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2017 Detroit auto show: New Toyota Camry debuts

By CARSIFU | 10 January 2017


DETROIT: Toyota has taken the wraps off its new Camry for North America, showcasing what it says is a car that has a more exciting and emotional character, thanks to its newfound sporty performance and style.

The 2018 Camry has a sleeker profile than the current model. By lowering the hip points of the occupants (nearly 1.0-inch in the front and 1.2-inches at the rear), and therefore their seating positions, the design team was able to reduce the car’s overall vehicle height by one inch from the current model and incorporate a lower roofline, without sacrificing interior space.

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This allowed the designers to pursue a wind-cutting shape and improve aerodynamics. Striking character lines around and along the body augment the aggressive front and rear fenders, giving the reimagined Camry a sportiness that’s never before been perceived on this model.

The lower hip point, shoulder line, roof line and hood height gives the new Camry the appearance that it has a low centre of gravity, which it does. The design team knew the TNGA platform provided them with a great opportunity to pen a very expressive sedan, and they took advantage of this by getting the lines close to the ground and forming an energetic silhouette. They incorporated a strong stance that can be seen as you walk around the car.

Exterior
The new Camry’s face is accentuated by a two-piece grille comprised of flowing thin and thick treatments – key elements of the Camry’s “Keen Look” design philosophy. The curvaceous 1.6-inch-lower hood sits above the grille’s uppermost section which accommodates a Toyota emblem. For the hybrid model, the emblem is tinged a blue hue. This trifecta of grille, bonnet, and emblem blends into the A-pillar, and produces a stance that is more aggressive than before.

Like the front of the vehicle, the rear features an athletic motif that melds flowing lines and complex shapes to form a sculpted landscape. Looking closely at the C-pillar’s detail reveals a multitude of surfaces that reflect light from all angles. A distinct crease extends from the slim multicolor taillights down to the bumper, effectively “pushing” the wheels outward in appearance to create a wide posture akin to that of a premium sports sedan. The exclamation point here is provided by a newly designed Camry logo that gives the car an upscale identity.

Camry will again be available in four grades: LE, XLE, SE and XSE. The new Camry’s “Sport” SE and XSE grades wear a noticeably different body style than the entry level LE and premium XLE grades, highlighted by a sculpted rocker panel, new 19-inch black machined-finish alloy wheels (XSE only) a subtle rear spoiler lip, aggressive front bumper, and rear bumper with an integrated lower diffuser.

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The face is much more distinctive with large side intakes flanking the lower bumper’s unique “Catamaran” accents, a high and slim upper intake encompassing the central Toyota badge, and a mesh grille. A revised rear bumper with corner lines and smoke-tinted rear combination lamps highlight the changes at the rear.

The Camry design team sought to make the new Camry sport models instantly recognisable and appear different from the other models from as far as 180 metres away.

The Camry development team aimed for a styling design concept that combines refinement and a sensual athletic image. There were three primary design goals when penning the all-new Camry: a distinctive, low centre of gravity that results in a firm wide stance; a practical-yet-emotionally styled cabin profile, and a sporty and upscale image both inside and out. These design goals have resulted in a new type of sedan that Toyota said is exciting to look at and drive.

Cabin
The cabin and front seats have been completely redesigned to enhance functionality, futuristic styling, and a high degree of personal space and craftsmanship.

While the driver is situated in a sporty cockpit-type environment having gauges angled toward his or her direction, the front passenger is treated to a sense of openness and freedom that results from the innovative dashboard design. A key visual element of this driver-focused design concept is a sweeping yet elegant new character line that flows down from the instrument cluster and bisects the center console waterfall.

Using an approach typically used in home furnishings, the design uses a mix of tones and hues throughout a space rather than a strict colour profile. The result is a cabin space having diverse colors and materials, and that enhances passenger comfort and visual satisfaction.

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The front seats have been completely reengineered with improved ergonomics, providing maximum comfort with a new-found level of ease and engagement to match the new Camry’s elevated performance and athleticism. Rear-seat accommodations are more refined with improved roominess and ergonomics. Exquisite stitching on the front- and rear-seat surfaces is but one example of the high level of craftsmanship found throughout the vehicle.

