2020 Toyota Avalon Trd First Drive Review | Grandpa's Got A Hot Date

2020 Toyota Avalon TRD First Drive Review | Grandpa's got a hot date

DALLAS, Tex. — How badly does Toyota want to remake its image as a purveyor of reliable but boring vehicles? Very badly indeed, it would appear. We've seen the fruits of the company's effort with the return of the Supra sports car, but we've also seen it in unexpected ways, perhaps none more so than the arrival of the 2020 Avalon TRD. With an average age in the mid-60s, the Avalon has the oldest owner body of any model in the Toyota lineup. Yet Toyota has sent its full-size sedan in for a TRD makeover, and the result is  curious but also endearing. Grandpa's got a brand-new bag. TRD (Toyota Racing Development) is the brand's tuner arm, and its ministrations to the Avalon largely mirror those of the only-slightly less-surprising Camry TRD, which debuted alongside its bigger brother. As with the Camry TRD, the chassis has received the bulk of the attention, with the aim of improving the big sedan's handling. Perhaps owing to its senior status (or status with seniors), the work is not quite as extensive here as it was with the Camry. But you'll notice it on the outside, where the Avalon TRD builds off the XSE trim level, adding a larger front splitter below the gloss-black mesh grille, lower body skirts in black with red striping, black window trim and outside mirrors, a rear diffuser, and a larger rear spoiler (although not the Camry TRD's rear wing). There are TRD-specific 19-inch wheels, also in black, and the brake calipers are painted red. Exterior colors are limited to red, black, silver, and pearl white. You'll notice it, too, on the inside, where the TRD's seats are upholstered in perforated SofTex (Toyota's manmade-leather material), with microsuede inserts, and feature red accents and "TRD" stitched into the headrests. There's more red stitching on the dash pad, the door armrests, the steering wheel, and the shift boot. The floor mats are edged in red, and the pedals get metal trim. As in the XSE, textured metal trim is used on place of wood on the dash and door panels, but there's grained hard plastic on the console that is somewhat disappointing. Functionally, there's nothing to criticize here, and the 9-inch infotainment screen that sits atop the center stack includes hard buttons to quickly jump between major functions. Unlike the Camry TRD, the Avalon gets a sunroof. From behind the wheel, you'll notice the TRD changes most off all on a tight autocross course. We drove a TRD back-to-back with a regular Avalon, and the difference between the two was marked. Wheeling the regular Avalon through the cones felt like piloting a Ford LTD in a 1970s cop show. Crank the wheel in the standard Avalon, and you wait, wait, wait for the car to come screeching around the corner, heeled over on its outside front tire. The Avalon TRD, by contrast, still feels like a big car, but it's a big car that responds. Turn-in is much more energetic, understeer is under control, and transitions are far tidier. Note that this comparison was against an Avalon Touring, with its adaptive dampers in Sport+ mode. The Avalon TRD, however, does without that technology. Instead, the Avalon TRD uses non-adaptive dampers with firmer tuning and internal rebound springs. The TRD sits 0.6 inch lower on stiffer springs, and its anti-roll bars are stiffer than those of the standard model. The TRD also adds Toyota's Active Cornering Assist, which can brake an inside wheel under power in curves to reduce understeer and tighten the car's line. Additionally, the front brake hardware has been beefed up with larger rotors and two-piston calipers. The Avalon also has more robust underbody braces (three of them) as on the Camry TRD, but it does not get that car's V-brace behind the rear seatback. Nor does it get the Camry TRD's stickier summer tires, instead retaining the all-season Michelin Primacy MXV4s used by the Avalon Touring model. The Avalon's TRD-specific 19" wheels are 4.5 pounds lighter, however. The TRD is powered by the same naturally aspirated V6 found in other Avalon models, and it is unchanged for TRD duty. Displacing 3.5 liters, it spins out 301 horsepower and 267 lb-ft of torque, distilled to the front wheels through a smooth-shifting and responsive 8-speed automatic with paddle shifters. In a sedan weighing well under 4,000 pounds, that's enough for robust acceleration, but not so much as to induce annoying torque steer. Even with a mashed accelerator, this Avalon goes where it's pointed. What is different with the powertrain here is the TRD-specific cat-back exhaust system. Although it doesn't alter the output totals, it does contribute to a satisfying, tearing-paper engine sound as the tach needle climbs past 4,000 rpm or so. The downside of the more free-flowing exhaust system is some droning resonance around 60 mph, but it's really not enough to disrupt the Avalon's still-placid highway demeanor. Nor is that demeanor totally upended by the firmer suspension. The Avalon TRD feels pleasantly tied down but not terribly harsh — at least that was the impression on the fairly smooth roads where we drove the Avalon in north Texas. Beat-up boulevards in the Northeast or Midwest might reveal something more. Priced at $43,255 (with destination), the TRD sits near the top of the 2020 Avalon lineup, just $200 below the Touring and $5,000 above the XSE. Toyota says production is limited to fewer than 2,600. That's not a huge number, but it should be enough to raise a few eyebrows and help raise the profile of this once-sleepy sedan.

