Eighth-generation model to be more evocative, agile, and involving. Really.
A new Toyota Camry is usually nothing to write home about. However, the eight-generation model has received significant working-over by the Japanese brand, to give it more character and ability than any other Camry before it. Brand boss Aki Toyoda made it clear that Toyota’s vehicles have to have a degree of driving agility moving forward, and the Camry is among the pioneers of that new direction.
It’ll come as no surprise that when we get the new Camry in November, it’ll be a Japanese import. That aside, the new generation Camry will be constructed with more high-tensile steel and improved laser welding, which works together with the more rigid new architecture to provide a very stiff platform. It sits lower to the ground, which pairs up well with the more athletic, angular design and enlarged wheelbase. Notably, the Camry will be offered in our market with different faces: Vanilla cars will get a more sedate nose, whereas models with a sportier edge will get a more aggressive face, along with bigger wheels and a bodykit.
Motivation will come from the 2.5-litre four-cylinder petrol that we know from the current model, along with another engine of the same size that’ll be employed in the hybrid models. That 131kW engine (which runs both the Atkinson and Otto cycle, depending on requirements) gets matched to a CVT automatic transmission with an 88kW/202Nm electric motor. Combined power output is rated at 155kW, while claiming fuel consumption figures of just 4.5L/100km.
Despite lithium-ion being the in-thing with hybrids presently, the Camry Hybrid will employ a nickel-metal hydride battery pack mounted within the Camry’s architecture resulting in no impact on boot space for the more ecological option. No PHEV on the cards though, but the Hybrid will be able to work at speeds below 40km/h. Toyota Australia reckons the Hybrid will sell in the strongest numbers.
Later on, the Camry lineup will be joined by a proper performance model: A 3.5-litre V6 petrol will provide 225kW & 360Nm, sending power to the front wheels via an eight-speed automatic transmission. This model will gain a sports mode that will recalibrate the throttle mapping, steering weight, and transmission shifting map.
The cabin of the new Camry will also see a leap forward in terms of design and luxury, with a more driver-focused dashboard and more plush materials employed throughout. Infotainment will range from 7.0-inch touchscreen to 8.0-inch, with new software (which misses out on smartphone mirroring). The driver will be afforded either a 4.2-inch or 7.0-inch TFT supervision display between the gauges, with the latter reserved for higher-end units. Top-flight cars will also get a 10-inch heads up display, and wireless charging.
Safety is well catered for too, with all cars getting a reversing camera, intelligent cruise control, and autonomous emergency braking. Move further up the rung and you’ll find blind-spot monitoring, lane departure alert, and automatic high-beams.
Toyota predicts that sales figures for the Camry will drop in a “dramatic” fashion, given that it will be pushing upmarket and command a higher price than it does now. With over 2,000 Camry’s being sold on our shores every month, we can’t help but wonder if that’d be a good idea…