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January 22, 2008

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Toyota Stages World Debut Of All-New Venza

Detroit, MI - 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.

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.

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.

"When it goes on sale in late 2008, the Venza crossover sedan will represent Toyota's latest commitment to driving change in the marketplace."

Photos: Toyota

(January 18, 2008)


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