To compete with European luxury car makers such as Daimler-Benz AG, Toyota Motor Corp. on Thursday launched the Progres, a compact luxury four-door sedan.

The Progres, which comes with either a 3.0-liter or 2.5-liter engine, has enough room to seat four adults comfortably despite its small body. It is equipped with the latest technologies of intelligent transport systems and a new type of air bag for driver and passenger sides, the firm said.

The new car has adopted an unprecedented automatic downshift system using road information from the navigation system. The new Navigation Cooperation Shift Control senses upcoming corners and automatically down shifts from fourth gear to third.

The vehicle also offers an optional Radar Cruise Control system, which matches the car’s speed with that of the car ahead and maintains a certain distance by using its laser radar sensor and steering sensor.

Other equipment includes the newly developed Supplemental Restraint System curtain shield air bags, which deploy from the front pillar and the roof downward to defend the passenger from shocks of side collisions.

The new vehicle is priced at between 3.1 million yen and 3.65 million yen, and its monthly sales target is set at 2,000 units.

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