A lack of an enthusiast car has been an ongoing issue at Toyota, but with the new TRD Aurion Toyota inserts a healthy dosis of style, passion and performance into its Australian line-up. Australia is the first country to have TRD (Toyota Racing Development) as a stand-alone brand under the Toyota umbrella, instead of TRD being available only for separate tuning products. Which leaves us hoping that TRD will branch out to Europe and the US in the future and delight us with supercharged street-legal, high spec Toyota's too.
The TRD Aurion, to be followed by the TRD HiLux, is powered by a supercharged version of the standard Aurion 3.5 liter V6, producing 241kW (323 hp) and 400Nm of torque at 4000 rpm. The engine has been developed by Eaton and is mated with a six-speed automatic. The TRD Aurion is aimed at the car enthusiast, but Toyota wouldn't be Toyota if the car would not suit just about any customer. Mr Buttner: “There is a significant market among people who want the combination of power and performance as well as fuel efficiency and control. TRD Aurion is the car for them."
The TRD Aurion comes in two guises, namely the 3500S and 3500SL, both are powered by the same engine. The 3500S is equipped with a sports suspension, 19-inch wheels and special TRD body kit. The 3500SL comes with some additional features like Smart Entry, Smart Start, full leather interior, parking sensors and dual-zone airconditioning. Pricing starts at AUD 56,990 for the 3500S, strategically positioned below the luxury-car threshold.
Toyota Australia has injected 241kW of style, passion and performance into its range with the launch of the TRD brand and its first model, the supercharged TRD Aurion. Locally designed and built, TRD Aurion is the most powerful Toyota ever seen in Australia. It will sprint from 0 to 100km/h in 6.1 seconds and is speed-limited to a maximum of 250km/h.
Toyota Australia's senior executive director sales and marketing, David Buttner, said the TRD Aurion represented "Toyota plus". "The TRD involvement elevates Aurion's dynamic capabilities while retaining Toyota's traditional quality, durability and reliability," Mr Buttner said. "You've got Toyota - plus added style and performance."
Toyota Style Australia styled TRD Aurion's exterior and interior. TRD Aurion is offered in two grades: 3500S, for sport, and 3500SL, after sports luxury. Both are fitted with the 241kW supercharged engine, sports suspension, performance brakes, 19-inch alloy wheels, TRD front and rear bumpers, side skirt and rear spoilers, sports seats, power driver's seat, alloy pedals, TRD scuff plates, air conditioning and leather-wrapped steering wheel. The 3500S - with an RRP of $56,990* - is strategically positioned below the luxury-car tax threshold.
The upper-grade 3500SL has added features including Smart Entry and TRD Smart Start, full leather interior, clearance and reverse parking sonars, dual-zone automatic air conditioning, six-way power front passenger seat and TRD floor mats. The 3500SL has an RRP of $61,500*.
Mr Buttner said the price, specification, value and performance of the TRD Aurion would position it against both local and imported competition. "TRD Aurion matches the size of the locally produced sports sedans that are priced above it, and it exceeds the performance of its imported rivals," he said. TRD Aurion is the world's first production car to use the Eaton TVS (Twin Vortices Series) supercharger.
"It offers new levels of efficiency and quietness," Mr Buttner said. "The standard Aurion engine is already at the forefront of technology - the most powerful naturally aspirated six-cylinder powerplant in its class. The Eaton supercharger lifts performance to a new plane with instant throttle response and excellent acceleration at low engine speeds. The power is delivered consistently and evenly throughout the rev range, rather than suddenly producing a neck-breaking surge. At the same time, it's so fuel-efficient you don't need to be a 'petrolhead' to enjoy exhilarating performance."
TRD Aurion's supercharged 3.5-litre V6 engine is mated to a six-speed automatic transmission with sequential shift. "TRD Aurion will provide a balanced driving experience for a sophisticated market, integrating its power with dynamic cornering ability, precise steering response and impressive stopping performance," Mr Buttner said. "It will distinguish itself by delivering its ample reserves of all-round performance in a way that is enjoyable and relaxing to drive - whether in traffic or on the open road."
*Recommended retail prices exclude dealer delivery, government and statutory charges and optional extras.