Experienced by Adrian McQueen
Photography by Adrenaline Lifestyles
When you think of a Toyota Camry, sports car is at the bottom of the list. Well here comes Toyota with the Toyota Racing Development (TRD) for the 2020 model year. The Toyota Racing Development (TRD) is the in-house tuning shop for all Toyota, Lexus and formerly Scion cars. TRD produces various tuning products and accessories, including performance suspension components, superchargers, and wheels. Performance parts for Lexus vehicles are now labeled as F-Sport and performance Lexus models are labeled F to distinguish Lexus’s F division from TRD. The Camry has kept a great reputation as being one of the most reliable cars on the market, so I was excited to get the chance to experience the new TRD model.
The Toyota Camry has been sold internationally by the Japanese manufacturer Toyota since 1982. I have seen the Camry change so much over years, since it was known as the Celica Camry, but for 2020 this is most sporty design to date. The Camry sits on matte-black TRD- 19-inch alloy wheels. Tucked behind the wheels are the red painted brake calipers. The TRD body kit includes an aero kit complete with a red pinstripe, red TRD badge and a TRD glass-black rear spoiler. The TRD cat-back dual exhaust with polished stainless-steel tips that growls something serious as soon as the engine is cranked up.
The sporty TRD Camry has a 3.5-liter V6 making 301 horsepower and 267 lb-ft. I put the Camry on the road for some long-distance driving and it did remarkably well. The route had an alluring landscape and overlooked some great lakes. The country setting, river view and winding roads, were the perfect elements for me to enjoy the seat time with the Camry while taking in some extremely breathtaking picturesque views.
In and out of the corners, I felt the balance was good and the ride was comfortable. Camry’s redesigned seats are distinctively shaped with available sport fabric SofTex-trimmed seats with red seat belts, stitching and fabric inserts. The throttle response from the TRD was thrilling. Toyota has improved the steering and the braking to the ride and handling of the Camry. The Camry TRD comes in at 22 mpg in the city, 31 mpg on the highway and 25 mpg combined. Road and wind noise seemed quiet inside the Camry cabin as well.
I was impressed by the standard 7-inch touch screen and Toyota’s Entune 3.0 infotainment system. There is built-in navigation as well as the ability to tap into the users’ phone thru Toyota’s app suite. Android Auto and Apple CarPlay are now supported. The controls were user friendly with great touch response. There is also a 4.2” TFT Multi-Information display with a neat TRD animation that is played during the startup.
The Camry comes equipped with the Toyota Safety Sense P system, that is standard on all models. This includes forward-collision warning, automatic emergency braking, pedestrian detection, lane departure assist, hill-start assist, auto high-beams, and dynamic radar cruise control. Blind-spot warning and rear cross-traffic warning come standard on the top XSE and XLE trims but are optional on all other models, except the base L. Drive Start Control prevents the car from jumping forward or backward if the shifter is moved while the accelerator is accidentally depressed. I am confident in stating that Toyota has covered all bases in the safety department.
Camry has the Bird’s Eye View Camera with Perimeter Scan. The Intelligent Clearance Sonar (ICS) helps you navigate around hidden obstacles. Remote Connect allows you to stay connected with your Camry even if you are not around it. It also has innovative features such as locating your vehicle in a crowded lot or monitoring guest drivers.
The Camry TRD model we tested comes in at $32,920.00. The key competitors of the Camry are the Ford Fusion Sport, Hyundai’s all-new 2020 Sonata, and the Kia Stinger. The Camry TRD is not a full-on race car but it still offers plenty of power, especially in Sport mode. The Camry has a comfortable ride and fit for me. The driving position is roomy and I had plenty of headroom. If you want comfort with the image of a sport car, then Toyota has hit the mark with the Camry TRD. Enjoy the photo gallery.