Aurion TRD's interior is flashy in red but compared to some of the 175 comments on the blog post by Toby Hagon in The Sydney Morning Herald's Drive section, it's tame.
Two days'-worth of comments bring up a diverse set of views from the frankly xenophobic, to the cliched (of the cardigan-and-slippers sort), to the enthusiastic, to the technical. Some people have a deep vein of car lore and in the blog they draw on it to either celebrate or savage Toyota's new 'beast'.
Which is manna for the automaker charged, as I mentioned yesterday, with having produced a car that's "got no soul". The religious theme used by Poland in his February video clip was apt. Toyota have answered the challenge but the cost (starting at just over $60,000 for the TRD) is a curse, I fear. They anticipate sales of 500 to 1000 annually.
Which means it's experimental. And statements by interviewed managers, who say they're not targeting Ford and Holden enthusiasts, are not credible. My model, the basic, $35,000 unit, is well-appointed and less likely to attract thieves than the TRD. But will it turn heads?
I remember, when opting for the Echo in 2005, I did a lot of scoping out the goodies on the streets of Sydney. The car popped out at me all over the place. Now it's the turn of the Yaris. And the Aurion. The style appeals and the stats reassure. Who will complain if it keeps performing reliably for years? Why complain about the resale value?
I think there are a lot of men out there who would love to drive one but don't want to make a choice they feel inclined, by tradition and bias, to avoid. For myself, I'm a dedicated Toyota fan and have been since I drove the first car I owned: a 1976 Corolla.
Where's my cardigan?