New Model News

Toyota thinks you want a track-ready Camry and Avalon

Toyota is now selling the Camry TRD and Avalon TRD.

Photo courtesy of Toyota

As the Twitterati likes to say, "TRD all things!" And, as if to answer the question no one was asking, Toyota has debuted a Camry and Avalon with track-ready performance and styling.

TRD, which stands for Toyota Racing Development, has lended its name and equipment to the 2020 Toyota Camry and 2020 Toyota Avalon sedans giving them a series of modifications including:

  • A TRD-tuned cat-back dual exhaust
  • Thicker underbody braces
  • Unique coil springs
  • Specially tuned shock absorbers
  • Lighter 19 x 8.5-inch matte black alloy wheels
  • Larger front brakes with 12.9-inch diameter rotors and dual-piston calipers
  • Active Cornering Assist
  • An aerodynamic body kit, which includes the front splitter, side aero skirts, trunk lid spoiler, and rear diffuser
  • Red pinstriping, red-painted brake calipers, and red TRD badging

2020 Toyota Camry TRD

Photo courtesy of Toyota

Toyota has modified the Camry and developed the new 2020 Toyota Camry TRD.

2020 Toyota Avalon TRD

Photo courtesy of Toyota

Toyota is now selling a performance-focused variant of its Avalon, the 2020 Toyota Avalon TRD.

2020 Toyota Camry TRD

Both models are powered by Toyota's strong 301-horsepower 3.5-liter V6 engine, which is paired with an eight-speed automatic transmission with sport mode and paddle shifters.They also come standard with Toyota Safety Sense-P, a suite of driver assistance technologies.2020 Toyota Camry TRDThe 2020 Camry TRD rides on Bridgestone Potenza 235/40R19 summer tires.

In addition to its other modifications, it has a gloss black front grille with sport mesh insert and black exterior badging. The Camry is available in Supersonic Red, Windchill Pearl, Celestial Silver Metallic, and Midnight Black Metallic paint jobs and comes with polished steel TRD exhaust tips.

Inside, the Camry has Black Sport SofTex-trimmed front seats with fabric inserts, red accents, and red-stitched TRD embroidered headrests. The car's leather-wrapped steering wheel also has red stitching, and its seatbelts are red. Its shift knob with an embossed TRD logo, and it has unique TRD floor and trunk mats, and a TRD MID visual start up.

The 2020 Toyota Camry TRD has an MSRP of $31,040.

2020 Toyota Avalon TRD

The 2020 Avalon TRD rides on matte-black 19 x 8.5-inch alloy wheels paired with Michelin 235/40R19 all-weather tires, making it 18-pounds lighter than the 19-inch wheels on the Avalon XSE. It also has stainless steel TRD exhaust tips and red pinstriping. The car comes in Supersonic Red, Windchill Pearl, Celestial Silver Metallic and Midnight Black Metallic paint jobs.

Like the Camry, the Avalon TRD has Black Sport SofTex-trimmed heated front seats with Ultra-suede inserts and red accents. Its interior is fitted with red-stitched TRD-embroidered headrests, a leather-wrapped steering wheel with red stitching, red seatbelts, a shift knob with an embossed TRD logo and red stitching, and unique TRD floor and trunk mats.

The 2020 Toyota Avalon TRD has an MSRP of $42,300.

Subaru recently debuted its VIZIV Tourer concept.

Photo courtesy of Subaru Corporation

Subaru has a goal. By 2030, they want at least 40 percent of their globals sales to come from electric vehicles (EVs) and hybrid electric vehicles. To get there, the automaker will be continuing to work on electrification via the application of the technology to Subaru's current lineup.

"Although we're using Toyota technology, we want to make hybrids that are distinctly Subaru," Chief Technology Officer, Tetsuo Onuki, recently commented to Reuters. "It's not only about reducing CO2 emissions. We need to further improve vehicle safety and the performance of our all-wheel drive."

