2009 Venza Reveal at the 2008 NAIAS

January 14, 2007
2009 Toyota Venza Reveal
2008 North American International Auto Show
COBO Center, Riverview Ballroom
Monday, January 14, 2007, 10:50 AM EST
Bob Carter - Toyota Division Group Vice President and General Manager
Good morning, everyone, and thanks for joining us. You know, 2007 was an extremely busy year for us. We unveiled eight new Toyota and Scion products covering everything from compact cars to SUVs to full-size pickups. Believe me, I wouldn't mind taking a little break, you know what I mean?
But with our president, Mr. Watanabe, sitting in the first row here, that's probably not going to happen. So, looking to the New Year, we've got a terrific new product to show you.
Toyota's success has always come from listening closely to what our customers want, designing vehicles to meet those needs, and then building them with the highest quality. But sometimes, customers are looking for something new, something different, something that they don't realize they want until they see it.
This product was developed because we saw buyers on the fence when it came to choosing between an SUV and a car. With either choice they end up having to compromise certain features or functionality.
A sedan buyer typically prefers the better fuel economy, sleeker styling, and fun-to-drive characteristics that passenger cars provide. That's why, increasingly, we're seeing SUV buyers migrating back to sedans. And while these buyers want a sedan, they really miss the benefits of SUVs - better visibility, roominess, and generous cargo capacity.
Well, at Toyota, we don't think our customers should have to compromise. So we created a new vehicle. So our engineers moved outside of the SUV box, to bring to market something missing from today's vast automotive landscape.
The result is an intelligent, well-thought-out car, with luxury sedan features and the utility of an SUV. Ladies and gentlemen, it's my pleasure to present the 2009 Venza.
-- REVEAL --
Venza represents Toyota's commitment to driving change in the marketplace. The newest member of the Toyota family combines the stylish exterior and responsive handling of a sports sedan, with rich interior appointments of a luxury car, and the spaciousness and flexibility of an SUV.
If you think Venza looks different than anything in our current lineup, you're right.
And, if you're wondering why we call it a crossover sedan, it's because Venza is most definitely a car. Our hope is that it will launch a new segment, not just join one.
Venza originally began as the FT-SX concept that we unveiled three years ago, right here on this very stage. And the positive reaction it generated convinced us to build the vehicle you see today. It was developed in North America exclusively for the North American market.
Specifically, Venza was designed by Calty in California, engineered down the road at the Toyota Technical Center in Ann Arbor, and will be built at our plant in Kentucky.
Its target buyers will be active boomers and young families who are looking to move up from a mid-size sedan or down from a large SUV.
Now, on first look, it may seem these two groups are from opposite ends of the spectrum. But they actually have a lot in common in their desire for a vehicle that will accommodate their families, their active lifestyles, and their everyday errands.
Our designers took all these needs into consideration when sculpting the Venza.
Their goal was to avoid the rugged edges and angles more commonly found in SUVs in favor of a sporty, smooth, low-profile, silhouette, with plenty of room and flexibility inside.
Venza's bold grille and imposing front fascia advertise the fact that there's a capable powertrain underneath the hood. When it goes on sale later this year, the five-passenger Venza will come with a 3.5-liter V6 that generates 268 horsepower, 246 lb.-ft. of torque, and will have a towing capacity of 3,500 pounds.
That's more than three-times the towing power of today's average sedan.
For those who want a more fuel-efficient option, a 2.7-liter four-cylinder model will arrive a few months after the V6. Both engines will be paired with a six-speed automatic transmission with sequential shift.
Venza will be offered as a single-grade model. However, all V6 models, like the one you see here on stage will feature dual exhaust and 20-inch alloy wheels.
The four-cylinder will come standard with 19-inch alloy wheels, the largest for any four-cylinder car vehicle in our lineup.
On the inside, Venza's elegant interior prioritizes looks, comfort and functionality and offers plenty of luxury appointments. Passengers also sit higher than they would in a sedan for better visibility while enjoying an easier entry and exit than from your typical SUV.
And our designers worked hard to provide a strong sense of roominess for the driver and front passenger. Centrally-located controls and a very open cabin make each one feel as is if 60 percent of the space is theirs.
Venza's rear cargo area rivals that of any sport utility and thanks to its lower cargo floor and optional power back door, it's easier to access for loading and unloading. And once you fold the seats flat, there's enough room to accommodate everything from lumber and tools, to skis and surfboards.
Venza is also equipped with a wide array of safety measures that will provide peace of mind to buyers. In fact, it will be the first car in the Toyota lineup to have as standard, our comprehensive Star Safety System including stability control found in all Toyota SUVs and the Tundra.
In addition, Venza will have front active headrests and a total of seven airbags, including a driver's knee, front-side and two-row curtain airbags. Plus, Venza will offer some options that are totally new to the Toyota Division, like a panoramic roof, with separate glass panels over both rows of passengers.
We will announce pricing closer to launch, but I can tell you this, the Venza will carry on Toyota's long tradition of value.
Now I'd like to step back a moment to introduce the person most responsible for bringing together the best elements from both sedans and SUVs, the Chief Engineer of the Venza, Mr. Sato.
Mr. Sato, thank you for creating such an exciting and unique product for the Toyota lineup.
When it goes on sale at the end of this year, we think Venza will establish an exciting new concept that combines the finest attributes from all the vehicles in Toyota's diverse lineup.
It provides the comfort of a Camry, with the functionality a 4Runner, and envelops you in luxury like an Avalon. In short, it's that good!
Thanks again for joining us…have a great 2008.

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