A touch of sportiness may help to broaden their appeal.
Toyota has made a name for themselves by offering reliable yet somewhat understated personal transport solutions for decades. While there is nothing wrong with a high-quality and dependable car, it doesn't necessarily have to come at the expense of driving fun. To address this issue Toyota has recently been injecting some excitement into its range with edgier styling and sporty trim options.
This philosophy has now been extended to the Camry and Avalon sedans by offering them in sporty Toyota Racing Development (TRD) specification. Revealed just ahead of this month's 2018 LA Auto Show, aero-enhancements for both models have been designed by Calty, Toyota's US design studio, while chassis improvements were the responsibility of the TRD division.
The aerodynamic body kit includes a front splitter, side aero skirts, trunk lid spoiler, and rear diffuser. The calipers are finished in red and further sporty touches include red pinstriping and TRD badging. The interior also gets a spattering of TRD logos as well as red accents on the trim.
The changes are not just cosmetic either, Toyota claims that these luxury sedans have been track-tuned and TRD have applied its expertise to the chassis to sharpen up the handling characteristics of both models. Lighter 19-inch alloy wheels and sticky Bridgestone Potenza rubber adorn both models, while the suspension now has thicker braces and a unique set of shocks and springs that lower the ride height by 0.6-inches.
Both the Avalon and Camry get larger front brakes while the Camry changes go one step further with stiffer coil springs and front/rear sway bars for increased roll stiffness of 44% in the front and 67% in the rear. Aside from a specially tuned cat-back dual exhaust, there have been no changes made to the 301-horsepower 3.5-liter V6, and the sole transmission option remains the eight-speed automatic.
Toyota clearly doesn't want to alienate its core customers and it is unlikely that many owners will be taking their Avalon or Camry TRD to the track so an auto and 301 hp should do just fine. The sharper handling characteristics and throatier engine sound should make for a more entertaining daily commute and the styling changes do help to sharpen up the looks.
The Camry TRD and Avalon TRD will both be available in fall 2019.