Toyota Showcases Sporting Pedigree at Los Angeles Auto Show 2018
NASCAR, Formula Drift and a motorsport-ready Supra all apart of Toyota’s continued strategy to buff up it’s performance car cache.
Toyota is a performance car brand. Don’t believe us? Just look to the showrooms, going into 2019. Toyota brought out some of its high-performance line-up to the 2018 Los Angeles auto show, showcasing what the brand is all about, in North America.
The 2019 Toyota Camry is built in Kentucky, and, according to Toyota, it’s the best selling car in America, managing to best even the revised Honda Accord. Don’t discount the Camry, either, while the exterior styling is bold, so, too, is the performance. We have watched these V6 Camrys get absolutely thrashed around the Long Beach Grand Prix circuit.
This American heritage is, of course, fitting, because it’s close to NASCAR country, where a Toyota Camry stock car continues to be a strong presence in the series.
Of course, when it comes to performance driving, there is a world beyond NASCAR. What if your inclinations are geared towards a winding road, or a road course track day? No problem, the revised 2019 Toyota 86, this one wearing the TRD package, is ready-made for the job. If fact, we praised it as one of the best entry-level track day cars we have ever driven, and we’ve driven a lot of insane track cars.
While the 86 soldiers on with the somewhat-lackluster, naturally-aspirated FA20 engine, the 2019 models do receive a few small interior and tech tweaks. Things like a revised infotainment solution, and a minor tweak to the gauge cluster display are the biggest takeaways. Well, other than the slick TRD appearance kit.
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Then there is the 2019 Toyota Corolla hatchback. It’s a car that we like, a lot. It also has a somewhat interesting, if unconventional tie-in to Formula Drift. Despite being based on a front-wheel drive subcompact, a heavily modified, rear-wheel drive Corolla hatchback variant, built by Papadakis Racing, is driven in Formula Drift by Fredric Aasbo.
Of course, when he’s not dominating the FD field, Aasbo wanted a fun “demo” car he could use and drive on the side. Thus, the Papadakis Racing team built a clone car, with a different, and very cool livery. A custom widebody kit, stripped and caged interior, FD-spec suspension and chassis upgrades are all a part of this retro-cool-looking package.
Last but not least, is the Toyota Supra. Well, sort of.
This a Supra NASCAR, as run in the Xfinity series. The Xfinity Supra competes against competitors like the Dodge Challenger, Ford Mustang and Chevrolet Camaro. It’s a Supra, but not quite, and that leaves us waiting, and wanting.
So Toyota, when is the Supra coming out, for real?