New models - Toyota - Aurion
Aurion: The styling
Aurion is 10mm longer, 10mm lower but no wider than the Camry upon which it's based
18 Oct 2006
IS AURION just a bigger Camry? Without a doubt, Toyota Australia’s new large car comes from the same mould as its world-car partner which rolls down the same production line at Altona.
The two have similar exterior dimensions and, on first viewing, have a close – though not identical – resemblance when looking from side-on or at the rear-end.
Both cars were sculpted using Toyota’s "vibrant clarity" design ethos, and as large sedans both vehicles make the most of their size with a low and wide stance and short front and rear overhangs.
It is the front end where the Aurion makes its mark. Australian designer Nick Hogios - who had a role in ensuring the Aurion would have the blend of American size and European style that Toyota believes Australians favour - describes the bonnet and bumper treatment as "double concave architecture".
"To balance the hood, it has a lower front bumper which cradles it, (and) that leads to the unique tagline for this car: double concave architecture, which is the signature of the front-end," he said.
"Conventionally designed cars have architecture that is primarily horizontal – lamps, grille and bumper surface breaks are placed in a horizontal line.
"Aurion tries to create more drama and interest with vertically sculpted features balanced by lamps that are placed quite wide. This gives the car a very distinctive face.
"We know our market, and for the first time we’ve had a big say in the design of our own vehicle from inception." The Aurion’s 4825mm overall length is a mere 10mm longer than the Camry, the width is the same at 1820mm and the 1470mm overall height is actually 10mm lower than Camry. Ground clearance on Aurion is 146mm - 17mm higher than Camry.
Underneath the Aurion is a venturi-style stepped underbody cover designed to maximise downforce on the front of the vehicle. There are fairings for the rear wheels which direct airflow around the tyres and hence reduce drag, while Sportivo models come with a range of aerodynamic features.
Left: Nick Hogios.
In addition to visually appealing elements such as a rear wing spoiler, front bumper/spoiler and side and rear skirts, both Sportivo models have rear floor and fuel tank undercovers to increase downforce at the rear. The Sportivo models have a drag coefficient of 0.292Cd, while other Aurion variants have a 0.301Cd.
Other points of interest are in detail elements across the Aurion range, including the twin exhaust outlets (on all model variants) and turn indicators embedded into each wing mirror.
According to Toyota, Aurion’s exterior design was voted better than all of its large-car rivals in every styling clinic the company conducted. Toyota research, more of which was conducted for Aurion than for any other Toyota Australia model, also shows that design was instrumental in the purchasing decision of 27 per cent of large-car buyers in 1999, a figure that had reduced to 18.5 per cent in 2005.
"Large-car buyers are less than impressed with the design of large cars," said Toyota Australia sales and marketing chief David Buttner, who hopes Aurion will change that.
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