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Future models - Toyota - Camry

Toyota teases next Camry

'Premium' Camry: GoAuto's 2012 Aurion rendering from two weeks ago.

First official pic of next Toyota Camry emerges three weeks before its global reveal

Toyota logo5 Aug 2011

TOYOTA has released a teaser image of its vital new Camry via its US division’s Twitter page, three weeks ahead of the redesigned mid-size sedan’s global reveal on August 24.

The seventh-generation Camry - which enters production soon at Toyota’s Australian factory at Altona, Victoria, before it goes on sale here in November – has already been presented to North American journalists and Toyota dealers.

Now, the first official teaser photo confirms the all-new Camry will wear a slightly bolder evolution of the current Camry’s front-end, headlined by a more stylised headlights with scalloped lower edges as seen in an official teaser video hosted by Toyota Motor Corporation two weeks ago.

Also making the Mk7 Camry a little more aggressive than before are a wider lower air intake and redesigned foglights at each front corner, accentuating the new model’s width, which will grow by about 5mm.

First official technical details of the new Camry will not be revealed until August 24, when Toyota will stage simultaneous global unveilings at four locations in the US, as well as in Melbourne.

As we reported two weeks ago, however, official information obtained from Toyota dealer sources in Japan shows the 050A-series Camry – and therefore the new Camry Hybrid that will follow mainstream models on sale from February and the new Aurion that is due in local showrooms from March – will rides on the same 2775mm wheelbase as before and will also be the same height (1470mm).

The same documents reveal Australia’s slightly longer Aurion, which will again feature more conservative front and rear bumper designs and will this time be sold as the (hybrid-only) Camry in Japan, will be just 10mm longer overall at 4825mm while offering an extra 15mm of rear legroom.

8 center imageLeft: Official 2012 Camry teaser image. Below: GoAuto’s rendering of the Mk7 Camry from May.

Once again, while the new Aurion will be powered only by a circa-200kW 3.5-litre petrol V6 matched exclusively with a six-speed automatic transmission, the next Camry will remain a four-cylinder petrol model, this time powered by the newer ‘AR’ 2.5-litre engine available in North America’s Camry since 2009.

While the Camry will again be available in the US with four-cylinder and V6 engines, Australia will be the only market in which the mainstream Camry and the ‘premium’ Camry (Aurion) are both sold.

Stateside, the AR comes in two states of tune - 126kW/226Nm and 133kW/230Nm – representing worthwhile performance increases on Australia’s current Camry, which produces 117kW/218Nm and returns combined fuel consumption of 8.8L/100km.

Toyota says fuel consumption of the standard Camry will improve by 4.5 per cent, cutting the current Camry’s consumption from 8.8 to about 8.5L/100km, and has also promised improved ride, handling and quality.

Helping to improve the new Camry’s efficiency will be a six-speed automatic transmission to replace the current model’s sole transmission option – a five-speed automatic – while a six-speed manual Camry will open the new range here in November.

Expected to deliver a greater 15 per cent gain in fuel economy is the Camry Hybrid, which currently returns 6.0L/100km, making its replacement likely to return about 5.1L/100km.

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) and 213Nm (up from 187Nm).

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.

A vitally important model for Toyota, the Camry is North America’s top-selling car and the most popular mid-size passenger vehicle in Australia, where domestic and export sales are the backbone of Toyota’s Victorian manufacturing operations.

Toyota Australia produced more than 95,000 examples of the mid-size sedan at Altona last year – more than 70,000 of which were exported to more than 20 countries, mostly in the Middle East.

While Australia accounts for 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.

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 24 per cent down so far this year.

As GoAuto has reported, the next Camry will enter production at Altona within months but will be produced with imported engines for the first 12 months, until the AR engine comes online from October 2012 at the company’s upgraded engine plant, which was partly funded by a $63 million federal Green Car Innovation Fund grant.

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.

Toyota Australia continues to covet production of a third model line at Altona, making local manufacture of the next Kluger or RAV4 SUVs a possibility within a few years.

Both the RAV4 and Kluger are based on the same Toyota Modular Platform that underpins the Camry and Aurion, so expect redesigned versions of both SUVs to sprout from the new Camry platform by the end of 2012.

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