Toyota’s TRD division normally devotes its attention to the brand’s more sporting vehicles. Like the 86 coupe.
Or in a different kind of sporting, the off-road ready Tacoma, Tundra, and 4Runner. This time, it’s the Camry and Avalon. The automaker is putting together a Camry TRD and Avalon TRD for the first time.
Toyota calls the cars “track-tuned” and while a track-ready Camry, let alone an Avalon, hardly seems like a candidate for hot laps, TRD has made some real changes to the cars. It starts with thick underbody bracing on both vehicles. The brakes are nearly an inch larger in diameter than on the normal XSE grades, at 12.9 inches. They also use dual-piston calipers up front.
New springs lower both cars by 0.6-inches. They give 44 percent more roll stiffness in the front, 67 percent in the rear. That should promote a bit more rotation of the car’s tail, if you feel like autocrossing your Avalon. New TRD shock absorbers control roll and vertical movement but Toyota says they maintain on-road ride quality. The 19-inch wheels are wider (now 8.5-inches) but 3.1 pounds lighter. They also wear 235/40 Bridgestone Potenza summer tires. Toyota says the tires increase grip and quicken turn-in.
To go with the new grip and suspension changes, the Camry gets a new black grille with mesh insert. There’s a TRD body kit with new splitter, side skirts, spoiler, and rear diffuser. Toyota says that they are functional and add stability.
Inside, the Camry TRD has black Softex sport seats, red accents, and TRD seat stitching. The seatbelts are also red to add some interior flair.
The Avalon gets the same suspension and wheel upgrades. At the rear, it also adds stainless TRD exhaust tips. It’s really the same package as applied to the Camry, though with bits made for the Avalon. That includes the body kit and the black interior with red seatbelts and TRD logos.
What isn’t changed, though, is under the hood. They both use Toyota’s 3.5L V6 that puts out 301 hp. The eight-speed automatic has a sport mode and paddle shifters. To add some more noise, the cars get a TRD cat-back dual exhaust.
The Camry and Avalon TRD will be available next fall as 2020 models.