Toyota Camry TRD might not be powerful enough for Oz
Toyota Racing Development has tuned the new Camry to handle like a sports car, but a lack of engine performance improvement means it’s likely to stay offshore.
Toyota has unveiled the sportier Camry TRD in the US, which brings tuner looks and performance mods to the popular family sedan.
It looks like a tinselled-up Camry, with TRD-specific body kit all-round, rear wing mounted to the boot and red stitching strewn inside, but there are plenty of changes to improve handling and grip too.
Tuned by Toyota Racing Development, 2020 Camry TRD models ride on 15mm lower springs that are stiffer and have dampers with internal return springs and revised valving. Larger-diameter anti-roll bars (27mm compared to 25.4mm standard), stiffened underbody braces and a V-brace behind the rear seats add to 44 percent front and 67 percent rear increased bodyroll resistance.
Brake discs are also larger, growing 23mm in diameter and clamped by two rather than single-piston callipers. And the brake pedal feel has been retuned. For some extra grip, 19-inch Bridgestone Potenza rubber is wrapped around 1.5kg-lighter matte black TRD alloy wheels.
But there’s no extra power coming from the 3.5-litre V6 petrol engine, which produces the same 224kW at 6600rpm and 362Nm at 4700rpm through an eight-speed automatic. There is, however, a TRD catback exhaust to increase volume out the rear pipes.
The latter is a cause for concern for Toyota Australia, which is keen to push performance-oriented models into its Australian lineup, but only if the performance gains are noticeable. There’s also the fact it won’t sell TRD-badged gear Down Under since the introduction of sub-brand Gazoo Racing (GR), which would replace the TRD moniker.
“Toyota Australia is focused on introducing any future performance variants into Australia under the Gazoo Racing sub brand,” a spokesperson told Practical Motoring.
“As such, this vehicle is currently not under study for introduction to Australia as a TRD Camry. Our primary focus for the introduction of any GR branded model upgrade, so not a standalone GR product like a Supra, is for it to have a substantial performance improvement over the base vehicle.
“At this stage we would require further study to evaluate the performance upgrades on this vehicle before we make any decisions to introduce this package to Australia.”