Avalon to Follow Camry in Toyota's Save-the-Sedan Effort

Toyota Avalon teaser image

CARS.COM — Toyota has announced that the company plans to have not one but two press conferences at January's North American International Auto Show in Detroit. The first one we knew about already: Lexus plans to introduce a new flagship SUV concept called the LF-1 Limitless. But Toyota North America sales chief Bob Carter today said they'll also be unveiling an updated Toyota Avalon sedan.

Related: Lexus SUV Concept Portends Limitless Possibilities in Detroit

No information about the new Avalon was available, but it follows that a new one will be coming given the smaller Camry's recent switch to a new platform and design, as well. The Avalon sits on slightly bigger but still Camry-based underpinnings. We're not sure if the new Avalon will be quite as dramatically styled as the new Camry given that it tends to seek out an older, more conservative clientele, but Toyota has been taking plenty of styling risks lately in order to try to reinvigorate the rapidly dying mid-size and full-size sedan segments.

That they're doing a new Avalon at all is remarkable. The full-size sedan segment has been flat as more and more consumers flock to crossover SUVs. For the same kind of money, consumers have decided that the additional space and higher seating position of small SUVs is preferable to a traditional sedan. And with new powertrains allowing for that extra space without a fuel-economy penalty, there doesn't seem to be a downside for consumers.

Look for the new Avalon to be unveiled the week of Jan. 14 as we report directly from the floor of the North American International Auto Show.

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