Plano, Texas – With auto shows cancelled since March and none on the horizon, Toyota held a virtual launch event to share plans for its upcoming lineup that will lean hard on hybrid models.
The Sienna minivan and Venza small crossover will be available only as hybrids. The Venza, effectively the station wagon version of the Camry sedan, went out of production in 2015, and the Sienna has not previously had a hybrid option.
Offering the hybrid Sienna will match the popular option for Fiat Chrysler Automobiles’ (FCA’s) Chrysler Pacifica.
“This is an all-new vehicle from the ground up, including a new chassis platform as well as a new electrical platform,” Chief Engineer Monte Kaehr said of the Sienna minivan. “The development of the fourth generation Sienna was a huge undertaking but we always worked towards one single mission—to make the best van yet.”
Toyota estimates the van will get 33mpg combined city/highway fuel economy, 50% higher than the 2020 model’s 22mpg combined. Two electric motors will work in concert with the minivan’s 2.5L 4-cylinder engine. The 2020 model uses a 3.5L V-6. Horsepower falls 18% to 243hp from 296hp in the V-6 model.
The automaker didn’t provide curb weight statistics on the upcoming model, so that power decline may be offset by a lower vehicle mass.
Toyota makes the Sienna in Princeton, Indiana, where it recently completed a $1.3 billion plant upgrade to support the minivan and other vehicle launches.
The Venza returns after a 5-year break with a more distinctive style. The old model was a barely disguised Camry, adding a large hatchback-like rear end to the sedan – much like General Motors’ little-loved Chevy Malibu Maxx that was discontinued a decade ago.
The updated Venza is taller and sheds all its sedan-like graphics. The two-row crossover shares some mechanical components with the Camry hybrid, but its look is now independent.
The Venza’s powertrain includes the same 2.5L 4-cylinder engine as the Sienna and three electric motors, but total horsepower is only 219hp. Toyota expects the crossover to achieve 40mpg combined city/highway fuel economy. The automaker plans to import the new Venza from Japan.