Detroit Auto Show: 2009 Toyota Venza Crossover Sedan

Update: We've got the live reveal video posted HERE
Toyota told us about the 2009 Toyota Venza Crossover Sedan last year, but it's been bone-dry for teaser shots. But the seal is now broken! Here are the first live photos of the sorta sporty, sorta utilitarian, sorta... vehicle has an intriguing squashed-Ford Edge-meets-Toyota Camry look to it. This is all we've got at the moment but give us a second and we'll be adding we've added live galleries and whatever press information we can get our grubby little hands on.





TOYOTA STAGES WORLD DEBUT OF ALL-NEW VENZA AT

2008 NORTH AMERICAN INTERNATIONAL AUTO SHOW




DETROIT, January 14, 2008 - - 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

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

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 BluetoothTM

technology; a premium JBL audio system with AM/FM six-disc CD changer,

satellite radio capability and BluetoothTM, 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

and side and 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 restraints 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."