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Toyota to show FT-4X Concept, new Avalon at Detroit auto show

Greg Gardner, Detroit Free Press on

Published in Automotive News

In addition to the 2019 Avalon, Toyota on Monday will show the FT-4X Concept at the North American International Auto Show, the automaker said Wednesday.

The Avalon was first sold in the U.S. in 1994. It shares its underbody with the new Camry that went on sale earlier this year. Much of the engineering, except the powertrain, was done in the Saline center for the current generation of Avalon.

Toyota executives are expected Monday to discuss when the car goes on sale.

The large sedan segment has shrunk in recent years as consumer migrate to SUVs and crossovers. Avalon sales for the first 11 months of 2017 slipped to 30,156, down 30 percent from the same period of 2016.

The FT-4X, designed at the company's Calty Design Center in Newport Beach, Calif., is billed as a four-wheel drive crossover and "a toolbox for today's city driver."

At first glance it looks as if it's targeted more to the type of young off-roaders who gravitate toward the Jeep Wrangler.

The Toyota exhibit also will include three concepts of future mobility vehicles -- the i Ride, i Walk and i Experience.

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The i RIDE is meant for ride sharing and can be wheelchair accessible. For the last leg of a user's commute, the ultra-compact i Walk drives users home or to work using sidewalks.

The i Experience involves an interactive display that simulates Toyota's vision future transportation.

For the less future-oriented, the automaker will show a NASCAR Camry jointly designed by drivers Martin Truex Jr., Kyle Busch and Denny Hamlin and Daniel Suarez.

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