TRD, Toyota’s racing arm, has been wildly successful with the Tacoma, as about 40 percent of buyers opt for the TRD package. However, the performance arm hasn’t meddled much with Toyota sedans, like the Corolla or Camry. Instead, these two have carried on in their standard guise with the occasional special model here and there to spice things up a bit. Now, according to a report from Auto News, TRD looks to be ready to inject a little flavor into these econoboxes.
In an interview with Bill Fay, general manager of the Toyota Division, there will be a TRD version of the Camry, and it could arrive as early as the end of 2015, but likely in 2016. The reasoning behind adding in a TRD model is pretty simple, as the brand is looking to infiltrate the younger buyer market. Toyota saw a bit of this with the new, sportier Camry SE, which had an average buyer age of 45 years old. That’s a hefty decrease from the Camry LE’s average buyer age of 57 years old.
Fay tried curbing enthusiasm for the project by later saying that there are no “definitive” plans for the Camry TRD, but the fact that he even mentioned it shows that there is serious intent. Along with a Camry TRD would almost certainly come a Corolla TRD, which could be a massive profit driver for the small sedan.
So, what would a TRD version of the Camry or Corolla has in store for buyers? Fay didn’t get into details, but if you expect turbos and five-second 0-to-60 times, I suspect you’ll be a little disappointed. The likely changes will be a lowered suspension with revised dampers, heavy-duty anti-roll cars, wider wheels, stickier tires, larger brakes, upgraded intakes, freer-flowing exhaust systems, and updated electronics. These updates will result in far better performance and feel, but nothing totally overwhelming. You can also expect to see upgraded and sportier interiors that include heavily bolstered seats, detailed stitching, and updated gauges.
For now, this is all just speculation, but given the timeframe that Fay gave, we should start seeing concepts and test mules soon. Stay tuned for more details.