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A Tree Grows in Indiana: Toyota Unveils Full-Size Sequoia SUV at Detroit Auto Show

11 January 2000

A Tree Grows in Indiana: Toyota Unveils Full-Size Sequoia SUV at Detroit Auto Show
    DETROIT, Jan. 10 -- Toyota Motor Sales (TMS) U.S.A., Inc.,
today unveiled the Sequoia full-size sport utility vehicle (SUV) at a press
conference at the North American International Auto Show.  The Sequoia,
scheduled to go on sale in late 2000 as a 2001 model, will be built alongside
the Toyota Tundra pickup at Toyota Motor Manufacturing, Indiana, and will
share the full-size pickup's platform and V8 powertrain.
    "It is appropriate that here at one of the largest auto shows in North
America, we choose to launch the largest, most versatile sport utility vehicle
in our lineup," said Don Esmond, group vice president and general manager,
Toyota Division.  "Sequoia is Toyota's first mainstream full-size sport
utility, filling a key product-and-price position between the mid-size 4Runner
and the premium-brand Land Cruiser."
    Significantly larger and roomier than the Cruiser, Sequoia will complement
Toyota's SUV lineup with the size, features, performance and pricing that are
currently in such high demand with recreationally active American families.
    Sequoia will feature the same 4.7-liter i-Force V8 engine that powers
Tundra.  The engine will produce 240 horsepower and 315 pounds of torque, and
will be the first Toyota truck engine to be EPA-certified as ULEV, or
    To put that into perspective, Sequoia's ULEV engine will produce
40 percent fewer non-methane organic gases (NMOG) than the Ford Expedition's
2000 LEV V8 engine.
    Sequoia's overall length, width, height and wheelbase -- as well as its
interior volume dimensions -- will be larger than those of Chevrolet Tahoe and
nearly identical to those of Expedition.  Its optional third seat and rear
cargo area are more spacious than both.  Its ground clearance -- at more than
11 inches -- will be significantly higher than both.
    Sequoia will ride on a slightly-modified version of Tundra's stout
platform.  The independent double-wishbone-type front suspension will be
nearly identical to that of Tundra.  The rear suspension, revised for
increased ride comfort and excellent control, will feature a five link live
axle with coil springs.  A four-wheel disc anti-lock brake system will be
standard on all models.
    Sequoia will transport eight passengers in three rows of seating ... in a
cabin designed for roominess, comfort and safety.  Sequoia will be the first
Toyota truck to feature curtain-shield side air bags.  And it will feature
three-way seat belts at all eight passenger positions.
    Sequoia will be offered in both two-wheel drive and four-wheel drive
models, with Toyota's vehicle stability control -- VSC -- offered as an
    "Sequoia is a significant vehicle for Toyota.  It deserved a significant
name," concluded Esmond.  "Like its namesake, Sequoia stands tall, an icon of
strength and longevity.  It is a name that reflects Toyota's commitment to
meeting customers needs, while continuing its pursuit of cleaner, more
fuel-efficient engines."