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2020 Toyota Camry and Avalon TRD seek to shed stodgy stereotypes

Ask a dyed-in-the-wool car geot on the Toyota Camry or Toyota Avalon, and it's pretty much "It's pretty decent." These two cars traditionally fall on the pocket-protector side of the risk spectrum, but a new TRD trim ditches all those preconceived notions.

Toyota has unveiled the 2020 Camry TRD and 2020 Avalon TRD. Both vehicles have been subjected to some very interesting bits of kit, whether it is to aesthetics or performance. Yes, that's right – these upgrades are not about looks alone, and I think that's pretty swell. That said, looks definitely factor into the equation, so we'll start with the Camry.

Camry TRD

It's hard to look at the Camry TRD and not immediately be drawn to the rear end. Out back, there's one of the wildest wings to ever grace a factory Toyota. A new body kit adds a more aggressive front splitter, side skirts and rear diffusers, all of which are claimed to be beneficial to high-speed stability. The front grille is a unique one that will not be found on any other trim. Red pinstripes, brake calipers and badges round the exterior.

The Camry TRD also gets a new set of wheels, wearing 1

9-inch matte black alloys that are 3.1 pounds lighter than the wheels on the XSE trim. Bridgestone Potenza summer tires (235 / 40R19) are standard, too.

Inside, there are black sports seats clad in synthetic leather with fabric inserts. Red accents abound, including on the embroidered headrests. Red stitching extends to the leather-wrapped wheel, and the shift knob has a TRD logo embossed into it. Hell, even the seat belts are red.

But like I said, looks are only part of it. The Camry TRD gets stiffer coil springs 0.6 inches closer to terra firma. The sway bars are beefier, stiffening the car by 44 percent up front and 67 percent out back. New TRD shocks are tucked away in there, too, and the rear wheels are set to 12.9-inch brakes, nearly a full inch larger than the stoppers on the XSE trim.

Under the hood is Toyota's 3.5-liter V6. While it still makes 301 horsepower and mates to the same eight-speed automatic as usual, it'll sound a bit faster thanks to a TRD dual exhaust that replaces the standard piping from the catalytic converters all the way to the tailpipes.

Avalon TRD

Toyota might be loosing its necktie a bit, but it's still Toyota. Thus, the same upgrades you saw on the Camry above will reappear on the Avalon with few alterations. On the aesthetic front, that means 19-inch matte black wheels, aggressive aero that's black painted, red details on all sides and plenty of TRD badging.

The synthetic leather with embroidered headrests and red accents, and the seat belts are as red as can be. The infotainment systems for both TRD models get a special startup screen, too, just in case your passengers did not realize how much sport has been done.

Avalon TRD. Underbody braces are thicker, the ride height is 0.6 inches lower, and the suspension has been revised for better driving dynamics. The brakes are bigger, and there's a louder exhaust system bolted to the V6. Safety systems, including autobrake, are standard on both cars.

Toyota's two new TRD models go on sale this fall.

Toyota Camry : Toyota's latest Camry already does a pretty good job of trashing stereotypes.

Toyota Avalon : If you can get past the cricket, the rest of it's pretty darn great.

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