The closest thing to a vehicle as an appliance may be the Toyota Camry. That’s not necessarily a bad thing, just something most consumers recognize. For reliable, comfortable, bang-for-your-buck transportation, the Camry has long been hard to beat. But would consumers actually want a sportier Camry TRD?
A Performance Camry?
For years, there was no such thing, not even an inkling. Until now. Toyota’s performance arm, TRD, has taken the Camry under its wing in an attempt to drive some soul into the sedan. TRD does it with trucks and SUVs and has been juicing up Toyotas for decades. Why not try it on Toyota’s bread-and-butter sedan?
If there has been a beef about the Camry over the years, it’s that it is a bit on the bland side. Dull, even. But when the new Camry debuted in 2018, it wasn’t bland any longer. Toyota got daring with sculptured sides, better proportions, and an aggressive front end. Now, when you see a Camry you notice. But under the skin, it was the same as always.
The TRD Camry is a blend of an aggressive-looking sedan with TRD’s tuning and tweaking and Toyota’s west coast styling arm Calty adding visuals. MotorBiscuit recently reported on the same approach with Toyota’s top sedan, the Avalon. It would seem that the Camry has been hatched from a similar mold.
There will be 6,000 TRD Camrys, and they’re all getting the same 301 hp 3.5-liter DOHC V6 as standard versions, backed by an eight-speed automatic with sport mode and paddle shifters. For all of the effort improving the handling, visuals, and brakes; we would have hoped TRD could have breathed on the V6 a bit.
Spent gasses exit through a tuned cat-back system with less back pressure and a more aggressive sound, so there is a slight performance improvement over a standard V6 Camry. TRD stainless tips finish the unique exhaust system.
Large 12.9-inch rotors and dual-piston calipers improve braking. Brake feedback was also improved. Toyota’s Active Cornering Assist reduces understeer applying brake force to the inner drive wheel upon acceleration.
The body is more rigid with bracing to improve torsional rigidity. The Camry rides 0.6-inches lower than a standard version. Specially tuned shock absorbers and stiffer coil springs with larger sway bars improve body control and steering agility. Lighter and wider 19×8.5-inch alloy matte black wheels wrapped with Bridgestone Potenza 235/40R19 tires reduce unsprung weight.
TRD Camry Exterior
On the outside, Calty came up with an aero kit and visual enhancements. A front splitter, aero side skirts, trunk spoiler, and rear diffuser improve stability and tells the world this isn’t your father’s Camry.
Added touches include “TRD” badges, red pinstriping, and red brake calipers. Also, the grille is painted gloss black with a “sport mesh” insert.
But the attention-getter for us is the visual paint breakup with the black patch on the top that cuts through the C-pillar before tying into the bottom of the rear window. It’s simple yet bold and adds to the overall unique look transforming the Camry.
TRD Camry Interior
For the interior Toyota continues the red accent theme with red-stitched TRD embroidered headrests and leather steering wheel wrap. The black SofTex-trimmed seats back up the red seat belts. The shift knob gets the TRD logo, along with the TRD floor and trunk mats.
The TRD Camry will be in dealers’ showrooms at the end of September with an MSRP of $31,040.