reduces Avalon ’s posture fluctuations under hard or sudden directional changes, limits body movements, and yet absorbs nasty road undulations for a comfortable, flat ride. AVS relies on three primary systems to accomplish its mission: shock absorbers at each corner that have solenoid control valves for independent wheel control; advanced front and rear G Sensors to comprehend the vehicle’s condition; and, an intelligent central ECU that reacts to the G Sensor’s observations by dictating exact damping adjustments to the shock absorbers’ solenoids.

For example, throttle response becomes quicker, the Electronic Power Steering’s (EPS) feel emphasizes feedback, and its engine sound is enhanced through ESE. Revised trailing arms have been installed at a higher position to place the pivot axis of the tire rearward for better bump absorption.

Although not equipped with AVS, Axle, Limited, and Use take full advantage of their innately sporty platform and multi-link rear suspension and, to them, add thicker stabilizer bars and stiffer spring rates for maximum handling dexterity. ANC and ESE work to cancel any unwanted exterior noise while simultaneously enhancing engine sound via the JBL multimedia system’s in-cabin speakers.

More sound absorption material is found in the engine bay, within the carpet pad, under the floor, and in the wheel well liners. TSS-P bundles cutting edge active safety technologies including Pre-Collision System with Pedestrian Detection (PCS w/PD), Full-Speed Range Dynamic Radar Cruise Control (DCC), Lane Departure Alert with Steering Assist (LDA w/SA); and Automatic High Beams (AHB).

Also, available are Panoramic View Monitor with Alert (PMA) and Intelligent Clearance Sonar (ICS), which now includes a Rear Cross Traffic Braking (CTB) system.

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