What happens when Toyota Racing Development (TRD) engineers are tasked with creating a new Toyota Avalon? The result is a sleek, track-tuned sedan that earns its TRD badge.
Most people associate TRD with performance accessories or off-road packages for Toyota trucks. However, Toyota Racing Development has worked on a number of performance-tuned products for nearly 40 years. TRD engineers have a strong track record of developing technology for all types of races from open-wheel to desert to NASCAR.
I recently visited Georgetown, KY to tour Toyota Motor Manufacturing Kentucky, and got a first look at the 2020 Avalon TRD. I must admit that I initially wondered why they would apply the TRD package to a family sedan, but after talking to the engineers, it made perfect sense. The Avalon is already stylish and fun to drive, and the TRD badge only enhances that excitement.
Tom Jones (no, not that one), Project Lead TMMK Quality Engineering, gave me some insight on how he and his team transformed a regular Avalon into a TRD worthy ride.
“The most obvious change is the TRD Appearance Package which includes the front splitter, side aero skirts, trunk lid spoiler, rear diffuser, matte-black 19-inch alloy wheels, and red-painted brake calipers,” said Jones. “But this isn’t just an appearance upgrade, we have also significantly improved the vehicle’s ride and handling. These enhancements include a track-tuned suspension, lower ride height, enhanced steering, and brake performance, and a TRD exhaust.”
Jones goes further to discuss the Avalon’s interior.
“We also gave the interior a TRD touch with red accented seats, a red-stitched TRD embroidered headrests, a leather-wrapped steering wheel with red stitching, red seat belts, a shift knob with an embossed TRD logo, and unique TRD floor and trunk mats.”
Avalon TRD will be available in Supersonic Red, Windchill Pearl, Celestial Silver Metallic, and Midnight Black Metallic and will launch in August of 2019.