With only one model — the supercharged Aurion V6 — in Toyota's TRD performance portfolio, dealers are desperate to expand the brand.
Not only did head office announce at the Melbourne show that TRD cars will be available through all Toyota dealers, it unveiled the second TRD model, a supercharged HiLux.
However, Toyota is keeping specifications of the 4.0-litre V6 pickup close to its chest until the hot truck goes on sale next month.
One thing is certain; the all-wheel-drive develops 225kW, has 25 per cent more power and uses less fuel than the standard HiLux.
As they did with the Aurion TRD launched last August, Toyota engineers have rebuilt the HiLux, giving it sharper steering, handling, braking and styling to cope with the extra performance.
Toyota senior executive sales and marketing director David Buttner; denies the expansion of the TRD division came because the Aurion TRD was not selling as strongly as hoped.
“When we set it up we looked at the models that had been established by Ford and General Motors. We felt that had proved to be a successful formula in the marketplace with having limited distribution,” he says.
“But, on reflection earlier this year, we felt we were losing the opportunity to the mass marketing, which we've done successfully for many years. In having that limited network we couldn't do our mass marketing in all our normal media campaigns."
“We've made a decision to expand it to the network and they're happy,” Buttner says.
Toyota had initially boasted the TRD would be an exclusive division with 41 dealers and highly trained staff specially focused on customers.
“But we will ensure it remains true to the original objectives,” he says.
Buttner would not be drawn on which Toyota was next on the TRD list, but the mass-market Corolla is an odds-on favourite.