Toyota revealed its eighth generation Camry at the North American International Auto Show in Detroit this week — not quite what enthusiasts eagerly awaiting news of the FT-1 Concept from 2014 evolving in a new Supra sports car had been hoping for.
The new Camry was introduced by the company’s global president Akio Toyoda who said the design will deliver greater showroom appeal, a dynamic new platform and a more engaging drive.
Some details about the car confirmed by Toyota Australia this week provide a guide to what the New Zealand market will see. Toyota Australia said the all-new Camry will arrive in Australian showrooms late this year — after local manufacturing of the current model ends — and a late-2017 launch is likely in New Zealand.
Toyota Australia is scheduled to close its Altona plant in Melbourne in the final quarter of 2017 and the 2018 Camry will be sourced from Japan. The Camry shown in Detroit for North American markets will be built at Georgetown, Kentucky.
The Australian model range will include four-cylinder petrol, petrol-electric hybrid and V6 petrol engine choices and include a sports model with a stylish body kit. News of a V6 powered Camry suggests the Aurion nameplate may be dropped.
New Camry is the first Toyota sedan to be based on a Toyota New Generation Architecture (TNGA) platform.
The benefits of TNGA are improved dynamics, handling and ride comfort a lower centre of gravity, higher torsional rigidity and fully independent rear suspension.
Powertrains include a new V6 petrol engine fitted with direct-injection technology driving via an eight-speed automatic transmission — two more ratios than previously offered.
An upgraded Hybrid Synergy Drive system is more powerful and will offer three drive modes (normal, eco and power) as well as available paddle shifts.
Australian Camry buyers will also be offered Toyota’s 2.5-litre four-cylinder petrol engine.
Standard across the new Camry range will be a suite of advanced safety technologies including a pre-collision safety system with autonomous emergency braking, all-speed active cruise control and lane departure alert.
The exterior styling delivers a sportier look with a longer wheelbase, lower roof and bonnet lines and a wider body. The sporty look is accentuated by deeper pressed panels, an extended roofline, angled rear pillars and the availability of 17, 18 and 19-inch alloy wheels.
Next-generation Camry’s interior will boast high quality soft-touch surfaces and stitching. New seats are more supportive and include greater slide range for the front and split-fold for the rear.
Improved technology and features include an 8-inch audio display screen, 7-inch colour multi-information display, 10-inch colour head-up display and an electronic park brake instead of the foot-operated pedal.
Luggage space has increased by 10 litres for petrol models and 30 litres for Camry hybrid variants due to the hybrid battery being moved under the rear seat.