Toyota Stages World Debut of All-New Venza at 2008 North American International Auto Show

    DETROIT, Jan. 14 /PRNewswire/ -- Toyota Motor Sales (TMS), U.S.A.,
 Inc., unveiled the all-new 2009 Venza crossover sedan at a press conference
 here today at the 2008 North American International Auto Show (NAIAS).
 Venza will raise the crossover vehicle to new levels by combining a unique
 blend of sedan refinement and sport utility vehicle (SUV) functionality.
 
     "The all-new Venza was developed as a vehicle that combines the
 styling, comfort and fun-to-drive performance elements of a five-passenger
 sedan with the surprising utility of an SUV," said Bob Carter, Toyota
 Division group vice president and general manager. "This winning
 combination will be ideal for active 'boomers' and young couples with small
 families."
 
     All aspects of Venza's engineering and design were targeted
 specifically for the North American market where it will be sold
 exclusively. Venza was primarily engineered at Toyota Technical Center in
 Ann Arbor, Mich., and designed at Toyota's Calty design studios in Newport
 Beach, Calif. and Ann Arbor, Mich. Venza will be assembled at Toyota Motor
 Manufacturing Kentucky (TMMK), in Georgetown, Ky.
 
     The development focus of the Venza design team was to create a new
 crossover vehicle that shifted away from the more traditional SUV styling
 themes that tend to dominate the segment. Calty designers leaned more
 heavily on a sleek sedan concept with a wide stance that featured a sporty
 exterior and premium comfort interior but would also be equipped with
 important SUV attributes such as cargo space, towing capability and
 all-wheel-drive performance.
 
     The exterior design of the four-door Venza begins with an imposing
 front end featuring a distinctive grille, headlights and fog lamps for an
 aggressive, yet classy appearance. The front conforms to a sleek and
 aerodynamic shape with short overhangs, crisp character lines and a
 roofline and ground clearance that are lower than a typical crossover. From
 behind, Venza's refined appearance is complete with an angled rear hatch,
 rear spoiler and wide wraparound tail lights that interconnect with the
 hatch door.
 
     On the inside, Calty designers and TTC engineers made comfort,
 refinement and utility a priority for the five-passenger Venza. A lower
 rocker design will allow occupants to more easily step in and out of the
 vehicle than a typical sedan. Venza will also feature a higher ride height
 and hip points that will help provide significantly better driver
 visibility than most sedans and easier ingress and egress than most SUVs.
 
     Venza will feature a spacious interior providing ample room for all
 five passengers and abundant SUV-like cargo space behind the second row of
 seats. The rear hatch provides a low cargo height that allows for easy
 loading and unloading of luggage and outdoor gear. Easy-to-use levers, one
 on each side of the rear cargo area, allow the 60/40 split rear seats to
 fold flat, providing additional storage space for extra long items such as
 surf boards, skis, camping gear and gardening equipment. For added
 passenger comfort, the rear seats recline up to 14 degrees.
 
     A creative interior design complemented with an array of comfort and
 convenience features provides Venza with a refined look and feel that is
 commonly reserved for a luxury sedan. The flow of the instrumentation panel
 (IP) creates a unique 60/60 design that gives both driver and front
 passenger the look and feeling that 60 percent of the IP is accessible from
 their seating position.
 
     An extra long center console extends from the IP and slopes down to a
 center compartment with a unique sliding console cover. Sliding open the
 compartment lid reveals a large storage well deep enough to hold a large
 purse. The compartment is also illuminated and equipped with an auxiliary
 audio jack and 12-volt power point. The upper portion of the center console
 houses the gear-shift lever for easy and comfortable driver access. Climate
 control functions are centrally located on the upper center console,
 providing easy accessibility for both driver and passenger. The center
 console also contains an iPod/MP3 storage compartment with wire management
 and illuminated dual cupholders.
 
     All Venza models will be equipped with an array of standard features
 including auto dual zone air conditioning, AM/FM six-disc CD,
 tilt/telescopic steering wheel with audio controls, remote keyless entry,
 electrochromic rearview mirror with compass, a multi-information display,
 cruise control, optitron gauges, rear wiper, privacy glass, and much more.
 On V6 models Venza will come standard with dual exhaust tips and will be
 the first Toyota model to ride on standard 20-inch alloy wheels.
 Four-cylinder models will come standard with 19-inch alloy wheels.
 
