Sunday, October 14, 2007

Toyota Mark X - Zio (Next generation of Mark X)

Toyota’s latest model in the Japanese market is the Toyota Mark X ZiO (pronounced geo). Some of you may find that the Mark X ZiO looks abit familiar - that’s because it is essentially the production version of the Toyota Flexible Saloon Concept that Toyota exhibited back in 2005.

The Toyota Mark X ZiO’s ZiO moniker refers to it’s multiple “Zones in One”, which is what Toyota calls the car’s flexible cabin arrangement which allows the car to be used as a sedan, a station wagon or a minivan.

The interior has a three row layout which can be specified as either a 6 seater or a 7 seater. The 6 seater model feature captain seats in the second row providing a 2-2-2 layout, while the 7 seater model uses a regular bench for the second row (2-3-2 seating) with a large foldable armrest in case the 7th seat is not needed. The third row seats can be folded into the floor to increase boot space into one equivalent to a station wagon.

There are two engine options for the Toyota Mark X ZiO: a 3.5 liter 2GR-FE V6 engine mated to a 6-speed Super ECT gearbox or a 2.4 liter 2AZ-FE inline-4 engine mated to a Super CVT-i stepless gearbox. The 2.4 liter model has optional four-wheel-drive, but front wheel drive is standard.

The 3.5 liter model comes with 18 inch wheels while the 2.4 liter model uses 16 inch wheels. Both models use large diameter disc brakes on all four wheels. Safety features include a pre-crash safety system which uses millimeter-wave radar to detect a high risk of collision: this activates pre-crash seatbelts and the pre-crash brake assist system.

Steering-assisted Vehicle Stability Control or S-VSC takes stability control systems to the next level by adding steering control to methods like engine power cutting and braking when the stability control system tries to stabilize a car that is out of control.

Other neat features include a radar-assisted cruise control system which maintains a fixed distance from a preceding vehicle if there is one, and there is also an Intelligent Parking Assist system which uses data from ultrasonic sensors to control steering wheel operations for you during parallel parking. There is also a 190 degree wide angle camera at the front for you to see the ground in front and at the front sides of the vehicle.

The Toyota Mark X ZiO looks like a JDM model for now, but you can always have one if you have enough money - just ask the grey importers.

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