Toyota To Sell Hybrid Avalon In Fall

DETROIT (AP) — Toyota will offer a gas-electric hybrid version of its all-new Avalon big sedan when the car comes out in the fall.

The company says the new Avalon hybrid, with ample room for five people, will get 40 miles per gallon of gasoline in combined city and highway driving, and 39 mpg on the freeway.

The standard Avalon will come with a 268 horsepower, 3.5-Liter V-6 engine that gets 25 miles per gallon in combined city-highway driving, and 31 on the freeway.

The hybrid system has 200 horsepower and has two electric motor-generators and a gasoline engine. It runs mainly on a combination of gas and electricity, but can be all-electric for up to a mile at speeds under 25 mph.

The hybrid could help boost sales of the Avalon, which is competing in a shrinking market for full-size cars. Gas mileage is one reason that people have been downsizing from larger cars to midsize ones.

Toyota said the Avalon, designed mainly in the U.S., will ride and handle better than the current version, and it's also quieter.

No prices have been released for either Avalon model. The current Avalon starts at $33,195.