     Chrome accents throughout give Venza a refined look and feel. Models
 equipped with an optional leather-trimmed interior will feature
 wood-grain-type trim and seats stitched with dark piping that is tastefully
 coordinated with Venza's standard linear grain dashboard and steering
 wheel. An array of storage space will be available throughout the vehicle
 to accommodate passenger belongings. A large storage compartment with an
 additional 12-volt power point located on the passenger side of the front
 center console will be sizeable enough to contain maps and magazines.
 
     A panoramic roof will be offered as an option and will be a first for
 the Toyota vehicle lineup. The roof will feature separate glass panels over
 the front and rear seats. The front glass panel will have a power
 tilt/slide function.
 
     Venza will also offer an Automatic High Beam headlight system, another
 Toyota first. When high beam headlights are in use sensors in the Automatic
 High Beam system will detect oncoming traffic and automatically switch the
 headlights to low-beam. When the Automatic High Beam sensors no longer
 detect oncoming traffic the system will switch the headlights back to
 high-beam mode.
 
     Additional optional equipment will include a navigation system equipped
 with a JBL audio system, integrated satellite radio capability and
 Bluetooth(R) technology; a premium JBL audio system with AM/FM six-disc CD
 changer, satellite radio capability and Bluetooth(R), rear seat
 entertainment system, a Smart Key System, back-up camera and a power rear
 door.
 
     The sleek and sporty styling, refined interior and outstanding utility
 features are complemented with fun-to-drive performance attributes expected
 by owners with active lifestyles. Aggressive handling typically found in a
 performance coupe is well-balanced by the on-road comfort of an upscale
 sedan.
 
     Venza will be available in front- and all-wheel-drive configurations.
 It will provide drivers and passengers the best of both worlds by
 delivering the quiet comfortable ride expected from a full-size sedan along
 with the peace-of-mind that comes with all-wheel-drive.
 
     Power will be generated by an available 3.5-liter V6 that will produce
 268 horsepower at 6,200 rpm and 246 lb.-ft. of torque at 4,700 rpm with a
 towing capability of 3,500 pounds. Standard power will come from an all-new
 2.7-liter four-cylinder engine that will deliver capable performance and
 provide excellent fuel efficiency and low emissions. Both engines will be
 mated with a six-speed sequential-shift electronically-controlled automatic
 transmission.
 
     Venza will be equipped with a comprehensive list of standard safety
 features. It will provide a total of seven airbags, including a driver's
 knee airbag, front seat-mounted side airbags, and side curtain airbags for
 both rows of seats. Venza will also be the first sedan with Toyota's STAR
 safety system, featuring anti-lock brakes, traction control, electronic
 brake-force distribution, brake assist, and vehicle stability control.
 Venza will also feature active head rests as standard equipment.
 
     "Venza will establish an exciting new crossover niche that will combine
 the finest attributes of Toyota's diverse vehicle lineup," said Carter. "It
 will cater to buyers who are looking for the value and reliability of a
 Camry, the comfort and upscale refinement of an Avalon, and the utility and
 functionality of a Highlander SUV in one very stylish and sporty package."
 
     "When it goes on sale in late 2008, the Venza crossover sedan will
 represent Toyota's latest commitment to driving change in the marketplace."
 
 
2009 VENZA PRELIMINARY SPECIFICATIONS POWERTRAIN 2.7-liter four-cylinder engine Horsepower: TBD Torque: TBD Six-speed sequential shift automatic transmission 3.5-liter V6 Horsepower: 268 @ 6,200 Torque: 246 lb.-ft. @ 4,700 rpm Six-speed sequential shift automatic transmission Drive System: Front- and All-Wheel-Drive DIMENSIONS (inches) Overall Length: 189.0 Overall Width: 75.0 Overall Height: 63.4 Wheelbase: 109.3 Ground clearance: 8.1 Wheels: 19-inch alloy wheels (four-cylinder only) 20-inch alloy wheels (standard on V6 and available on four-cylinder) Tire Size: 20-inch: 245/50R20 19-inch: 245/55R19 Towing Capacity: 3,500 lbs. (V6 model) Seating Capacity: 5 (Logo: http://www.newscom.com/cgi-bin/prnh/20030501/TOYLOGO)

SOURCE Toyota Motor Sales, U.S.A., Inc.

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