Ken Gushi Drifts the 2020 Toyota Avalon TRD

2020 Toyota Avalon TRD drifting 8 photos
Photo: screenshot from Facebook
2020 Toyota Camry TRD and 2020 Toyota Avalon TRD2020 Toyota Avalon TRD2020 Toyota Camry TRD2020 Toyota Camry TRD2020 Toyota Camry TRD2020 Toyota Camry TRD2020 Toyota Camry TRD
Toyota Racing Development has worked its magic on the Avalon for the 2020 model year, and the go-faster treatment makes the full-size sedan a lot better in the twisties than the bone-stock configuration. To demonstrate its abilities, Toyota hired professional drift car driver Ken Gushi to take the Avalon TRD for a spin on the track.
The thing is, the Toyota New Global Architecture is front-wheel drive in this application, a big no-no for any sedan with sporting ambitions. Gushi can step the tail out with ease thanks to a hydraulic handbrake, an aftermarket modification that would void the automaker’s warranty. To this effect, what was Toyota Racing Development trying to prove with this promotional video?

But wait, there’s more! When Gushi explains “the power is actually standard,” Jeff Wallace goes “wow” and “holy smokes” in the rear seat. The cringe is strong with this one, and the video editor appears to know it as well given the close-up pan and “HOLY SMOKES” in bold letters. Frankly, we can’t figure out if Toyota understands how bad this marketing stunt is for the Avalon TRD.

Coming with a 301-horsepower engine as standard, the sportiest model in the Avalon lineup is trying to play ball with an electronic parking brake in the real world. If you had the curiosity to utilize the e-brake in a modern car for sideways action, you should also be aware that drifting is nigh on impossible. Lift-off oversteer should do the trick provided that the electronic nannies are turned off, namely the traction and electronic stability control.

Stopping power comes courtesy of 12.9-inch rotors and dual-piston calipers up front, and bringing the point home, the lowering springs bring the Avalon TRD closer to the ground by 0.6 inches. Instead of a good ol’ manual, an eight-speed automatic is the only transmission choice offered by Toyota.

Without a doubt, the Avalon TRD could’ve been much better if it weren't for those pesky bean counters. But as with the GR Supra, the Avalon TRD is a half-hearted attempt at making a sporty car.

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About the author: Mircea Panait
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After a 1:43 scale model of a Ferrari 250 GTO sparked Mircea's interest for cars when he was a kid, an early internship at Top Gear sealed his career path. He's most interested in muscle cars and American trucks, but he takes a passing interest in quirky kei cars as well.
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