Toyota’s SUV Launch: The Grand Highlander
Toyota is nearing the official roll-out of its new crossover SUV line. An extension of the popular Highlander brand, the Toyota Grand Highlander features a dazzling array of tech features as well as an eco-friendly hybrid option.
The Toyota Grand Highlander is For ‘Gen Y America’
You know and love the original Toyota Highlander. Meet the new Toyota Grand Highlander is one of two new three-row SUVs designed for the “active Gen Y American family.” The new Toyota SUV, which will be introduced along with a Lexus-branded vehicle called the TX, is a unibody crossover extension of the original Highlander design.
Toyota expects this new model to be launched sometime in 2023, with sales beginning during 2022. It is uncertain what the Grand Highlander will mean for the full-size, three-row Toyota Sequoia, which could be phased out. The Toyota Landcruiser, another three-row SUV, is expected to remain in production.
Coolness Factor: Cutting-Edge Tech Features in the Toyota Grand Highlander
Full details of the Toyota Grand Highlander’s tech package are not yet known, but the carmaker has announced that it will feature self-parking technology and a digital key that allows drivers to use their smartphone as an ignition key. Perhaps even more exciting is semi-autonomous hands-free driving.
Smartphone technology will also play an important role when it comes to the Toyota Grand Highlander’s remote parking system. It’s an intriguing technological advancement, one that represents a step toward expanded carbon-free engineering by Toyota, which has more electrified vehicles in production than anyone else.
There is some question as to whether the Toyota Grand Highlander will solely feature a hybrid engine, as is the case with Toyota’s Venza and Sienna models. In any event, this Toyota SUV represents a major step forward in Toyota’s continuing emphasis on non-carbon-based vehicles, though it is not expected that the Grand Highlander will be produced as an all-electric vehicle.
The Grand Highlander Bigger and Better
The Toyota Grand Highlander will accommodate eight people thanks to a third row that’s larger and more comfortable than the original Highlander’s. According to Toyota, this latest model is based on an expanded SUV design architecture that adds space and makes it possible for more passengers to fit comfortably.
Such a large, sophisticated vehicle requires a substantial investment, not to mention plenty of production space to turn it out. To that end, Toyota has invested more than $800 million to expand its manufacturing facility in southwestern Indiana, where the Sienna hybrid minivan, the Highlander and Highlander Hybrid SUV, and Sequoia SUV are produced. According to Toyota, the Princeton, Indiana facility can turn out more than 400,000 vehicles on a year-over-year basis.
Toyota will add 1,400 new employees to a factory workforce that currently numbers 7,000 for the Toyota Grand Highlander launch. The plant has also been re-engineered in line with Toyota’s carbon-free design ethos. In fact, an investment of more than $2 million in CO2 reduction technology has saved the plant several thousand metric tons worth of CO2. Production of the Toyota Grand Highlander is good news for the environment as well as for consumers who buy cars designed to help preserve the environment.
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