Future Models - Toyota 2012 Aurion

Toyota Australia set to take another shot at Commodore, Falcon with all-new Aurion

FIRST images of Toyota’s crucial new ‘premium Camry’ for China and Japan have surfaced, providing an accurate preview of the next-generation Aurion with which Toyota Australia will again take aim at Holden’s Commodore and Ford’s Falcon.

Toyota’s new global Camry was presented to dealers last month in its largest market – North America – and has also been seen in leaked images and an official teaser video hosted by Toyota Motor Corporation president Akio Toyoda (see above).

Due on sale in Australia in November, Toyota’s seventh-generation Camry – codenamed 050A – is expected to be publicly revealed soon in the US, where it will replace North America’s top-selling passenger car.

Production of Toyota Australia’s next Camry, which grows only slightly in size but will feature a bolder new front end with sharper headlights, will begin at the Altona plant in suburban Melbourne in September or October.

As GoAuto has reported, it will be produced with imported engines for the first 12 months, until Toyota’s new AR-series 2.5-litre four-cylinder petrol engine comes online from October 2012 at the company’s upgraded Victorian engine plant, which was partly funded by a $63 million federal Green Car Innovation Fund grant.

Now, however, first images of the slightly larger premium Camry have emerged ahead of the flagship Toyota model’s official reveal in Japan, revealing what Australia’s next Aurion will look like when it goes on sale here in March or April.

Toyota Australia spokesman Mike Breen told GoAuto the premium Camry – which for this generation will replace the global Camry in Japan, where earthquake-related production issues have delayed its debut from July to September 3 – was “pretty close” to the Aurion due for release here in nine months.

Toyota2012 Aurion center imageLeft: Digital rendering of the next-generation Toyota Aurion. Middle: Rendering of the next-generation Camry. Bottom: Toyota Motor Corporation president Akio Toyoda.

The top-shelf Camry/Aurion has long been sold as a larger and more luxurious model in preference to the smaller global Camry in Asian markets including China, Taiwan, Thailand, Indonesia, Malaysia, Singapore and Vietnam.

However, Australia will continue to be the only market in which the smaller global Camry and the larger premium Camry are both sold.

The leaked premium Camry images depict the hybrid version for Japan, where all Camry models will be powered by the same 2.5-litre petrol-electric drivetrain that will debut locally in the new Camry Hybrid, which is due for Australian production by year’s end ahead of a local release in February or March.

Australia’s Aurion therefore will not wear the Japanese Camry hybrid’s more heavily chromed grille with blue Toyota logo, or its rear ‘Hybrid Synergy Drive’ badge.

Based on inside information and official brochure images that first appeared in Japan’s Holiday Auto magazine before being published online by Brazilian website Noticias Automotivas, this exclusive rendering shows the next Aurion will again share most of the Camry’s body design, including its roof, glasshouse and doors.

Again, Aurion will be visually differentiated from Camry primarily by fresh sheetmetal forward of the A-pillar and rear of the C-pillar, plus a new grille and larger bumpers, resulting in longer overhangs at both ends.

Echoing its more upmarket interior – which will feature an all-new dashboard design – the Aurion will feature slimmer, more angular versions of the current model’s rectangular headlights rather than the next Camry’s less conservative new headlights with scalloped lower edges.

According to leaked information from Japan, the Aurion will be just 10mm longer overall at 4825mm, 5mm wider at 1825mm and the same height at 1470mm. Wheelbase remains unchanged at 2775mm, but rear legroom is said to have increased by 15mm.

No official dimensions have been revealed for the global Camry, which will also continue to ride on a 2775mm wheelbase, but if it grows substantially from the current model’s 4815mm overall, it will be virtually the same length as the Aurion.

Either way, Australia’s ‘mid-size’ Camry and ‘large’ Aurion will continue to be mechanically differentiated by their front-wheel drive powertrains.

The Aurion will remain powered exclusively by a circa-200kW 3.5-litre DOHC petrol V6 (2GR-FE), with the Camry again offered only with four-cylinder petrol and petrol-electric hybrid drivetrains.

Official dealer data shows Japan’s new Camry (Aurion) hybrid will return fuel consumption of 26.5km per litre (3.8 litres per 100km) under that nation’s generous fuel economy standard. (Prius consumption is quoted at 38km/L or 2.63L/100km in Japan, versus 3.9L/100km in Australia).

However, given North America’s current Lexus HS250h hybrid – which employs the current Camry Hybrid’s 2.4-litre hybrid drive system – returns 23km/L (4.25L/100km), the new 2.5-litre Camry Hybrid should also be about 15 per cent more efficient than before.

