2012 has seen to be a wonderful year for Toyota in Malaysia. UMWT, the main franchise holder of the Toyota brand had a great start as the devastating floods in Thailand has spared Toyota in Malaysia (unlike their poor rival Honda) and the newly launched Prius C car is selling like hotcakes. Anyway, it looks like more things to come for Toyota in another 3 more quarters of the year.
Let us start with Toyota’s biggest cash cow, the Camry. This D segment saloon is due for a new model after the current one has been in the market since 2006. We will however not get the sportier looking Camry for the United States version, but we get the one for the Asian market, as seen in the images below during a recent launch in Thailand. It is now scheduled to be launched this June and bookings can be made now at nearest Toyota dealers.
The looks will impress those from the older and matured markets (The Camry was intended for such markets) but a check on the specs sheet on the leaked brochures from UMWT has a few revelations, which were unpleasant at best. Two variants will be offered, with 2.0cc (in E and G specs) from the previous generation and a new dual VVTI 2.5cc engine. The 2.5 (V spec will be offered) will get a brand new 6-speed automatic box while disappointingly, both the E and G spec for the 2.0 will retain not only the engine from the previous generation but also the dated and obsolete 4-speed autobox. In the era where the Koreans use 6-speed automatic boxes into the current lineups of KIA and Hyundai, this move by Toyota is a slap in the face.
A further look into the leaked brochure revealed some unpleasant facts too. For one, the 2.0E and G specs will not have a smart button starter and only equipped with 2 air bags, while the 2.5V will have a smart button starter and additional 2 side airbags, which should be standard for D segment saloons. All models will have brake assist (BA) and Electronic Brake Distributon (EBD) just like the entry model Vios has, but sadly, another essential safety feature, the Vehicle Safety Control (VSC) was strangely omitted. Which is an extra shame seeing the Koreans offering massive loads of safety kits that the contains almost all the alphabet soup. Even Proton’s new Preve (P3-21A) has VSC in its highest spec.
We just received the leaked pricing of the new Camry, and if the estimated pricing is correct, it looks like UMWT has attempt to ‘con’ Malaysian buyers. The supposed local assembly of the new Camry should be much cheaper, but it is the opposite. As compared with the pricing in 2011, where the older base 2.0E was at RM144,900, the new one, with the same engine and gearbox (shamefully) is RM7,300 more expensive, while the 6 spec is RM6,000 much expensive than the previous generation one. For the 2.5V is RM8,000 dearer than the 2.4V it replaces.
Four colours were introduced which include the attitude black, silver metallic, medium silver metallic and white pearl. Which is also a bummer considering most D segment cars bring six or seven colours at least. We expected the final pricing to be much lesser than the estimated one but still, the word “disappointing” is an understatement to describe the pricing comparison of the previous generation which were sourced from Thailand with the Malaysia assembled units. The nearest rival, the KIA’s Optima K5 which is much beautiful and bolder and loaded with tons of modern equipment and electronics and selling at almost RM10,000 cheaper than the dated and pathetic new Camry 2.0 might change such tides in the battle of D segment saloons here.
However the next piece of news will be much more interesting after the new Camry bummer. Seeing the massive success of Toyota’s new sports car, the GT86, there has been rumours or speculation if UMWT will bring this to Malaysia, seeing UMWT has not bought a sporty Toyota car to Malaysia before. But, this leaked brochure of the GT86 with UMWT headers on below may suggest Malaysian drivers will be able to buy the GT86! According to some unrevealed sources, the GT86, together with Subaru BRZ, are scheduled to launch during the Super GT weekend in the 9-10th of June 2012!
No pricing has been revealed but perhaps expect the GT86 to be priced at range of RM180k – 210k while the BRZ (to be launched by Motor Image, which is a subsibery of Edaran Tan Chong, Malaysia primary Nissan distributor) will be slightly more pricier at maybe RM240k – 260k.
To be honest, I’ve always been a Toyota fan and the Camry news is really much of an upset and disappointment. But for the GT86, without doubt if I have the money, I will allow Philip McFry of Futurama to say the lines below.
A black one with manual, please! With TRD exhaust as well!