Toyota Racing Development (TRD) Launch at YAS Island

Al-Futtaim Motors Launches Toyota Racing Development in the UAE

I had the pleasure of attending the launch of the highly anticipated TRD launch at Yas Island, Abu Dhabi, earlier this month thanks to Al-Futtaim Motors, exclusive distributors of Toyota in the UAE.


Basically, the whole concept behind the actual launch is very simple. Toyota’s aim is to cater to the segment of the market who want a little more than just a “normal” car. They want something extra, something a little bit more personalised. Being part of such a diverse Arab nation, the high level of competition floating within our society is quite high with everybody wanting to outcompete the next.


Offered in aerodynamic and sport packs, TRD will be available on the iconic Toyota 86, the all-new Yaris Hatchback, Yaris Sedan, Corolla and Aurion. The models were not only enhanced in terms of sharper designs, improvements were made across straight line driving and cornering stability thanks to better downforce and aerodynamics on the vehicles.


While the new aerodynamic pack offers aesthetic enhancements such as front and rear bumper spoilers and side skirts, giving TRD vehicles a unique, aggressive look; the sports pack goes a step further, adding performance wheels with low profile tyres, a sport oil filter and lowered springs, amongst other modifications offering more assured handling during spirited driving.



With the launch being held at the iconic Yas Marina Circuit, Toyota insisted on making it an adrenalin-filled event. Once the TRD enhanced models were presented by the local & international Toyota members and a quick Q&A session had been completed, we were split into groups to begin testing these cars out on the track and within obstacle courses.

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So let the fun begin! We had a chance to get behind the wheel of each model to participate in a number of obstacle courses and competitions. We started our participatory night off with a three-lap cruise around the YAS track in the Toyota 86.



Arabs are known for their over-the-top antics, and drifting behind the wheel of a high performance vehicle is definitely one of them. We had a guide take us through three attempts at drifting, with each attempt adjusting from sport, full or no traction control. This allowed us to feel the difference between each traction control mode. Let me tell you, drifting a car is difficult. However, attempting to drift the 86 with traction control switched on, is near impossible.


Second activity of the night was to verse our companions. Mano e mano!
Performing figure eights around three barrels in the Aurion with the first person back to the finish line winning the race. Turning the Aurion at such high speeds proved to be second nature for the car. Stuck to the tarmac, no traction lost and remained on task.



My favourite activity of the evening, the Gymkhana competition. Like Ken Block, we had to prove our driving, turning and reflex skills in the Yaris Hatchback/Sedan around the 500 meter long course. With in’s and out’s, 360’s and long stretched, the Yaris held itself impeccably.


TRD packs will be available at Al-Futtaim Motors Toyota showrooms across the UAE from November 1st, 2014, in special TRD displays, offering customers a fully immersive TRD experience to match their purchase.

All TRD parts come with a 5 year warranty, are genuine and built to GCC specifications to ensure quality and reliability for the life of the car. While elements of each pack can be purchased separately, the complete aerodynamic and sport packs will be available at promotional prices.

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Founder of SMF, Elias spends most of his time travelling the world, attempting to become the first Lebanese surfer and rocking the white pant + double breasted blazer combo.