A wild Camry? Toyota reveal TRD edition sports sedan
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It's Los Angeles Motor Show time, and plenty of manufacturers are gearing up to debut their next-generation machines. There will undoubtedly be a focus on electric and hybrid powertrains, but oddly enough it's the Camry TRD that Toyota chose to get the ball rolling with.
Now, the idea of a 'track pack' Camry will be a problematic one for many. But as we've discussed in the past, the new Camry is a handy and surprisingly rapid thing — particularly the V6 model that this Track Pack variant is based on.
Click here to read our comparison between the Toyota Camry V6 and Holden Commodore VXR
So, what's so 'track' about this new Camry?
Well, it's not necessarily the engine. The naturally aspirated 3.5-litre V6 is untouched here; still producing the same 224kW and 362Nm of the standard model (all of it still directed to the front wheels alone). Not that it's slow, necessarily. In a straight line the Camry V6 is already capable of hitting 100km/h in less than seven seconds.
The TRD certainly talks the talk, what with all of its changed cladding and aero. Its new bumpers and side-skirts do their best to impersonate the Honda Civic Type R (down to the little line of red around the edges). A new and quite fussy rear wing sprouts from the boot-lid, complimented by the new diffuser and dual exhausts (which replace the standard quad exhausts).
Inside, drivers and passengers are assaulted by a sea of red contrast stitching on the seats, steering wheel, dashboard, gear knob, door cards, and floor mats. That in turn is supported by sports pedals and red gauges.
But no, none of these things make the Camry TRD a sports sedan. What might, however, are some of the changes underneath.
Behind new 19-inch wheels are a beefier set of brakes up front (12.9-inch discs and two-piston calipers, instead of the standard 12 inch and single-caliper set-up). Those wheels themselves are wrapped with grippier Bridgestone Potenza rubber. And behind all of it resides a revised suspension.
Toyota say that the new coil springs, shock absorbers, and sway bars on the Camry TRD help improve roll stiffness by 44 per cent in the front and 67 per cent in the rear while also lowering ride height by 15mm. This, combined with the improved rubber, will likely help mitigate some of the torque steer we encountered with the Camry V6 back in August.
But perhaps the biggest change to the Camry TRD is to the chassis. Yes, Toyota have actually altered the Camry's chassis for this model, with more comprehensive bracing underneath designed to increase torsional rigidity.
The new Camry was revealed alongside a TRD addition of the Toyota Avalon — a more luxury-focused version of the Camry platform that Kiwis don't get (and featuring a grill big enough to inhale the sun).
It's yet to be revealed whether the Camry TRD will also be off the Kiwi menu. But, we've contacted Toyota New Zealand for comment and will keep you posted.