Toyota provided details on how it’s working to reduce vehicle weight in order to improve fuel efficiency, citing specific examples on its 2013-MY Avalon.
According to Toyota, Avalon Chief Engineer Randy Stephens and his development team at Toyota Technical Center (TTC) in Ann Arbor, Mich., were able to reduce the vehicle’s weight by 110 lbs. compared to the 2012 model. Overall, the 2013 Avalon offers a combined 40 mpg EPA-rating, partially due to weight reduction.
To do this, the team focused on reducing the vehicle’s weight in specific areas and with specific components, for example the Avalon’s body structure, seat structure and wheel design. Two methods the automaker used include using a higher class of polypropylene resin to reduce the thickness of the front and rear bumpers and using a higher content of high-strength steel in the pillars and rocker panels. Toyota was also able to use slimmer tires due to the vehicle’s lower weight, which helps reduce drag losses to improve fuel economy.
The automaker said the Camry Hybrid also went through the weight-loss process, shedding 263 lbs. from the 2011 model-year to the 2012 edition.