When Toyota Motor Corporation intended to export the Toyota Camry to America back in 1983, the company had to tweak the entire formula that would better suit the US market. After teasing us with just one picture, the best-selling car in America just made its debut at the 2017 North American International Auto Show (NAIAS).
The eighth-generation Camry benefits from Toyota New Global Architecture (TNGA), which will help give it its renowned build quality and reliability but with a dose of fun driving experience. Toyota Senior Vice President, Bob Carter said, “The all-new 2018 Camry is, without a doubt, the most captivating mid-size sedan we’ve ever produced”.
This Camry, as much as it resembles our Malaysian-spec Camry, is actually entirely new. That’s because they both share the same “Keen Look” design philosophy. Toyota incorporated a sleek yet aggressive profile by lowering the roof lines and hood height. This in turn allows engineers to create a more aerodynamic car while maintaining a sporty and elegant character.
Despite the lowered roof line, interior headroom has not been compromised. Achieving this required the engineers to lower the seating position by 25.4mm for the front seats and 30.5mm for the rear. This also brings the driver closer to the car’s centre of gravity, hence the newfound drivability.
The Camry will be available in the US in four trims – LE, XLE, SE and XSE. SE and XSE trims wear a sportier appearance as the S badge denotes. These two get more aggressive front bumpers, larger side intakes, mesh grille, restyled rear bumper with integrated diffuser, rear lip spoiler as well as smoked rear lamps.
On the other hand, the interior features a futuristic cockpit with a blend of functionality, personal space and craftsmanship. Toyota’s latest-gen Human and Machine Interface (HMI) is also seen here. The latest HMI features a 10-inch coloured Heads-Up Display (HUD), 7-inch LCD multi-info display and 8-inch infotainment system with reverse camera. The latter is seamlessly integrated with the climate control.
It’s available in three engines: an all-new 3.5-litre V6 with D-4S Fuel Injection, all-new 2.5-litre four-cylinder Dynamic Force petrol and a 2.5-litre four-cylinder Toyota Hybrid System (THS II). No output figures have been revealed at the launch, but Toyota assures that all three engines are expected to deliver exceptional fuel economy, relative to class of course.
The 2.5-litre four-cylinder Dynamic Force petrol engine with the latest Variable-Valve-Timing-intelligent Electric (VVT-iE) and is paired to an eight-speed Direct-Shift automatic transmission. The engine boasts a world-leading thermal efficiency of 40 percent.
As for the hybrid powertrain, the 2.5-litre four-cylinder Dynamic Force petrol engine is strapped to an electric motor and an e-Continuously Variable Transmission (CVT) with six-speed Sequential Shift and Sports Mode. The battery pack on the hybrid system is now relocated from the trunk to the rear seats for better driving dynamics.
To enhance drivability, Toyota used more ultra-high tensile steel and new moulding technology for improved chassis rigidity. Surprisingly, the rear axle is managed by a double wishbone suspension! On top of that, a new four-point engine mounting system is utilised to greatly improve NVH levels.
Toyota has certainly placed emphasis on the Camry’s safety features by including Toyota Safety Sense™ P (TSS-P) as standard across the board. TSS-P includes a range of autonomous safety features such as Pre-Collision System with Pedestrian Detection (PCS w/PD), Full-Speed Range Dynamic Radar Cruise Control (DRCC), Lane Departure Alert with Steering Assist (LDA w/SA); and Automatic High Beams (AHB).
Selected models get additional Blind Spot Monitor (BSM) with Rear Cross Traffic Alert (RCTA). On top of the high-tech TSS-P, other standard safety features include – 10 airbags, ABS with EBD, BA, ESC and Smart Stop Technology.
Seems that our friends in the US will be getting a good looking and impressive Camry. In Japan, the next-gen Camry will soon be unveiled to the public, and that’s the version we will be getting.