Some A-bomb Survivors Likely Got Preferential Care

Some A-bomb survivors likely got preferential care

Newly discovered documents suggest a US commission tasked with studying the physical effects of the atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki allowed survivors who cooperated with their research to receive preferential treatment.

The US set up the Atomic Bomb Casualty Commission, known as ABCC, in 1947. But survivors slammed the commission for not providing medical care as a general rule.

Someone Got Overwatch Running On A Nintendo Switch By Using Android

Someone Got Overwatch Running On A Nintendo Switch By Using Android

The Nintendo Switch is an incredibly popular console, and as such, there are more developers interested in creating games for it than its predecessor, the Wii U. Blizzard has yet to make any of their games available on the console, although in the past, the company has expressed some interest in it.

They even acknowledged that developing Overwatch for the Switch was feasible, but whether or not they’d do it is a different story. However thanks to the work of some developers, it seems that someone has managed to port Blizzard’s Overwatch onto the Switch by using none other than Google’s Android platform.

Jal Captain Got Copilot To Take Breathalyzer Test

JAL captain got copilot to take breathalyzer test

Japan Airlines says one of its pilots cheated two years ago on a preflight breath test by asking somebody else to do it in his place.

The company said a 59-year-old captain got his copilot to take a test for him before their flight from Japan's Narita Airport to Chicago in December 2017.

Record-number Of Intl. Students Got Jobs In Japan

Record-number of intl. students got jobs in Japan

The Japanese government says the number of foreign students who found a job or started a business in Japan after graduating from schools in the country hit a record high of more than 22,000 in 2017.

Foreign students in Japan are required to change their status of residence if they want to work in the country after graduating universities or vocational schools.

Nissan Got Its "tesla" On In Tokyo With Stylish Imx Concept

Nissan Got Its

Nissan is looking to usher in a new era of intelligent mobility, and the IMx Concept recently unveiled in Tokyo is a big sign of things to come.

For starters, autonomous systems and electrification are big factors nowadays, even when it comes to vehicle design. This is why Nissan built the IMx Concept while acknowledging there should be obvious differences between the exterior and the interior.

Let's Got To The Museum / Specimens Unveil Geological History

Let's got to the museum / Specimens unveil geological history

By Kazuyoshi Nakaya / Yomiuri Shimbun Staff WriterNAGATORO, Saitama — In 1916, poet and novelist Kenji Miyazawa (1896-1933) visited the Chichibu area in Saitama Prefecture and composed a tanka poem about the beauty of striped metamorphic rocks lying on the riverbed of the Arakawa river: "The colors of rocks on the Arakawa river look like Hakata obi sashes with really stylish patterns."

Back then, the poet, who later wrote masterpieces like "Ginga Tetsudo no Yoru" (Milky Way Railroad), was a second-year student at the Morioka Imperial College of Agriculture and Forestry (now the Faculty of Agriculture of Iwate University) and was interested in minerals. He ventured all the way to the mountainous area of Saitama Prefecture because it was a geological sanctuary where various types of rocks could be found.

How One Couple Got A New Infiniti For Under $18,000

How One Couple Got A New Infiniti For Under $18,000

If you're in the market for a new car in the United States and have less than $18,000 to spend, you'll find plenty of choices – but they'll mostly be econo-boxes like the Chevy Sonic, Kia Rio, or Fiat 500. You wouldn't expect to find something like a brand-new Infiniti crossover among them, yet that's just what one couple in Kentucky got.

Chris and Sherri Cooper saw an ad on Facebook for a 2017 Infiniti QX30, listed for $17,790 instead of the $35k MSRP (or <$30k base price). “I snapped a picture of it real quick and showed it to (my husband) and was like, ‘This is crazy. Look at the price of this brand new car,’” Sherri told local station WDRB.

Feline Got In Movie Form Chasing Imperiled Amami Rabbit

Cat got in video form chasing jeopardized Amami rabbit

AMAMI-OSHIMA, Kagoshima Prefecture- - A feline jumps on a youthful jeopardized rabbit in the main video to catch one going after an Amami rabbit, a species interesting to this region.

The film, which highlights the far reaching issue of felines chasing inside the island's delicate biological community, was discharged by Mariko Suzuki, an exploration individual at the Amami Station of Kagoshima University's Research Center for the Pacific Islands, on March 25.