Off-road racing fans are well aware of Toyota’s involvement in that arena and specifically its line-up of TRD-branded trucks and sport-utilities. The Toyota Racing Development vehicles are often seen as hard-core, enthusiast-ready vehicles.
Now, the Japanese automaker is spreading the TRD brand to cover the Camry and Avalon. The new 2020 Camry TRD and Avalon TRD are track-inspired sedans that offer drivers a way to get a little more out of their everyday drivers.
With aerodynamic-enhanced styling by Calty, Toyota’s U.S. design studio, and chassis performance fortified by TRD, these revved-up Camry and Avalon models are performance-ready sedans for which enthusiasts have been asking.
The company was pushed to bring these new machines to market after the response it got starting in 2018 when it rolled out SE and XSE versions of the Camry and the XSE version of the 2019 Avalon all saw sales spike.
However, the TRD models are not the XSE. While the XSE offered plenty of extra oomph, the TRD versions of the Camry and Avalon are performance machines disguised as daily drivers.
In addition to beefier suspensions and frames as well as updated exteriors, both are powered by Toyota’s 301 horsepower DOHC 3.5-liter V6 mated to an 8-speed automatic transmission with sport mode and paddle shifters. The V6 breathes easier with a TRD-tuned cat-back dual exhaust, giving both models a throatier idle and acceleration sound, the company notes.
As mentioned, the automaker improved the structure of the TRD versions of both cars to handle the improved power. The Camry TRD and Avalon TRD use thicker underbody braces to increase torsional rigidity, while unique coil springs lower both vehicles by 0.6 inches for a reduced center of gravity.
Specially tuned shock absorbers and lighter 19 x 8.5-inch matte black alloy wheels complement the new springs and lower stance to improve body control, handling agility and steering precision. The front brakes are larger with 12.9-inch diameter rotors and dual-piston calipers compared to 12-inch rotors and single piston calipers found on XSE grades.
Brake performance was also tuned to provide more direct feedback, matching the sporty dynamics of the vehicle. Active Cornering Assist was also added to both models, reducing understeering by providing brake force to the inner drive wheel when the accelerator pedal is depressed.
You can’t make a car ready to go without making it look the part. Toyota teamed with Calty to design the aerodynamic body kit. The new kit includes the front splitter, side aero skirts, trunk lid spoiler, and rear diffuser, blends a bold styling element and improves high speed vehicle stability to aid in driver confidence.
Add to it red pinstriping, red-painted brake calipers, and red TRD badging and both sedans have a road-hungry look.
These TRD sedans will continue to deliver all the quality, durability and reliability that is synonymous with Toyota, the company says. Both models will come standard with Toyota Safety Sense-P, a suite of advanced driver-assist technologies.
The two race-ready models feature a gloss black front grille with sport mesh insert and black exterior badging. The sedans come in Supersonic Red, Windchill Pearl, Celestial Silver Metallic — all three of which are two-toned — and Midnight Black Metallic. Polished stainless steel TRD exhaust tips on the catback exhaust complete the exterior makeover.
The cabin is decked out with Black Sport SofTex-trimmed front seats with fabric inserts, red accents and red-stitched TRD embroidered headrests. The leather-wrapped steering wheel also has red stitching, and even the seatbelts are red. A shift knob with an embossed TRD logo, along with unique TRD floor and trunk mats, and a TRD MID visual start up complete the cabin upgrades.
Avalon TRD gets the same treatment except its front seats are heated and come with Ultra-suede inserts and red accents. Both are available this month, the Camry TRD costs $31,040, while the Avalon TRD comes in at $42,300.