2020 Toyota Camry TRD performance model. Photo: Toyota

This week I'm driving a high-performance Toyota Camry, which sounds like an oxymoron, but hear me out.

The big picture: The Camry has long been a practical, reliable choice — it's spacious, quiet and comfortable.

  • My mother drove a beige Camry, which was pretty much ubiquitous in her Florida retirement community.
  • In recent years, though, Toyota has been trying to inject some excitement across its vehicle portfolio, both in terms of styling and driving characteristics.

Toyota takes it to the next level with its TRD performance line, which stands for "Toyota Racing Development" and is inspired by Toyota's racing heritage.

  • For the first time, the Camry is getting the full TRD treatment, combining a track-tuned chassis and a 301-hp V-6 engine.
  • Hard-core enthusiasts will quibble that it's not really a performance car because the engine is not unique and, well, it's a Camry.

All I can say is it's the sportiest Camry I've ever driven.

  • Its bolder stance includes aerodynamic features like side skirts and a trunk lid spoiler.
  • And the engine is tuned to sound more aggressive.
  • I'm not a fan of the latest Camry interior, but the TRD dresses it up with accents like red stitching on the leather-wrapped steering wheel and even red seatbelts.

Toyota doesn't skimp on assisted driving features, even in models like the Camry TRD, which is meant to be driven aggressively.

  • It includes automatic braking and pedestrian detection, adaptive cruise control and lane-keeping assistance technology as standard features.
  • Other systems, including help for backing out of parking spaces, are also available.

The bottom line: The Camry TRD starts at $31,040, which is a lot of fun for a reasonable price.

Go deeper

Louisville officer: "Breonna Taylor would be alive" if we had served no-knock warrant

Breonna Taylor memorial in Louisville. Photo: Brandon Bell/Getty Images

Sgt. Jonathan Mattingly, the Louisville officer who led the botched police raid that caused the death of Breonna Taylor, said the No. 1 thing he wishes he had done differently is either served a "no-knock" warrant or given five to 10 seconds before entering the apartment: "Breonna Taylor would be alive, 100 percent."

Driving the news: Mattingly, who spoke to ABC News and Louisville's Courier Journal for his public interview, was shot in the leg in the initial moments of the March 13 raid. Mattingly did not face any charges after Kentucky Attorney General Daniel Cameron said he and another officer were "justified" in returning fire to protect themselves against Taylor's boyfriend.

U.S. vs. Google — the siege begins

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

The Justice Department fired the starter pistol on what's likely to be a years-long legal siege of Big Tech by the U.S. government when it filed a major antitrust suit Tuesday against Google.

The big picture: Once a generation, it seems, federal regulators decide to take on a dominant tech company. Two decades ago, Microsoft was the target; two decades before that, IBM.

Dion Rabouin, author of Markets
1 hour ago - Economy & Business

Why the stimulus delay isn't a crisis (yet)

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

If the impasse between House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and the White House on a new stimulus deal is supposed to be a crisis, you wouldn't know it from the stock market, where prices continue to rise.

  • That's been in no small part because U.S. economic data has held up remarkably well in recent months thanks to the $2 trillion CARES Act and Americans' unusual ability to save during the crisis.