Toyota Prius TRD, anyone?
It’s safe to say nobody expected Toyota to launch track-tuned TRD versions of the 2020 Avalon and Camry aimed at enthusiasts. Expect the unexpected though, because the Japanese automaker is considering every model in the Toyota family a performance-oriented TRD variant. Yes, that means we could see track-tuned versions of the Prius, C-HR, Corolla, RAV4, and Highlander wearing TRD badges. They won’t just get some stylish body kits either, as recent TRD models have received updates that improve performance.
“I love the TRD brand, I love what Toyota Racing Development does, and I like learning from our motorsports teams and putting it into our cars,” Jack Hollis, Group Vice President and General Manager of Toyota Division at Toyota Motor North America, told AutoGuide during an interview during the 2018 LA Auto Show. “And if we can bring it to every car and SUV and every truck, I think we should.”
Hollis also hinted that a Corolla TRD is already being developed. The latest version of the popular sedan and hatchback looks much more aggressive, so a performance boost to complement the sporty styling would certainly be welcome and would enable Toyota to compete against the Civic Si. Hollis said the model is “not in the plans yet,” but “there’s intention and development” happening.
Toyota is considering adding all-wheel drive across the line-up, too. Hollis said the C-HR won’t be getting AWD in the near future, however. “We’re looking at the all-wheel-drive application for all of our products. Not necessarily on C-HR today, but you have to stay tuned because some new things are coming up,” he said.
AutoGuide speculates the Camry seems like a strong contender for AWD since the Nissan Altima is now available with it as an option. The extra traction would also make the Camry a threat to the Honda Accord, which is only available with FWD. We also wouldn’t complain if the Avalon and Corolla became available with AWD. This would continue the trend set by the Prius, which recently gained an AWD system that uses an electric motor to power the rear axle at launch at speeds up to 43 mph. “We’re taking each model and we’re giving more choices for the consumer,” Hollis said, adding that TRD and AWD models are a smart way to do that.