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Toyota Aurion

GSV40R Aurion

Toyota logo1 Oct 2006

TOYOTA’S previous large-car assault was the Avalon, an outmoded American sedan based on an early ‘90s Camry. It flopped badly.

The Aurion, on the other hand, is Toyota’s most strident attack on Holden’s Commodore, the Mitsubishi 380, Nissan Maxima, Honda Accord V6 and Ford’s Falcon.

With 200kW from its 3.5-litre V6, the sedan-only Aurion has more power than either of the other two big Aussie sixes.

It also boasts better fuel consumption, and comes with a six-speed automatic gearbox (with sequential-manual shift control) as standard.

And every Aurion – Greek for ‘tomorrow’ – includes six airbags – including full-length side curtain airbags and dual-stage frontal airbags – air-conditioning, electronic stability and traction control, and anti-lock brakes with electronic brake-force distribution and brake assist.

Also standard is a power-adjustable driver’s seat, cruise control, power-operated windows and mirrors, remote central locking, and alarm, while premium entrants have uncommon features for Australian-built cars such as adaptive headlights and keyless entry and start. Telematics makes a return, too.

Five models are available – AT-X, Sportivo SX6, Sportivo ZR6, Prodigy and Presara.

The Aurion is really a renamed, V6-engined and re-faced and re-tailed sixth-generation Camry, which reverts back to being a four-cylinder-only proposition.

Both share the same vehicle architecture, chassis components and some design elements, along with the roof and door panels, interior and exterior dimensions, and an almost identical boot capacity.

The Aurion has the same "coil over" all-strut suspension package, with MacPherson struts with wide-based L-shaped lower arms at the front and dual transverse links at the rear.

Running on normal unleaded petrol, the 3.5-litre quad-cam V6 produces its 200kW at 6200rpm and has a torque peak of 336Nm at 4700rpm. Power rises to 204kW on premium unleaded, and the fuel consumption rating sits at 9.9L/100km when using top-shelf fuel.

Acceleration to 100km/h is a claimed 7.4 seconds.

In September 2007 after a long gestation period, Toyota Australia produced a homegrown sports sedan to rival the likes of Holden's Commodore SS and Ford's XR Falcons.

With 241kW and 400Nm of performance on tap, the front-drive, supercharged TRD Aurion could mix it with some of the best locally-built performance cars but sales were slow and the model - and the TRD brand - were dropped in May 2009.

In September 2009 a facelift arrived, visually differentiated by a new front bumper assembly, new LED tail-lights and fresh wheel designs across the range, the 2010 Aurion V6 four-door line-up continued to feature different front-end treatments across the range, including specific bumpers, grilles, air-intakes, headlights and (on all but the entry-level AT-X) foglight surrounds.

Better low-beam light distribution performance – for models with both halogen and high-intensity discharge (HID) globes – was claimed to improve safety, and while the AT-X came with new 10-spoke 16-inch alloy wheels, the SX6 and ZR6 Sportivo variants gained new 17-inch split five-spoke alloys.

Interior upgrades included revised instruments while driver and passenger vanity mirror illumination is now fitted on all models.

The Prodigy grade gained an electro-chromatic interior mirror, power rear sunshade and rain-sensing wipers.

Sportivo ZR6 specification Aurions scored heated exterior mirrors – with the driver’s mirror now auto-tilting on reverse – while the Sportivo SX6 added dual-zone climate-control air-conditioning.

All Aurions received Bluetooth hands-free telephone kit and 3.5mm auxiliary audio input in the front centre-console box, while all but the base AT-X variant got a Bluetooth sound system.

The Prodigy and both Sportivo grades also spawned a new ‘display’ audio system with 4.3-inch colour LCD display, reverse camera capability, six-CD changer, USB/iPod auxiliary input and Bluetooth phone kit with fascia-integrated microphone.

Rounding out the Aurion upgrades was the addition of a driver’s seat and exterior mirror memory function as standard on the Sportivo ZR6, plus Aurion-branded scuff plates for the top-shelf Presara and ‘Sportivo’ items for the SX6 and ZR6.

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