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Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Toyota TRD Aurion In Depth (AU)


New TRD Aurion has two model grades, both with supercharged quad cam V6 engine and six-speed sequential shift automatic transmission. The two model grades are TRD Aurion 3500S and 3500SL. Both models have a 241kW supercharged engine, TRD unique sports suspension, TRD performance brakes, TRD unique 19-inch alloy wheels with 245/35ZR19 Dunlop Sport Maxx performance tyres, TRD unique engine cover and TRD sports exhaust system with integrated exhaust outlets.

Interior features in 3500S include TRD red steering wheel, TRD scuff plates, red leather/suede sports seats featuring revised seat bolsters and leather door trim. Unique exterior features include TRD front and rear bumpers, body-coloured rear spoilers and side skirts, and TRD 3500S grade badge. The 3500S comes off the main Altona production line with rear underbody bracing, underbody aerodynamic enhancements, smoked headlamps and rear combination lamps, alloy sports pedals, multi-function trip computer, premium Optitron combination meter and six-disc CD changer. In addition, TRD Aurion 3500S has Data Dot security. There is one option for the 3500S: the combined option of moonroof, rear personal lamps and sun visors with lamps.

TRD Aurion 3500SL has higher specifications, including dual-zone air conditioning with push-button heater and ventilation controls, six-way power-adjustable front passenger seat, Smart Entry and Push Start, and clearance and reversing sonar. TRD Aurion 3500SL's additional features over 3500S also include plum-coloured full leather seat trim, and colour-keyed (dark grey/plum) TRD leather-bound steering wheel and gearshift knob. The 3500SL model's additional specifications also include TRD piano black door and dashboard highlights, TRD 3500SL grade badge, unique 3500SL grade bumper highlights, TRD floor mats and a unique TRD alloy wheel silver finish. TRD Aurion 3500SL also has the added feature of a rear bumper reinforcement to optimise body rigidity and improve handling.

There are two option packs for the 3500SL: a combined option of moonroof, rear personal lamps and sun visors with lamps, and the combined option of those three features with satellite navigation system and Bluetooth™* mobile phone compatibility (satellite navigation units come with four-disc CD changer).

*Bluetooth™ will only operate with telephones enabled with compatible Bluetooth™ wireless technology [HFP (Hands Free Profile) v1.0]. Bluetooth™ is a registered trademark of Bluetooth SIG, Inc.


Toyota's 241kW TRD Aurion performance sedan is aimed at the car enthusiast. Toyota Australia's senior executive director sales and marketing, David Buttner, said enthusiasts would be attracted by TRD Aurion's premium styling and engineering package. Mr Buttner said the target market was primarily men aged 35 to 50 who love sport and love their cars.

"They are prepared to pay a little bit more for a performance vehicle that offers excitement as well as traditional Toyota values," he said. "Potential 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 said TRD Aurion would compete on refinement, response and performance with models from Europe and Japan that retail from $50,000 to $60,000. "This is where the growth has occurred in the performance-enhanced market over the past 10 years," he said. Mr Buttner said TRD Aurion was also an alternative to the locally produced specialist 'muscle cars' with their V8 engines and price tags of over $60,000.

"We are targeting a sophisticated market with a high-quality product that balances performance, handling and technology," he said. "TRD Aurion fits naturally into the Toyota line-up as a step up in style, handling and performance from our existing Aurion Sportivo range. It matches the size of the locally produced sports sedans that are priced above it - and it exceeds the performance of the imported rivals. It offers individual character and enhanced performance, refinement and handling, as well as the outstanding integrity offered by all Toyota vehicles. There is a significant market among people who want the combination of power and performance as well as fuel efficiency and control. TRD Aurion is the car for them."


The market for performance-enhanced vehicles has almost doubled in the past 10 years, and most of the growth has come from imports. Based on figures from industry statistician VFACTS, Toyota estimates Australians bought 11,000 enhanced vehicles in 1997 - almost 5000 from Ford and Holden. Others included Subaru's WRX and Mitsubishi's Evo range as well as a growing number of European cars including BMW's M-series, Mercedes-Benz's AMG and some early Audi S models.

Since then, the annual sports-enhanced market has expanded to about 21,000 vehicles - and it continues to grow. During that time, the combined growth for Ford and Holden has been limited to about 20 per cent in a total segment that has grown 100 per cent. Toyota Australia's senior executive director sales and marketing, David Buttner, said TRD was not aiming for the true-blue tribalists who buy the traditional, locally produced performance sedans.

"The tribalists will not contemplate another brand as they aspire to own the latest version of the car their fathers drove," Mr Buttner said. "TRD models are for people who appreciate fine performance and nuance. They make a statement without being overt and they deliver owner and driver satisfaction without stress."

TRD customers will be more passionate about their vehicles than the average motorist. They are also likely to be younger, better educated and wealthier. More than 60 per cent are expected to have a bachelor degree or higher. They are likely to be high-income earners with an average yearly income of $105,000. More than one-quarter will be earning above $125,000 a year. The typical TRD consumer is likely to be male, but almost one in six will be female. The average age of people likely to buy the TRD Aurion is 37, with close to four out of five potential TRD consumers likely to be under 46. In line with population distribution, almost 70 per cent will be likely to live in east-coast capital cities with one-third living in Sydney. Nearly one-third are likely to be single and more than half will not have children in their household.

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Related entries:

Toyota TRD Aurion and Hilux World Debuts
New Toyota Aurion: In Depth (AU)
Toyota TRD Aurion Race Ready (AU)


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