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Saturday, 27 August 2011

New Toyota Camry Unveiled

These are the first pictures of the all-new Toyota Camry that is scheduled to go on sale across the globe in 2012. We expect the car to hit Indian shores by early next year.
In the styling department, Toyota has gone in for a far bolder look than the ‘please-all’ styling of the current car. The front comprises of larger, more angular headlights with an elegant kink at the base. Two chrome slats with the Toyota logo in between make the grille look more pronounced than earlier. Larger fog lamps further enhances the new Camry’s front end.
The side profile however, does not carry the drama visible in the front styling on the car – the dull window line playing spoilsport here. The shoulder line that broadens as it approaches the boot is an interesting touch though. Move towards the rear of the new Camry and you could find minute Lexus details on the boot. The new smart two part tail lights looks quite attractive.
While the new car’s dimensions are nearly equal to its predecessor’s, Toyota claims there is slightly more space in the new car, which is great considering the current car itself is quite spacious. The dashboard design is all new and wears a more mature look. A large 6.1-inch multimedia screen dominates the fascia, though it remains to be seen if the Indian-spec Camry will feature it.
However, you can expect the car to come with dual-zone climate control, Bluetooth connectivity, USB and AUX ports and also steering mounted audio controls. Toyota claims that it has further managed to reduce road and wind noise, giving the cabin a relaxing ambience.
While other markets have moved to the new 2.5-litre, four-cylinder VVT-i (Variable Valve Timing with intelligence) engine, the Indian Camry continues to be powered by the older 2.4-litre, four-cylinder VVT-i engine. We expect Toyota to offer the new motor when it launches the car in India next year. The 2.5-litre 16-valve engine produces 169bhp at 6000rpm, a marginal 2bhp more than the current car. But with no diesel engine on offer, the Camry could still find itself at a disadvantage to its diesel-powered rivals like the Skoda Superb and VW Passat.
The Camry destined for USA will be offered with an option of a 6-speed manual or a 6-speed automatic transmission. It is yet to be known however, if the Indian-spec saloon will be upgraded to the new ‘boxes or will stick to the current 5-speed transmission.
The use of higher tensile steel promises added rigidity which should no doubt aid handling. Under the skin, there are no major changes except a slightly tweaked suspension to improve overall comfort. But what’s interesting is that Toyota is now planning to ship the Camry in India via the CKD route and assemble at its Bidadi plant in Karnataka. The current car is imported as a CBU.
Local assembly should bring with it huge savings in costs which will make the Camry a whole lot more affordable and lucrative to D-segment car buyers. If the new Camry can undercut Honda Accord prices, Toyota has a winner on its hands.
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