Car reviews - Toyota - Camry - Altise V6 sedan
Stand Out Features
24 Oct 2002
By BRUCE NEWTON
IT'S what you can't see, unless you get this car up on a hoist, that is the real significance of 380N Camry.
Rather than ape the international convention and build the new car on the new platform developed for it, Toyota Australia instead decided to adapt the platform used for the Avalon large car, which itself was adpted from the old 660T Camry's underpinnings.
The primary reason was that the Avalon and Camry have to be built on the same assembly line at Altona in Melbourne and sharing a platform was the cheapest and simplest way to make this possible.
So the two car's share what's called the Toyota Modular Platform (TMP) and therefore the same 2720mm wheelbase, 1795mm width, 1545mm front track and 1520mm rear track.
The new Camry body had to be adpated for TMP which means while it looks identical to Camrys built in the USA or Japan it actually wouldn't fit onto the underpinnings. Another key attribute of going with TMP is it breaks Toyota Australia away from headquarters' production plan.
In other words, it can deviate that little bit more in terms of what it builds and when, and that's important in a world of niche car manufacturing - just look at how many variants are already spinning off the Holden Commodore platform.
Significantly, TMP is capable of taking a four-wheel drive drivetrain, something Toyota Australia is keen to exploit.
Did you know?The TMP is predominantly modified in the front-end compared to the Avalon. That platform, in turn, is a stretched version of the one underpinning the previous 660T Camry which went on sale in September 1997. That traces its history back to the first wide-bodied Camry, the 786, sold here between 1993 and 1997
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