Think a big FWD sedan can't go sideways?
If there's one thing the Toyota Avalon never has been, it'd be an enthusiast's car. The full-size, front-wheel-drive sedan, up until very recently, was a bland exercise in design and application. The Avalon is completely boring to drive and that's exactly why a good number of buyers loved them. It's also extremely reliable, luxurious and sometimes makes us wonder why it was never badged as a Lexus.
However, Toyota realized the Avalon, like the Camry and Corolla, needed some serious testosterone. The result is the radically redesigned fifth-generation model that debuted last year. We gotta admit, it looks pretty good compared to any of its predecessors. But is it fun to drive? Turns out it can be, although some modifications are necessary.
This Toyota Avalon has been modified by TRD to do one thing: drifting. Thanks to its lowered suspension, chassis bracing, stiffer dampers, and a new set of 19-inch wheels, the Avalon TRD can amazingly drift, and do so very well. Of course, there is also one extra magic touch: a hydraulic handbrake. TRD did not even touch the sedan's 3.5-liter naturally aspirated V6, rated at 301 hp. The eight-speed automatic slushbox was also left alone. Best of all, the Avalon TRD is something you can buy starting this August.
The only thing you can't get that's shown in this new Toyota video is the hydraulic handbrake. Everything else, including the slick body kit, is included. Toyota produced this video with Jarryd Wallace, a Paralympic athlete for Team Toyota. Wallace's dad also joined in on the fun, and who wouldn't want to?
Pro drifter Ken Gushi got behind the wheel at Road Atlanta and the results speak for themselves. So the next time someone says the Toyota Avalon is a lame old man's car, just show them this video and they'll eat their words.