TRD Aurion: Toyota's Supercharged Hero Car
Motoring Channel Staff - 21/August/2007
The new TRD Aurion sports sedan
This little red thing is what gives the TRD Aurion
it's running shoes - an Eaton TVS supercharger
Toyota Racing Development
have been a number of TRD-badged Toyota models released in different
countries over the years, but the TRD Aurion is the world's first
'official' TRD vehicle, and you can be sure that the Toyota illuminati
in Japan will be watching this one very closely.
Aurion uses an advanced supercharger, which is driven via a belt
connected to the crankshaft, to develop it's 241 kilowatts, and
together with a fettled chassis it could be a very strong performer.
The fact that it's front-wheel drive will be a concern for some
drivers, but if drives well and doesn't exhibit too much understeer or
torque steer, it could be the start of a very profitable performance
venture. TRD is planning on releasing a tuned Hilux later in the year
and is also working on a third go-fast model.
- Feann Torr, Editor
With a stout body kit and large 19-inch wheels,
the TRD Aurion communicates its potential well
The new motor sports inspired rear diffuser
flanked by stylised twin exhausts is very trick
Leather and alcantara (suede) sports seats
separate the cabin from the standard Aurion
Melbourne, Australia —
The TRD Aurion has finally touched down, a supercharged sports car that
Toyota Australia hopes will give the Aurion a big sales boost. It
provides the Aurion range with much-needed 'halo' model that will allow
it to better compete with its large car rivals from Ford and Holden,
and is the most powerful Toyota to ever launch in Australia.
241kW (328hp) from its blown 3.5-litre engine, the new model "is
strategically positioned below the luxury-car tax threshold" states
Toyota. The pricing for the new sports sedan is as follows:
TRD Aurion 3500S: $56,990
TRD Aurion 3500SL: $61,500
more expensive 3500SL model gets a slightly different body kit,
improved interior features including dual zone climate control, reverse
parking sensors, and a 'smart' key fob.
Toyota Racing Development, or TRD, has developed these two models and both output an impressive 241kW of power @ 6400rpm.
Peak torque of 400Nm hits the front treads @ 4000rpm, and TRD says
these power levels were attained using 98 octane premium unleaded
The benchmark performance indicator, the zero to
100km/h dash, is impressive, with TRD claiming it takes just 6.1
seconds. The TRD Aurion's are speed limited to 250km/h.
Australia says the new model is for enthusiasts. It features stiffer
suspension than the Aurion Sportivo, a supercharged V6 engine,
6-speed automatic transmission, powerful new brakes, 19-inch alloy
wheels with sticky 245 aspect ratio tyres, an aerodynamic body kit, and
a premium interior with leather and alcantara upholstery.
has been cautious in comparing the TRD Aurion directly with Ford
and GM Holden's home grown heroes, the FPV (Ford Performance Vehicles)
and HSV (Holden Special Vehicles) ranges, because the Aurion is
front-wheel drive vehicle and because of this isn't considered a
'true' sports sedan by many purveyors.
marketing director, David Buttner, was careful not to highlight HSV or
FPV as direct rivals, instead suggesting that the TRD Aurion would
be an 'alternative' and would compete with imported models from Japan
and Europe:"TRD Aurion matches the size of the locally produced sports sedans that
are priced above it, and it exceeds the performance of its imported
rivals," he said.
to HSV and FPV buyers as 'tribalists', Toyota's chief of marketing
added that Toyota is not aiming for buyers such as these, adding that
the new model will appeal to wider audience than just 'petrolheads'.
"The tribalists will not contemplate another brand as they aspire to
own the latest version of the car their fathers drove," Mr Buttner opined.
models are for people who appreciate fine performance and nuance. At
the same time, it's so fuel-efficient you don't need to be a
'petrolhead' to enjoy exhilarating performance," said Mr Buttner.
stated that the target market for the TRD Aurion was primarily males
aged 35 to 50 who love sport and love their cars, and are likely to be
high-income earners, with an annual salary of $105,000. "They
are prepared to pay a little bit more for a performance vehicle that
offers excitement as well as traditional Toyota values.
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. And we are aiming
at aspirational buyers who are looking for a car under the luxury-car
tax threshold," Mr Buttner added.
