When you think of Toyota, you might not instantly think of loud, revving engines or tire marks on asphalt and race tracks. Maybe you think more of the quietly efficient Prius or the comfortable and practical Corolla. Toyota has long been a player in the sports car arena, whether or not you realize it. They’ve recruited some great minds for the purpose of creating really fast and impressive cars. In fact, those great minds are behind any Toyota that flaunts the TRD trim like the Tacoma or the Camry.
Peruse the full trim lineup for the 2023 Toyota Camry and you’ll see a variety of options that includes a range of performance and luxury features. Once you get to that TRD trim, you’ll notice a car that almost belongs in an entirely different class. It launches the Camry out of its traditional role as a convenient and sensible daily commuter car into the realm of race cars. Not everyone fully understands where the TRD line of Toyotas came from, or what exactly can be expected when you see a TRD badge on a Toyota. Here’s a look at the history of the TRD and the fun features to enjoy in the 2023 Toyota Camry TRD.
A Brief History of TRD
Toyota has long had a sports car division. It was first called the Toyota Sports Corner (Tosco) and was formed in the 1950s. In 1957, Tosco entered the Toyopet Crown Deluxe into the Mobilgas Rally Around Australia; a total of 87 cars entered but only 52 finished. TheToyopet was one of them. Toyota had a thirst for speed at that point and continued entering vehicles into competitions, taking home titles from the 1963 Grand Prix and the 1967 Fuji 24-Hour Endurance Race. In 1976, Tosco changed its name to Toyota Racing Development–what we see as TRD on some cars today. TRD vehicles have gone on to earn an excellent track record in many races, establishing Toyota as a main player in the performance arena.
The TRD powers aren’t only given to race-track-ready cars, though. That’s why you see TRD trims in trucks like the Tacoma. Toyota felt that testing the true racing abilities of a car meant going off-road, which is why they also developed TRD features ready for times away from the pavement. That’s how Toyota managed to place both in on-pavement NASCAR events and off-road events like the SCORE World Desert race. All of this is to say there’s a lot of history behind those three letters, and you can be a part of it with the 2023 Toyota Camry TRD.
What to Expect From a TRD Vehicle
A TRD vehicle like the 2023 Toyota Camry TRD is designed by a special team of engineers who work exclusively on the TRD trims. If your friend who drives the basic Camry trim thinks you have the same car when you have the TRD, they are quite mistaken. TRD vehicle engineers create cars with their own special parts, systems, and features that are made to live up to the standards of race car and performance enthusiasts.
In a TRD Camry, you’ll get the TRD suspension, which was designed to deliver the perfect balance of handling and ride, giving you that intoxicating rush while keeping you totally in control. TRD cars also have excellent steering response, so you can make those quick calculations and turns with confidence and feel like one with your vehicle and the road.
TRD cars also have special springs made for both on and off-road environments. For vehicles designed for use on-road, they’re lowered, creating optimal grip on pavement that’s ideal for taking turns on a race track. In off-road options, like the Tacoma, they allow for higher ground clearance and a better approach angle. In the Camry TRD, you are going to see the former for a lower center of gravity and improved control. Meanwhile, its thicker underbody braces help the car resist twisting, once again improving control.
The 2023 Toyota Camry TRD is powered by Toyota’s notorious V6 engine that pushes out a hefty 301 horsepower. When Toyota first released a 301-horsepower car some years ago, the news made waves. Getting over 300 horsepower undeniably launches a vehicle into sports car territory, this being the benchmark for many enthusiasts. Pair that horsepower with 267 lb-ft of torque, and you experience a truly fast and powerful little car.
The 2023 Toyota Camry TRD is also going to boast a DOHC engine, which creates optimal airflow at high speeds, resulting in greater power and more efficient combustion. Another race-ready feature is the large 12.9-inch front brakes. A larger brake allows for a larger friction area, so the brakes can handle more heat, making them great for high speeds. All in all, it’s clear that the TRD trim is a separate species from the other trims.
There are some eye-catching aesthetic details found exclusively in the Toyota Camry TRD as well. Overall, you’re looking at a stunning and bold red and black look. It starts with a gloss-black front splitter, black side aero skirts, and a black rear diffuser donning red pinstripes. You’ll also notice a black dual exhaust with polished stainless-steel tips and a gloss-black pedestal rear spoiler. The Camry TRD additionally gets matte-black alloy wheels. These are not only beautiful in appearance, but they also cut down on the overall weight of the vehicle and boost steering responsiveness.
Moving inside, you’ll see bright red seatbelts on the front seats, red stitching, and a red-stitched TRD headrest logo. The seats feature Toyota’s SofTex material––a synthetic leather that’s easy to clean and maintain while lending a sophisticated look to the vehicle. It all comes together to make a car that would look right at home on a race track and just begs you to take this thing for a joy ride.
The 2023 Camry TRD Offers Sporty Convenience
The Camry has long had a reputation for being a practical, comfortable, and affordable vehicle. The odds are that you currently know several people who drive a Camry, and if you were to take a drive, you’d come across many on the road. It’s a popular car and has been a top-selling sedan for many years.
The TRD trim delivers everything the Camry is already known for. That means excellent driver assist features that help drivers minimize the chances of accidents or reduce the damage, should they occur. It also means modern infotainment and technology to keep drivers in the know and entertained on the road. Finally, it means an always-affordable MSRP, because Toyota has always made it a mission to make great cars accessible to a range of budgets.
When you jump to the TRD trim, you get everything you love about a Camry, plus breathtaking performance features. TRD isn’t just a badge––there’s a lot that goes into it. Toyota has a history of excellence in racing and performance, and the great minds of the Toyota Racing Department are behind every Toyota that takes home titles. You don’t have to compete in order to enjoy the thrills offered by a TRD, though. The 2023 Toyota Camry TRD lets you feel like a professional race car driver without paying the high price associated with most sports cars.