Too bad the Avalon has an electronic handbrake that prevents such fun.
The Toyota Avalon isn’t the first car a person thinks of when it comes to drifting. That didn’t stop Toyota from putting together this short video featuring professional drifter Ken Gushi with paralympic athlete Jarryd Wallace and his father Jeff, though to be honest, we’re not entirely sure this is the best marketing approach for the big sedan, despite its TRD branding. More on that in a bit.
You’re probably thinking Toyota showed up with a special Avalon for this display of sideways tomfoolery, and you’d be right. However, this isn’t some rear-wheel-drive race car conveniently fitted with an Avalon body. It is a production model, turning its front wheels with a 301-horsepower (224-kilowatt) V6. As such, getting this sedan to play ball requires prolific use of the handbrake, and that’s where the modifications come in.
Gallery: Toyota Avalon TRD
It’s also where we really question Toyota’s approach on this particular campaign, because the Avalon has an electronic parking brake that works great for parking, but absolutely cannot be used for having any sort of sideways fun. This particular Avalon is fitted with a big handbrake lever that presumably controls a hydraulic setup like you’d find of a pro drift car. So yeah, if this video gives you visions of borrowing your mom’s Avalon for some late-night Tokyo drift sessions, better think again.
Obviously, the overall message here is that the new Avalon TRD isn’t just a sedate full-size sedan. To that end, Toyota isn’t entirely wrong – the updated styling is a touch on the aggressive side, especially with its modest TRD exterior makeover. Mechanically speaking, the changes aren’t quite as impressive with a minor suspension drop and slightly stiffer haunches, punctuated by a TRD exhaust system to make the otherwise stock V6 sound a bit better.
Still, we’ll give Toyota an A for effort on this one. Just don’t plan on opposite-lock Avalon excitement of your own.
Source: Toyota via YouTube