It was the height of the FPV versus HSV wars on both road and, with Falcon and Commodore, on racetrack – and Toyota, with its big, boofy, front-drive Aurion, wanted in.
And so, in 2007, it revealed this: the Toyota Racing Development Aurion, or TRD Aurion – one of the world’s most unfortunately named cars if you’re inclined to read your acronyms as words.
Developed and built in Australia – something that can’t not be celebrated anymore, no matter the car – the TRD Aurion achieved a fairly impressive 241kW and 400Nm courtesy of Toyota bolting a dirty great Eaton supercharger to the top of its 2GR-FE 3.5-litre V6. (Interestingly, this is the same engine still in service, supercharged, in the back of the Lotus Evora.)
Toyota sent the not inconsiderable power through a six-speed auto on its way to two 245-section front Dunlop Sports Maxx tyres, to the point that the TRD Aurion remains one of the most powerful factory front-drive cars ever made.
Zero to 100km/h took around six seconds flat at a time when similarly priced FPVs and HSVs were in the mid- to high-fives. It helped that it weighed ‘just’ 1610kg. In our October 2007 issue, we were surprised by how well it drove, with no torque steer complaints, the TRD Aurion boasting a brisk grand tourer personality, if not as fun as its rear-drive rivals, particularly as you couldn’t wind the then-primitive ESC back, at all. The engine note also wasn’t anything special, but overall, for a first effort, we came away impressed.
If there’s one thing Toyota got half right, it was the styling enhancements. With new front and rear bars incorporating more than a dash of FPV/HSV influence, there was also a lower stance and huge (for the time) 19-inch wheels hiding upgraded PBR-developed brakes. Indeed, the TRD Aurion was as cruel on the eyes as it was easy on its front tyres.
Unfortunately, the TRD Aurion was short lived, axed just the next year. Today, they’re $10K-$15K used.
History with more horsepower on Fast Car History Lesson
2007 TRD AURION SPECS
Engine: 3456cc V6, DOHC, 24v, s/c
Power: 241kW @ 6400rpm
Torque: 400Nm @ 4000rpm
0-100km/h: 6.1sec (as-tested, Oct ’07)
Price (new): $56,990 (3500S)