I still vividly recall the April 2012 New York Auto Show, which saw the world debuts of both the 4th-generation Toyota Avalon and the 6th-gen Lexus ES. The twin debuts (in separate press conferences, of course) were rife with significance and symbolism, for the Lexus ES saw a major growth spurt that saw it morph from a gussied-up Camry to a Lexusized Avalon, with Avalon4 and 6ES sharing a 111" wheelbase version of the K platform. Both thus joined at the hip as very fraternal twins, conventional wisdom decreed that the next-gen Avalon5 and 7ES would again debut at the same New York Auto Show 6 years later. Alas, in an unexpected twist, Toyota today announced that the 5th-generation Avalon would make its public debut about 3 months earlier than expected at the 2018 Detroit Auto Show. Below are the single teaser shot and ultra-bare-bones press release: Jackie Charniga of Automotive News informs us that Randy Stephens will be the chief engineer for the 5th-gen Avalon, just as he also was for its current predecessor. She also affirms the obvious, that the new Avalon will be built on the TNGA-K architecture. http://www.autonews.com/article/201...-sedans?utm_source=dlvr.it&utm_medium=twitter We'll have to wait a bit over a month to learn more. Best guesses as to powertrains are the aging 2GR-FKS 3.5-liter V6 (as in the Camry XSE) and, for the Avalon Hybrid, the new A25A-FXS 2.5-liter hybrid 4. There are, of course, other less likely possibilities, such as a new V6 derived from the Lexus LS 500's V35A 3.5-liter V6 (detuned and deturboed, of course) and, in a move away from Camry, a V6 hybrid option (be it the Highlander/Lexus RX's aging 2GR-FXS or a new A35A-FXS). Will the Touring model give way to an SE or XSE model? Will there be an all-wheel-drive option? Of more interest to us Lexus Enthusiasts, will the Avalon / Lexus ES pairing continue to the extent that it did in New York 2012 and, thus, 7ES will also debut in Detroit next month? Or is there a deliberate plan to build some distance between Avalon and ES and avoid many of the direct comparisons that hounded the two when they first appeared almost together in New York 2012? In other words, an Avalon debut in Detroit while leaving Lexus' 7ES for New York (or Chicago?) would individualize the focus on each vehicle. Yet, even if Avalon precedes ES by a month or 2 or 3, the former is worth paying attention to for the clues it will reveal as to the latter. Of course, if the rumors are true that sportier AWD and F Sport versions of Lexus ES will allow it to serve as a de facto replacement for the GS sedan, that in itself may produce some further distance between ES and Avalon.