Toyota South Africa has chosen the prestigious TRD (Toyota Racing Development) brand for an exciting, limited edition, top-of-the-range RunX hatch.
First seen on a local Toyota in 1983, the TRD brand has always set apart the vehicles to which it is applied by adding not just visual appeal, but also an element of enhanced dynamic performance.
The TRD brand is widely respected in international motor sport circles and offers an exciting extension of the Toyota product range in many parts of the world, being particularly strong in North America and the Far East. Toyota Australia recently started to introduce TRD high performance cars to their range.
This latest model to bear the TRD nomenclature in South Africa, the RunX RSi TRD, offers visual enhancements as well as a performance handling package. This new South African TRD derivative is based on the popular RunX RSi "hot hatch" which has a 1,8-litre engine that develops 141 kW at 7 800 r/min with the help of 16 valves with variable timing and lift.
Just 210 of these exciting RunX RSi TRD special edition models will be built at a rate of about 20 units a month. The first car was put though its paces at Kyalami by Toyota F1 test driver, Ricardo Zonta, during his recent visit to South Africa to attend Auto Africa.
His only comment after a few blistering laps was that he should have inflated the tyres to a higher pressure than standard so he could have extracted the maximum from the car's enhanced handling and road-holding potetntial.
The RunX RSi TRD was also shown to the public for the first time at the Toyota Advanced Driving display at Auto Africe most prominent visual elements of the RunX RSi TRD are the 17 inch TRD alloy wheels fitted with Bridgestone 215/45 R17 tyres.
The regular RSi badges are replaced with TRD emblems. Interior trim changes include red stitching for seat seams to provide a sporty contrast with the seat material, and a set of TRD embroidered loose fitted carpets.
Under the skin the suspension is uprated with a set of TRD shock absorbers and stiffer coil springs to match. A bracing strut between the front suspension towers provides additional rigidity for the front end.
A TRD quick-shift gear lever kit enhances gear selection while a TRD gear knob provides a further visual distinction between the TRD and the normal RSi.