Toyota has just announced the official arrival of its new Aurion TRD. The much anticipated â€œhotâ€ Aurion gives Australian Toyota fans a performance car to drool and fawn over that actually looks good. The most powerful Toyota ever sold in Australia, Toyota believes that the Aurion TRD will inject some much needed excitement into its image as a maker of reliable but bland cars.
The new TRD Aurion is the world's first production car to use the Eaton TVS (Twin Vortices Series) supercharger. Fitted to the standard Aurionâ€™s 3.5-litre V6, TRD have managed to extract a handy 241kW from the warmed over engine and claim that it is enough to see the TRD Aurion dispatch the 0-100km/h dash in 6.1 seconds.
The TRD Aurion is available in two guises, the 3500S (â€˜Sâ€™ for sport) and the 3500SL (â€˜SLâ€™ for sports luxury). Both variants feature the same 241Kw engine, 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.
Pricing is a little higher than we expected with the 3500S available from $56,990* while the 3500SL starts at $61,500*. Toyota and TRD may claim that their new performance star should not be compared to HSV and FPV products but it is getting up there on price.
The 3500S comes with a stability control system, six airbags, power windows, cruise control, power driverâ€™s seat, foglights, alloy pedals, air-conditioning, trip computer and a six-disc CD player.
The 3500SL includes added features such as Smart Entry, TRD Smart Start, a full leather interior, parking sensors, dual-zone climate control air-conditioning as well as a six-way power front passenger seat and TRD floor mats.
The Toyota press release features some interesting quotes from Toyota Australia's senior executive director of sales and marketing, David Buttner, such as;
"The Eaton supercharger lifts performance to a new plane with instant throttle response and excellent acceleration at low engine speeds. At the same time, it's so fuel-efficient you don't need to be a 'petrolhead' to enjoy exhilarating performance."
"Potential customers include the user-chooser who wants an alternative to the existing offerings. There's also the family man who has a taste for performance vehicles without being a total revhead.
"They make a statement without being overt and they deliver owner and driver satisfaction without stress."
Apparently, according to Toyota, Aurion TRD buyers will be in their late 30â€™s, earn in excess of $105k per year and reading between the linesâ€¦ will have little in common with the uncouth, â€˜revheadâ€™ and â€˜petrolheadâ€™ owners of overt vehicles from the HSV and FPV stables, which are cause for significant stress in their owners lives.
To keep the target group's hands free of the nasty calluses generally associated with the working class, the Aurion TRD (as is the case with all Aurions) is only available with a six-speed automatic gearbox.
So, the big question is really this. Can this front-wheel drive, auto only performance car, priced awfully close to current rear wheel drive V8 offerings form HSV and FPV really be aspired to by the passionate car enthusiast?
Time will tell.
*Recommended retail prices exclude dealer delivery, government and statutory charges and optional extras.