Crazy Camry: 2007 Toyota Aurion TRD 3500SL
By Michael B.– Toyota Australia seems to be the crazy escape pod from the conservative Japanese mothership. The Toyota Aurion was based on the Camry – all it had was a redone interior and new front and rear fascias – and replaced the Avalon in Australia. The TRD version added a supercharger to the already potent 3.5L V6, so it produced 323hp and sent that power to only the front wheels, making this the most powerful production FWD car ever. Find this 2007 Toyota Aurion TRD 3500SL offered for $15k AUD ($11,437 USD at writing) in NSW, Australia, via gumtree.com.au.
The TRD could do 0-60 in 6.1 seconds, making this the envy of Camrys (Camries?) the world over, and enough to give it a place as a confusing FWD luxo-muscle car that could make HSVs and FPVs both worried and scratch their head at the same time. Unfortunately, it was only available with a 6 speed automatic which didn’t clarify its position.
There was a lower specified 3500S version, but this SL added various goodies like dual-zone climate control and these nice plum leather seats. In many ways, Toyota seems to have over-estimated the Camry platform, giving it both power and luxury it might not have deserved, but at least it gives us car people more interesting oddities to examine.
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Michael B is a teenager who’s been obsessed
with cars since he was able to talk, but has no ability in mechanics
whatsoever. His daily driver is a manual transmission Nissan Maxima – the Australian Infiniti I30.
Not the most powerful FWD production car. To quote Wikipedia on the '66 Old Toronado:
"To power the car, Oldsmobile engineers selected a conventional, although performance-boosted, Olds 425 cu in (7 L) Super Rocket V8 rated at 385 hp (287 kW) and 475 ft·lb (644 N·m) of torque. It provided an increase of 10 hp (7.5 kW) over the Starfire 425, and an increase of 20 hp (15 kW) over the standard 425 engine in the Ninety-Eight. The Toronado's intake manifold was unique and was depressed down to allow for engine hood clearance."
The '66 Olds Toro was rated at 385 hp SAE gross, which is probably something closer to 250 hp SAE net when you compare it to modern cars. Sometime in the mid 70s everybody switched from SAE gross (when measuring horsepower the OE would disconnect all accessories from the engine and run unrestricted exhaust) versus SAE net where you have to run the car like it will be in the car — with the alternator/power steering pump/factory exhaust etc.
Looks like their goal was to blow the Buick Regal Gran Sport out of the water… except, of course, you couldn't buy the Regal Gran Sport in Australia. Another case of Toyota trying to develop something sporty in the 2000s and leaving everyone a bit confused.