Joined: 14 Aug 2006
|Posted: Mon May 04, 2020 9:18 pm Post subject: CAR REVIEW: TRD Aurion
|CAR REVIEW: TRD Aurion
In mid 2007 Toyota unveiled what was considered at the time to be the world's most powerful front-wheel drive production saloon.
It was called the TRD Aurion.
After Toyota Australia decided to split its Camry range into four and six-cylinder variants a high-performing model from the Japanese manufacturer was inevitable.
And so, the Toyota Racing Development (TRD) Aurion was created to add some punch to Toyota's image in Australia.
The TRD Aurion was the first production car in the world to make use of an Eaton twin-vortices supercharger, which was mated to 3.5-litre V6 producing 323bhp and a quarter-mile time of 14.2s
The TRD also had a top speed of almost 260km/h and came in two models, the TRD Aurion 3500S ('S' signifying sports) at $56,000 and a $61,500 'sports luxury model, badged as the 3500SL.
The the sporty 3500S was well-equipped with power windows, mirrors and driver's seat; aircon and the usual mod-cons mid-level large car buyers expected.
The TRD Aurions received a substantial makeover using the base Aurion model and the changes included a new bodywork, more aggressive spoilers, re-profiled side skirts and mesh grille inserts.
Inside, there was a TRD red steering wheel, TRD scuff plates, alloy sports pedals, leather door trims and nicely designed sports seats which were six-way power-adjustable in the front and with rear becoming a two-seater set-up.
The more expensive 3500SL model raises the bar further with full leather interior, black dash and door highlights, a colour-keyed steering wheel and gearshift, dual-zone air-conditioning, , keyless entry and start, and parking sensors front and rear. The SL was also set apart from the 3500S with its brightwork and badging, bespoke grille, bumper accents and silver-finish alloy wheels.
The TRD was Built at Toyota's Altona plant in Melbourne with many changes for the TRD assembly being incorporated into the main factory line.
Final assembly was carried out at a standalone operation net Altona by a company called Prodrive.
The supercharged V6 engine in the TRD Aurion were developed by TRD in Australia in conjunction with V8 Supercar regular Harrop Engineering. The forced induction dual-VVT-i Quad Cam 2GR-FE V6 engine on the TRD featured the first series production application of the Eaton TVS (Twin Vortices System) four-lobe supercharger.
Harrop Engineering selected the supercharger, designed and cast its casing and inlet manifold and designed the supercharger drive system. The company also carried out the engine finite element and airflow analyses before handing the project over to TRD's own engineers.
The supercharger assembly was literally bolted onto the standard V6 and retained the base model Aurions standard compression ratio and other key items like the fuel-injection system were largely untouched. TRD then added new injectors and a remapped ECU.
The TRDís V6 was matched to a re-calibrated version of the six-speed automatic transmission fitted to the standard Aurion.
Alas Toyota elected to not offer a manual version of the TRD.
TRD models also received an uprated brake package that featured twin-piston calipers and vented 325mm discs at the front, and 310mm ventilated rear discs with single piston calipers.
The suspension was one of the key areas of improvement TRD over the base Aurion models.
The TRD had a nice blend of precision and comfort thanks to careful tuning of the conventional suspension technology on the standard Aurion donor car.
Motoring journalists liked the V6's refinement and urge, sharp turn-in, driving manners and styling enhancements They considered the tyres on the TRD were too noisy and that the dash needed a bit more style to match the upgraded seats on the car.
Some said the new performance vehicle was simply back-to-front as Australian performance car enthusiasts wanted rear-wheel drives so what was Toyota thinking when they created this front-wheel drive TRD.
Toyota Australia had planned to sell 50 to 70 TRD Aurion units per month but the project was unsuccessful with TRD Australia halting production of the Aurion TRD in early 2009.