Toyota’s redesigned Avalon has taken the formerly dowdy model to the top of the class in terms of styling. Now, there is a rumor that a sports-tuned model is on the way.
According to a report from Autoblog, a trio of sporty Avalon sedans are heading to SEMA in October. Unnamed, Toyota officials told the publication that a sports-tuned model is under serious consideration to join the lineup next to the hybrid and V6 models.
The new Avalon already starts life with paddle shifters and a sports-mode programmed into the transmission to get the most out of the engine. It is a respectable engine for a front-wheel-drive sedan, as it is a 3.5 liter V6 that puts out 268 hp and 248 lb-ft of torque.
According to Randy Stephens, the chief-engineer of the Kentucky-made and Michigan-developed Avalon, two of the three customized SEMA Avalons were modified in-house by Toyota. At least one of these two cars will be sporting an Australian-market TRD supercharger kit. This is apparently identical to the unit used on the Lotus Evora S.
Apparently these customized Avalons will be sedately-styled by SEMA standards. Toyota wants these vehicles to be relatively production-ready so that delays can be minimized if there is a strong public response. While the Avalon is currently about to hit dealerships, a performance model, if approved, would take a couple of years to be put on sale.
Don’t expect to see a supercharged Avalon on the dealership lots however, a production model would likely be much more relaxed. It would however likely sport a revised suspension setup, a more potently tuned drivetrain, and maybe even a revised steering system. The most noticeable changes would likely be the flashy sports upgrades to the exterior and seats.
It is also possible that these changes would make their way to a Lexus ES F-Sport model. The new 2013 ES is based on the Avalon, and Lexus is trying to expand its F-Sport range.