TRD Is Officially Back In SA

Tuesday, 15th November 2011

Toyota South Africa’s latest, the Auris TRD, is sure to impress. With a spirited performance, courtesy of a supercharger, the TRD’ credentials are supplemented a few sporty extras.   

According to Kerry Roodt, General Manager of Toyota Marketing Communications, “the most exciting thing about the new Auris TRD is that it clearly signals the direction that Toyota is taking to deliver performance where it really matters. The Auris TRD signals the return of the driver’s car. This new model is just the start of the performance evolution that will sweep across more of the Toyota range.”

Toyota Auris TRD
Toyota Racing Development or TRD as it’s more commonly known, is a brand that is synonymous with excitement, performance and dynamism. Only a few South African Toyotas have ever had the privilege to wear the TRD badge: in 1983 it was the rear-wheel drive Corolla 1.8 and then in 2006, it was the turn of the RunX RSi to get the TRD treatment.

Of course, it must be remembered that TRD is a global brand that has built up an enviable reputation particularly in motorsport circles. It acts as a racy extension of the Toyota product range in many parts of the world, being particularly strong in North America and the Far East. Toyota Australia have also added TRD high performance cars to their range. The TRD message then is simple – tailor-made performance to suit the needs of individual markets.

This new South African TRD derivative is based on the popular Auris Sport X hatch offering substantial performance and handling enhancements – just 200 of these special limited edition models will be built.

As mentioned, the environmentally-friendly 1.6-litre 16-valve Auris Sport X (mated to a six-speed manual box) is the starting point for the TRD conversion which involves boosting power by means of a traction-drive supercharger. The results are impressive: a 36 percent improvement in power (from 97kW to 132kW at 6400rpm) and a 27 percent hike in torque from 160Nm to 203Nm at 5200rpm. And, the figures concur – the obligatory 0-100km/h sprint is dispatched in around 9 seconds while a top speed of 220 km/h is achievable. Still, fuel consumption is a laudible 7,5 litres/100km.

The merits in this instance of the centrifugal, traction-drive supercharger as opposed to a turbocharger are as follows:

  • Engine response is good throughout the rev range thanks to the linear torque delivery which remains very similar to that of a normally aspirated engine i.e. there is no response delay at low speed. That said, there are still above-average upper-end torque characteristics which is typical of a compact racing engine that has been mechanically enhanced.
  • Due to the fact that there is good catalyst warm-up when starting from cold, emissions are not adversely affected as they sometimes are with a turbocharged engine. CO2 emission for this engine are rated at 180g/km.
  • The supercharger is also light and compact as well as being a cost-effective performance enhancer. There is no need to remove the engine when fitting the supercharger.

Under the skin the lowered suspension (by 35 mm) is uprated with a TRD Suspension set comprising shock absorbers, springs and coil springs to match the sporting performance. A bracing strut between the front suspension towers provides additional rigidity for the front end.

The benefits the TRD Suspension kit confers are:

  • Reduces the amount of roll and speed during lane changes making the Auris TRD feel smooth and stable even at high speed.
  • Stabilises movement when travelling at high speeds so that even corrective movements are smooth and responsive.
  • Improved turn performance from the initial steering to make winding roads truly fun and enjoyable.
  • Flattens out rough roads – large ‘fluffy’ body movements are replaced by small, precise restraints help flatten out body momentum minimising rolling and pitching and contributing to a smooth and controlled ride.

The new Auris TRD comes with a five-year/90 000 km Service Plan included in the purchase price (service intervals are every 15 000 km), along with Toyota's comprehensive three-year/100 000 km warranty.

The Auris TRD is supported by the ToyotaCare Roadside Assistance Programme and entitles customers to 24 hour roadside assistance, ensuring ultimate peace-of-mind motoring.


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