The current Camry Hybrid returns 6.0L/100km, according to Australia’s ADR 81/02 consumption standard, so expect next year’s new Camry Hybrid to return about 5.1L/100km.

Toyota says fuel consumption of the standard Camry will improve by 4.5 per cent, cutting the current Camry’s combined fuel consumption from 8.8 to about 8.5L/100km, while CO2 emissions are expected to be cut by a similar amount, from 208 grams per kilometre to below 200g/km.

Engine outputs for Japan’s new Camry Hybrid, which will run the same 2.494-litre 2AR-FXE Atkinson Cycle four-cylinder petrol engine as Australia’s next Camry Hybrid, are listed at 118kW (up from 110kW) at 6000rpm and 213Nm at 4000rpm (up from 187Nm at 4400rpm).

While the 2012 hybrid Camry’s new-generation Hybrid Synergy Drive system still comprises a nickel-metal hydride battery pack, the peak power of its permanent synchronous electric motor rises from 105 to 110kW, resulting in a total system output increase from 140 to 152kW.

The 2012 Camry and Camry Hybrid’s newer 2.5-litre AR engine replaces the 2.4-litre AZ engine in the local Camry and has done duty in the American Camry since 2009. In the US, it comes in two states of tune – 126kW/226Nm for base models and 133kW/230Nm for the Camry SE – compared to 117kW/218Nm for Australia’s current Camry.

Official data also shows the premium Camry hybrid’s boot capacity will grow from 389 to 440 litres, but it is not known how much of this is attributable to advances in the traction battery positioned behind the rear seat. The current Aurion has a 504-litre boot.

In Japan, the Camry (Aurion) hybrid will be available in three specification grades – standard, ‘G package’ and ‘Leather package’ – and seven exterior paint colours, including white, black, dark blue mica, light blue mica metallic, silver metallic, grey metallic and beige metallic.

Kerb weight is listed at the same 1610kg as Australia’s current Aurion, and it will continue to feature a hydraulic power-assisted rack-and-pinion steering system that provides an 11.2-metre turning circle, as well as MacPherson strut front suspension.

However, Japanese data indicates the new Aurion will employ more advanced double wishbone rear suspension rather than the outgoing model’s strut rear suspension set-up.

The Camry Hybrid will continue with a continuously variable automatic transmission (CVT), but the conventional petrol version will match the Aurion by adopting its conventional six-speed automatic transmission. A six-speed manual Camry will open the new range here in November.

The next Camry will also be available in 2.0-litre form in China, Taiwan and other Asian nations, while an all-wheel drive version will be sold alongside front-drive models in Russia and the US, where a formal public debut is likely to take place at the Los Angeles motor show in November.

The global Camry has amassed 13 million sales worldwide and topped Australia’s mainstream mid-size passenger car segment for the past 17 years on the back of strong fleet sales, although sales are almost 22 per cent down so far this year.

The Camry’s sales and market share has fallen to 8906 and 32.9 per cent respectively in the first half of 2011.

Toyota’s global mid-sizer is even more successful in the US, where the Camry remains the biggest-selling passenger car in the first half of this year, with 147,469 sales.

Year to date, the Camry has attracted 10,300 more US buyers than its nearest rival – the Honda Accord – and looks certain to extend its sales reign to ten consecutive years. Toyota’s Corolla is North America’s third best selling passenger car.

While China is the world’s second largest Camry market ahead of Australia with 20 per cent of global sales, significant exports to the Middle East – which accounts for 10 per cent of all Camrys sold – make the Camry Australia’s largest and most valuable automotive export.

Toyota’s Australian manufacturing operations are underpinned by the Camry, with more than 95,000 examples of the mid-size sedan produced at Altona last year – more than 70,000 of which were exported to more than 20 countries, mostly in the Middle East.

As we’ve reported, Toyota Australia could also produce the next-generation Aurion for Thailand, which has a free-trade agreement with Australia, providing greater long-term stability for its Victorian manufacturing operations.

“Thailand produces 30,000 Camrys per year and if we are competitive we have a good chance to bring that into Australia and export to Thailand,” Toyota Australia president Max Yasuda told GoAuto at the Australian International Motor Show in Melbourne earlier this month.

Meantime, Toyota Australia continues to develop a plan to produce a third model at Altona, based on the same Toyota Modular Platform that underpins the Camry and Aurion, making an Australian-made Kluger or RAV4 a possibility within a few years.

Despite increased export revenue of $1.4 billion and increased total sales of 217,365 vehicles, Toyota posted a $13.2 million net loss for its financial year ending on March 31, after an unspecified tax adjustment to previous years.


Toyota 2012 Aurion








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