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TRD Aurion, facelift to come

Entree: Aurion Sportivo ZR6 (above) will form the basis for Toyota's TRD version in 2007, previewed by a design mould earlier this year (below).

Aurion is here to tackle Commodore but there's more to come for Toyota's large sedan

19 Oct 2006

TOYOTA'S five-variant Aurion sedan range was launched to the media on Monday, but GoAuto has learned its successor has already been signed off.

Beyond next year's Toyota Racing Development-tweaked Aurion performance flagship, which will be based on the supercharged Aurion concept revealed at this year's Melbourne International Motor Show, a host of updates are already in the pipeline for the facelifted version due to appear in 2009.

According to the global executive chief engineer for Camry, Kluger and Aurion, Yukihiro Okane, who flew directly to Coffs Harbour from the US on Sunday after attending the Camry Hybrid launch there, these could include everything from one-touch indicators to switchable VSC.

Mr Okane said the lack of a switchable stability control system, like that featured in premium versions of both Commodore and Falcon, was not Toyota policy, and that such a feature was being investigated for fitment in future Sportivo or TRD Aurion models.

But he warned Aurion’s 200kW output was already stretching the friendship of its front-drive chassis.

8 center image"In rear-drive (cars) for sporty drivers it (switchable VSC) is preferable because it can be more fun. It’s not necessary with front-drive, and we are already near the limits of front-drive with this engine, but it could happen," he said.

The global Toyota Modular Platform chief said fitting the Lexus RX350's more powerful V6, which features a different exhaust system and ECU, was also technically possible.

Mr Okane said Toyota had also looked into steering wheel-mounted gearshift buttons, like that featured on automatic versions of premium Commodore variants.

And when told by GoAuto the VE Commodore also featured the same practical one-touch indicator function now employed by many European models, he asked for more information – and for his personal assistant to take detailed notes.

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