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Brand New Toyota Camry

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Mike Stevens | Feb 23, 2009

Along with the futuristic 1/X Concept (pronounced one-Xth) and the all-new third-generation Prius, Toyota will be unveilling its Hybrid Camry Concept Vehicle at the Melbourne International Motor Show.

Conceived and produced as an in-house project by Toyota Style Australia, the Hybrid Camry Concept Vehicle (or HC-CV) carries an aesthetic similar to Toyota Australia’s 2005 Sportivo Coupe Concept, but with more ‘real world’ touch.

The HC-CV (Hybrid Camry Concept Vehicle), developed locally by Toyota Style Australia

While the 1/X concept is likely to remain a concept for some time to come, the new Prius is expected to go on sale in Australia as early as July.

The HC-CV, powered by the same Hybrid Synergy Drive technology used in the Prius and the 1/X concept, gives a strong indication of what to expect from the hybrid Camry to be built in Australia, Toyota Australia’s senior executive director sales and marketing, David Buttner, said.

"The Hybrid Camry Concept Vehicle was conceived and produced in-house by Toyota Style Australia.

"It is a strong pointer to the hybrid Camry we will manufacture right here in Australia from early next year.

"Its startling paintwork, dramatic lines and sporty appearance definitely convey the passion in our company to produce Australia's first hybrid car."

Toyota HC-CV Concept

Not much else is known at this stage about the HC-CV, but a funky futuristic interior can be expected in keeping with the modern external style.

One thing is for sure: a powered-up Camry Sportivo styled like the Hybrid Camry Concept Vehicle give a boost to Camry sales here.

We reckon if the hybrid looks anything like the concept (despite the fact Toyota unveiled the apparently production-ready model at Sydney last year), Toyota will sell a good number of those as well.

Be sure to log on to TMR on Friday for all the details.

TOYOTA HINTS AT ITS LOCAL HYBRID FUTURE

Toyota Australia has celebrated winning the right to manufacture a hybrid car in Australia by producing a stylish concept car.

Developed locally by Toyota Style Australia, the HC-CV (Hybrid Camry Concept Vehicle) had its world premiere ahead of the 2009 Melbourne International Motor Show.

The unveiling of the concept car marks the start of a 12-month countdown to the launch of Australia's first locally produced hybrid car, based on the best-selling Camry sedan.

Toyota Australia president and chief executive officer Max Yasuda said the concept car was the most important vehicle on the company's motor show stand.

"The startling paintwork, dramatic lines and sporty appearance of this concept car convey the excitement and passion in our company to produce Australia's first hybrid car," Mr Yasuda said.

"The hybrid Camry - which will share some key design features with the HC-CV - will play a key role in bringing the future to the Australian automotive manufacturing sector.

"It is a future that uses less fuel while delivering better performance."

The hybrid Camry uses a four-cylinder petrol engine linked to a powerful electric motor.

It produces more power than a conventional petrol-engine vehicle while delivering better fuel economy.

Mr Yasuda said many industry commentators were urging carmakers to produce more fuel-efficient cars.

"Toyota is already the only local manufacturer producing a four-cylinder car in this country. We have been building Camry in this country - in Melbourne - for nearly 22 years.

"It's been Australia's best-selling medium car for 15 years - and it's our leading automotive export.

"Toyota also produces the most fuel-efficient Australian-made large six-cylinder sedan, the Aurion, in Melbourne.

"Our locally manufactured hybrid Camry will be launched early next year."

Contemporary hybrid design

Toyota Style Australia corporate manager Paul Beranger said Toyota has evolved the styling of its hybrid vehicles since the late 1990s.

"HC-CV is our expression of the contemporary hybrid sedan," he said.

The front of the car is characterised by expressive, sharp lines and taught surfaces. It echoes the latest Toyota Hybrid styling cues, with vertical fog lamps, larger lower opening and a streamlined upper grille.

"The crisp corners indicate aerodynamic efficiency, while the overall styling feel is efficient, yet dynamic," Mr Beranger said.

"The lower grille texture is a random pattern, inspired by forms found in nature, moving away from traditional constructed patterns," he said.

The "aero" theme continues along the side skirts, which flow into the rear diffuser, giving a sporty, yet lightweight and functional appearance. The rear spoiler enhances the visual appeal.

The headlights are symbolic of Toyota's hybrid image with a blue hue. They fuse technical elements with natural forms. Some lenses have a waterfall impression, while others are functional, lightweight and technical in appearance. The rear LED lamps, also with a blue hue, provide an unmistakable hybrid look.

Toyota logos on the car are also highlighted by a translucent blue hue. The satin chrome front grille, mirrors and rear boot-lid garnish add to the clean, crisp image.

The wheels are a combination of shear, overlayed surfaces and graphics.

The body colour is unique - a satin white pearl with subtle blue highlights to provide a serene, calm feeling. The paint allows intricate detailing and features to show through.

The interior uses contrasting coloured trim. Highlights of metallic blue have been applied asymmetrically to the seats in a wave-like graphic reminiscent of the Hybrid Synergy Drive logo.

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