Aurion is the most powerful Toyota ever released in Australia, and has
been developed here for the local market. The core of the new model is
it's 3.5-litre forced induction V6 engine, which gets a power hike of
almost 40kW thanks to new supercharging technology.
four-lobe Eaton TVS (Twin Vortices Series) supercharger augments the V6
engine, and is the first vehicle in the world to use this new
technology. TRD explained that it "chose supercharging over
turbocharging ... to optimise throttle response and torque."
developed sports exhaust supplied by Tenneco Automotive reduces exhaust back pressure
by 15% to work more effectively with the TVS blower.
400Nm of torque @ 4000rpm, Toyota's car tuning arm claims the
supercharged engine has more than 300Nm of torque available from
1250rpm, right through to the redline. No manual transmission is
offered at present, meaning the engine is matched to the same 6-speed
automatic transmission found on lesser Aurion models.
With a 6.1
second zero to 100km/h dash, the TRD Aurion is remarkably quick, and
with a claimed quarter mile of 14.2 seconds recorded, the performance
levels are very high. The potential for further power development from
DIY and aftermarket tuners will see some tricked-out monsters hitting
the streets in due course, looking for FPV Typhoon scalps.
well as it's strong 241 kilowatts of power, the TRD Aurion is also
claimed to return combined cycle (city/highway) fuel economy of 10.9
litres/100km, which is about 2 to 3 litres better than HSV and FPV
With in tandem with the boosted V6
engine, the front-wheel drive TRD Aurion has a modified chassis
featuring a range of new components. Most impressive of all is the
wheel/brake package, which is as follows:
Wheels: 19-inch x 8-inch aluminium rims
Tyres: 245/35 ZR19 (Dunlop SP Sport Maxx)
Brakes: front 325mm x 32mm discs with 2-piston aluminium calipers
Brakes: rear 310mm x 18mm discs with single piston aluminium calipers
worked with a range of local suppliers to boost the performance of the
Aurion, and PBR supplied the braking package, while Ferodo HP 1000
performance brake pads are used (front and rear) for the sports sedan.
suspension system is the same as used on the Aurion Sportivo, but has
been tuned to provide a more focussed drive. For example the ride
height has been dropped by 12mm, and spring and damping rates have been
increased to provide the car with improved traction and driver
feedback, while reducing body roll through corners.
has tweaked the wheel alignment, with increased negative camber
for improved yaw response and agility. It explains that front toe-in
has also been increased for improved steering feel and response, while
the rear suspension has neutral rear toe.
models feature leather and alcantara interiors, but the top spec 3500SL
is the 'luxury' model and gets more leather, a colour-coded gear
shifter, 8-way adjustable drivers seat, a smart key fob, rear parking
sensors and TRD floor mats.
The $56,990 3500S model doesn't get
as many standard features, but still includes the sports seats, and is
being labelled the 'sporty' model. Both cars get colourful interiors to
denote their high performance levels, as well as a special TRD steering
As the photos attest, the TRD
Aurion benefits from a striking body kit. According to TRD, the
3500S theme is 'aggressive sports' while the 3500SL has a 'refined
sports' theme. Both models feature 19-inch seven-spoke alloy wheels, as
well as strong front spoilers exhibiting a curved lower lip.
side skirts add flair, as does as the rear apron which features "an F1
diffuser style" according to TRD, while also having provisions for
fitting a towbar. Dual exhausts exit through the special apertures
integrated into the rear bumper design, and the TRD Aurion's spoiler
has a twin-element design that enhances both visual appeal and
aerodynamic performance according to the company.
Aurion will provide a balanced driving experience for a sophisticated
market, integrating its power with dynamic cornering ability, precise
steering response and impressive stopping performance," Toyota's David Buttner said.
will distinguish itself by delivering its ample reserves of all-round
performance in a way that is enjoyable and relaxing to drive - whether
in traffic or on the open road."
models are for people who appreciate fine performance and
nuance," David Buttner added, who later hinted at the second
TRD model that will be launched towards the end of the year: the
TRD HiLux. The 4WD Double Cab will be powered by a supercharged
4.0-litre V6 engine "that will lift power substantially over the
standard engine's 175kW" reads a Toyota statement.
is also news that a third TRD model is being studied for feasibility,
and is likely to be the marques best selling model, the Corolla.
- Toyota Corolla (2007)
- Toyota Supra (2010)
Supra HV-R: Hybrid Race Car (2007)
- Toyota Tarago V6 (2007)
- Toyota Aurion (2006)
- Toyota Aurius (concept)