The new Camry features three interlinked displays: a 10-inch colour Head-Up Display (HUD); a seven-inch multi-information display within the instrument cluster, and an eight-inch audio/navigation display and HVAC (heating, ventilation and air conditioning) control panel that’s seamlessly integrated into the center console in a modern, flush-surface design. Convenient and highly intuitive operation is assured through customizable features and smart phone-like touch screen icons that create a seamless connection and user workflow between the HMI system and other digital media.

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Toyota New Global Architecture (TNGA)
The new Camry is based on the Toyota New Global Architecture (TNGA), which aim to deliver cars that are more dynamic, athletic, and fun to drive. By extending the wheelbase by two inches, as well as bringing down the roof and bonnet height (by around 1.0 and 1.6-inches, respectively), the development team lowered the centre of gravity and created a wider and more composed vehicle.

The new platform is said to allow for an ideal seating position for the driver, now lower and near the center of the car for enhanced feedback, along with adjusting the overall seating position for all the vehicle’s occupants. A lower heel point provides more foot room and ease of movement. The range of steering column adjustment has been increased from the current vehicle, while the hood, cowl, and dashboard height have all been lowered for enhanced outward visibility.

The driver and front passenger have greater outward visibility, thanks to a more compact design for the instrument panel and a lowered beltline. The A-pillar and side mirror sections have been shifted to improve lateral visibility and creates a better sense of openness.

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Engines
The new Camry will be powered by three new powertrains. They include a new 3.5-litre V6 with D-4S Fuel Injection and an all-new 2.5-litre inline-4 petrol engine, which comes paired to a new 8-speed Direct-Shift automatic transmission (8AT), and a new Toyota Hybrid System (THS II).

To match the chassis’ increased handling and performance capability, Toyota engineers have developed the TNGA-inspired all-new 2.5-litre 4-cylinder Dynamic Force Engine to make the most of the platform’s enhanced designs, packaging and rigidity. The new engine focuses on higher torque, higher power and lower fuel consumption in total use range.

This is accomplished by achieving rapid combustion due to higher tumble air flow. With its long-stroke and high compression ratio, multi-hole direct fuel injectors, variable cooling system and the latest version of Toyota’s Variable Valve-Timing-intelligent Electric (VVT-iE), this high-output powerplant takes the petrol-powered internal combustion engine to a new level with world-leading thermal efficiency of 40%.

Along with enhanced performance characteristics, the new engine is also expected to be extremely fuel efficient, and is anticipated to achieve best-in-class fuel economy. It comes mated to the newly developed Direct Shift-8AT transmission that provides direct-lock up from gears two through eight to eliminate power loss from the torque converter, executing shifts like a high-performance automated manual gearbox.

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The new hybrid system has also been engineered to provide a balance of energy efficiency with high power output to maximise driving performance and enjoyment. The next-generation Toyota Hybrid System has been engineered to work in concert with the new 2.5-litre 4-cylinder Dynamic Force Engine setup offering significantly more driving excitement than before.

The hybrid’s Continuously Variable Transmission (CVT) features a new Sport Mode setting that allows the driver to execute smooth yet quick “gear” shifts of the simulated 6-speed sequential shift transmission. The SE grade adds paddle shifters for increased fun and a more sporting driving experience. The Sport Mode setting also improves acceleration and feel thanks to an electric power boost from the hybrid system. To help enhance the vehicle’s handling capability, the hybrid system’s battery pack has moved from the boot to beneath the rear seat for a noticeably better handling feel.

The hybrid is expected to achieve best-in-class fuel economy ratings, with Prius-like city/highway driving efficiency.

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Safety
All 2018 Camry’s have 10 standard airbags and Toyota’s Star Safety System, which includes Enhanced Vehicle Stability Control, Traction Control, Electronic Brake-force Distribution, Brake Assist, Anti-lock Braking System, and Smart Stop Technology. All Camry’s also come equipped with a standard backup camera. The new 2018 Camry will feature Entune 3.0 on all models, offering an enhanced set of connected vehicle technologies.

Among the many safety features on the 2018 Camry is standard Toyota Safety Sense P. This multi-feature advanced active safety suite bundles cutting edge active safety technologies including Pre-Collision System with Pedestrian Detection, Full-Speed Range Dynamic Radar Cruise Control, Lane Departure Alert with Steering Assist; and Automatic High Beams. Select models will also come with standard Blind Spot Monitor with Rear Cross Traffic Alert.

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