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Future models - Toyota - Camry

First look: Toyota reveals slick new 2006 Camry

New-for-2006: Redesigned Camry is larger, safer, stronger and classier.

Toyota bares its all-new Camry at this week's North American International Auto Show

Toyota logo11 Jan 2006

TOYOTA hopes to bury, once and for all, the bland cardigan image of its Camry when the seventh-generation model goes on sale here in August following its world premiere at the Detroit motor show this week.

Gone are the whitegoods-on-wheels looks and in its place is a thoroughly modern-looking sedan that is roomier, safer and stronger than the existing car and has a high-class, Lexus-inspired interior.

The new Camry has a longer wheelbase, wider wheel tracks, stiffer body and, according to Toyota, Formula One-inspired aerodynamic improvements to aid stability.

The designers have pushed the wheels outwards for a better on-road stance, while the front and rear windscreens are deeply set to give the sedan an almost coupe-like profile.

Toyota claims better crash safety, including up to seven airbags (including a driver’s knee bag) and a pedestrian-friendly bonnet.

In the United States it will be offered with an improved version of the existing 2.4-litre VVT-i four-cylinder and a new 3.5-litre V6.

However, Australian Camrys will be four-cylinder only in an effort by Toyota to distance it from the next-generation V6-only Avalon replacement.

8 center imageTo be paired with either a five-speed manual or five-speed automatic (with pseudo-manual mode) transmission, the revised 2.4-litre engine produces 118kW at 6000rpm – up 6kW and delivered 400rpm higher over the current version – and 220Nm at 4000rpm, a modest increase of 2Nm (delivered at the same rpm).

Refinement and fuel economy are also claimed to have improved.

Both the Camry and Avalon replacement will be built at Toyota’s Altona plant in Victoria and the Camry will continue to be exported to more than 25 countries.

Although a hybrid Camry will be offered in the US, there are no short-term plans to bring it here, according to Toyota Australia’s executive director of sales and marketing, David Buttner.

"We would like to embrace local manufacturing of a hybrid Camry," he said, adding that there was no definitive plan within the current model line-up horizon, "which is out to 2008".

Mr Buttner said the new car represented a big design departure from the current car.

"No one has ever complained about its value for money, quality or fuel economy, but there has always been some underlying comment about its style," he said. "But I’d like to think now we have style with substance.

"It will put us on the consideration list for people who would have never thought of a Camry before," he said.

Although specifications are still being finalised, Mr Buttner confirmed the Sportivo model would continue. GoAuto understands some models will be dropped or renamed.

As usual, Australian Camrys will also get unique suspension and steering calibrations.

Although unable to confirm the total local investment in the Camry/Avalon, Mr Buttner said it was "signifi cant".

"Because we’re taking manufacturing from 110,000 (units per annum) up to 140,000, we’ve made a lot of enhancements to the engine plant and improved the body shop," he said.

Both the Camry and Avalon replacement will be made on one production line and there will be some commonality of parts between them.

However, Mr Buttner said there would be strong visual differentiation between both cars and that the Avalon replacement was a significantly bigger car.

It is expected to get an Australian-developed version of the same 24-valve DOHC V6 dual variable valve timing V6 offered in the US Camry.

In that car it develops 200kW at 6200rpm and 336Nm at 4700rpm and is mated to an all-new six-speed automatic transmission.

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