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Performance the early theme at Melbourne Motor Show

Mitsubishi, Ford and Holden all showed off production or concept cars that are designed to move fast and get the blood pumping.

But the big news came from Toyota, which launched its new TRD performance brand in Australia at the show.

The launch of TRD represents first time Toyota has marketed under the TRD banner anywhere in the world. It is timed to celebrate the car manufacturer’s 50th anniversary of involvement in motorsport globally.

Several models sporting new TRD livery were unveiled at the show, including an Aurion and a HiLux concept car. There are several more models on the way.

Also previewed at the Toyota stand was the new Corolla hatch and a new Corolla rally car, which is based on the new production model to be launched soon.

Mitsubishi opened the show with a Lancer concept “Sportback”.

But Ford and Holden went all-out in the performance stakes. Ford revealed a new Fiesta XR4 which will be on sale in July this year. It will feature a variant with a two-litre diesel engine – the first diesel car to grace Ford Australia’s line-up.

Also on show was a 40th Anniversary GT from FPV.

Holden tried to top that with the unveiling of a Chevrolet Camaro concept car which attracted great interest from the assembled press. It was the first time this car had been seen in Australia.

The company said although there are no plans to launch the Camaro here, it was on the stand in Melbourne to gauge customer reaction. The implication was that if interest is strong enough it may launch here.