Subaru VIZIV Touring concept the VIZIV Touring concept has a WRX-like front end.Photo courtesy of Subaru Corporation

At first, this plan likely means more model variants in the same vein as the Subaru Crosstrek Hybrid. Reuters has reported that the first new model that will enter the Subaru lineup under this plan will be a "strong hybrid" vehicle using Toyota technology. But, it's not coming until later this decade. Subaru previously activated this partnership in the marketplace to launch the Crosstrek Hybrid.

The automakers are also working together to launch an all-battery electric car (BEV) around that time as well.

Don't set your calendar yet. Plans are continually developing and timelines are bound to shift as the market for new vehicles changes. Subaru will likely keep the public updated as their plans develop by releasing concept car versions of their designs ahead of any big news.

Kia Motors has given insight into the company's future product plans.

Photo courtesy of Kia Motors

Kia is charging ahead with an aggressive electric vehicle (EV) implementation plan that includes 11 new vehicles in the next five years. The strategy, called "Plan S" starts with the company's first dedicated EV in 2021.

Plan S is a dual-focus shift for the company. On one side they will be progressing toward an EV-centric product strategy while in the other hand Kia will be focusing on customized mobility solutions. They will also be focusing on autonomous vehicle development.

By the end of 2025, Kia plans to offer a full line-up of 11 battery electric vehicles. The company is aiming to have 25 percent of its vehicle sales outside of China come from what they call "eco-friendly cars" by 2025 on their way to achieving a 6.6 percent market share in the global EV market (500,000 annual EV sales excluding China). According to a McKinsey & Co. analysis published April, the U.S. EV market almost doubled to 360,000 EV units in 2018, mainly because of the strong sales performance of Tesla's Model 3.

From 2022, Kia plans to add EVs in the passenger vehicles, SUVs, and MPVs categories. They further outlined their electric vehicle development:

The dedicated EV model to be launched 2021 will be built on a unique platform specifically engineered to accommodate the car's world-leading EV powertrain and technologies. It will offer a crossover design which blurs the boundaries between passenger and sport utility vehicles, a future-oriented user experience, a single-charge driving range of over 500 kilometers, and sub-20-minute high-speed charging time.

Across its EV line-up, Kia plans to operate two different types of EVs with different charging capabilities (400V/800V) -- high-performance dedicated models and derivative models with reasonable pricing -- to meet the diverse needs of customers.

Growth in global EV sales will be pursued in accordance with a customized, market-oriented strategy, which considers regional differences in environmental regulation, subsidies, infrastructure and more.

These EVs are expected to first be sold as a trim level option in Kia vehicles in the same vein as the Niro EV and Soul EV.

Additional Kia expansion is planned to come from car-sharing and e-commerce businesses.

"Plan S is a bold and enterprising roadmap for Kia's future business transition, buttressed by the two pillars of electric vehicles and mobility solutions," said Han-woo Park, president and CEO, Kia Motors. "Our approach is to put customers first, and Kia will reinvigorate its brand innovation by developing products and services that offer new experiences for customers."

Easily missed in this plan is Kia's proposition to raise the sales of internal combustion engined vehicles while at the same time establish the development system for EV architecture. Though they say that they'll focus those efforts on emerging markets, it's relatively safe to say that the Soul, Forte, and Telluride aren't going away any time soon.

Kia is activating recent partnerships and company share acquitions to get to this goal. Last year, the Korean automaker invested in Croatian performance EV manufacturer Rimac Automobili and IONITY, which specializes in building high-speed charging infrastructures.

They're also planning on building "Mobility Hubs", transfer stations between electric vehicles and internal combustion engine vehicles. Long term plans call for self-driving robotaxis and on-demand roboshuttles to also populate these Mobility Hubs.

Kia is part of a car-sharing services joint venture with Repsol, Spain's major energy corporation, in Madrid via its WiBLE brand.