It’s kind of hard to tell if the very aggressively restyled and buffed-out TRD version of the Toyota Avalon (which debuted last year — hang around for some news about the 2021 models) is a totally cool idea, or completely insane.
At its core, it seems to accomplish what did not seem like a really big request on the part of those familiar with Toyota’s full-size sedan: What if we made an Avalon look like a really large, actually five-passenger-friendly version of a Subaru WRX STI, with red seatbelts, throaty exhaust and a truckload of aerodynamic tweaks?
Avalon and Camry were chosen last year as the first Toyota automobiles to get what is more typically a performance and appearance upgrade for trucks and SUVs from the Toyota Racing Development team, and the results are indeed polarizing — mostly because extra power wasn’t part of the deal.
2020 was the 25th year for Avalon, with a fifth-generation vehicle introduced a year earlier, and the new, lightweight platform and vastly improved looks definitely made it a good candidate for a largely aesthetic but still pretty cool upgrade.
The chassis has indeed been tuned aggressively and lowered slightly for a stiffer and more responsive ride and larger front brakes added. Compared