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Kluger will have safety in spades

Safe as houses: Kluger II will come with seven airbags.

Toyota reveals details for its upcoming MkII Kluger, plus Aurion TRD and LPG models

12 Apr 2007

TOYOTA Australia’s all-new Kluger will have seven airbags fitted across the range when hits the streets in August.

To be offered with either 2WD or 4WD, the medium-sized SUV will have side-curtain airbags (with a rollover sensor) for all three rows, along with a driver’s knee airbag and dual front and front-side airbags.

Toyota says Kluger II will also be the first Toyota vehicle in Australia with active head restraints, and will have a pedestrian-friendly bonnet.

Other features confirmed across the forthcoming Kluger range include a reversing camera, stability and traction control, "Hill-start Assist Control" and ABS with electronic brake-force distribution and brake assist. AWD models will also come standard with "Downhill Assist Control".

8 center image"We believe the next-generation Kluger will have no equal to its comprehensive list of standard safety features," said Toyota Australia’s senior executive director sales and marketing David Buttner.

Aurion TRD to aim at Euros

Toyota also revealed this week that its upcoming supercharged Aurion TRD sedan will target premium performance models from Europe and Japan (not fellow locally-built variants of Aurion rivals Commodore, Falcon and 380), such as Alfa Romeo's 159, Volkswagen's Golf R32 and the Subaru Liberty GT Spec B.

That suggests the wildest homegrown Toyota yet seen will carry a sticker price of around $55,000 when it comes to market in August.

"There is a range of vehicles priced from $50,000 to $60,000 that have reshaped the performance-enhanced market in recent years," said senior executive director sales and marketing David Buttner.

"This is where the sales growth has occurred over the past 10 years - and this is where we are positioning the TRD Aurion," he said.

Mr Buttner said the TRD philosophy will be very different from the "muscle car" approach of other local enhancement companies.

"TRD stands for an optimal blend of performance, refinement, handling and Toyota's traditional quality, durability and reliability. It adds individual character and enhanced performance to the outstanding integrity offered by all Toyota vehicles." Once again Toyota nominated 235kW (15 per cent more than the standard Aurion's 204kW) as the development target for the TRD Aurion's supercharged 3.5-litre V6.

"The TRD Aurion will provide a balanced driving experience for a sophisticated market, integrating its power with dynamic cornering ability, precise steering response and impressive stopping performance," said Mr Buttner.

"It will distinguish itself by delivering its ample reserves of all-around performance in a way that is enjoyable and relaxing to drive all day, every day," he said.

As part of Toyota's plan to produce a range of TRD-badged models ("not just variations based on one locally produced car"), Toyota again confirmed HiLux would be next on the agenda for the TRD brand.

Expect a dual-cab four-wheel drive version by late 2007, powered by a supercharged 4.0-litre V6 offering "substantially more" than the standard V6's 175kW.

Aurion gets gassed

Meanwhile, an LPG dual-fuel conversion kit – which reportedly does not reduce the 3.5-litre V6 engine’s 200kW power output – is now available for the Aurion large car.

It was developed by Victorian-based companies Apollo Gas Products and Lpgas1 and is available through trained installers for $4400.

Read more: Toyota unveils MkII Kluger

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