More power than both Commodore and Falcon. That's one of the claims Toyota is making for its upcoming Aurion as it starts the drip feed of information in the lead up to its launch of its own 'big six'.
The Camry-based Australian-built front-wheel drive six-cylinder sedan will be launched in October. It is powered by a 3.5-litre petrol V6 that Toyota says will produce 200kW -- up to 20kW more powerful than the V6 Commodore, 10kW on the Falcon and almost 25kW on Mitsubishi's almost-forgotten 380.
The Aurion's power figure is achieved on regular 91RON unleaded petrol (ULP). According to Toyota a switch to 95RON premium unleaded will yield another 4kW, bringing the total to 204. Holden, Mitsubishi and Ford all quote their power stats on ULP fuel.
In economy terms, Toyota says it has a lead over the rest of the segment too. Consuming 9.9lt/100km, based on the mandated ADR 81/01 cycle combined cycle, the Aurion will be 0.8lt/100km ahead of the recently-announced BA Falcon MkII and 1.0lt/100km better than the V6-engined 180kW VE Commodore. For the record, with its optional six-speed auto Ford says the BA MkII will use 10.2lt/100km.
Of perhaps equal relevance, however, is the fact that according to Toyota's own stats, the 200kW Aurion matches its 'donor' stablemate Camry in auto form.
Powered by a 117kW 2.4-litre DOHC four, the Camry has been under the spotlight for its comparative thirst. In comparison to the likes of auto-equipped Mazda 6 (8.9) and Accord (9.4) Euro, the Camry is uses up to 1.0lt/100km more.
Arguably more of an issue in the showroom than the real world, the subject of fuel economy was a sore point at the Camry's launch in Sydney last month.
As CarPoint detailed in July (see here), Toyota Australia Chairman Emeritus John Conomos went on the offensive when the narrow gap between the Camry and Commodore was raised. In defending the Camry he stated that buyers were making purchasing decisions based on the number of cylinders -- not necessarily raw fuel consumption stats.
"In the car business perception is very important -- it determines who will buy what type of car. If you know about buyer perceptions right now, six cylinders is the trigger, not fuel consumption itself," Conomos said.
"Six cylinders seems to be the determinant in changing buyer habits towards four-cylinder cars and you really can't justify the transfer of sales [that has taken place] simply based on the fuel economy of the cars," he said.
CarPoint speculated at the time that the Aurion's economy could match or better the Camry, a situation today's announcement has confirmed.
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