2012 TOYOTA CAMRY AND ATARA
Update: Australian details added.
The 2012 Toyota Camry has made its global debut this week, with a synchronised Australian unveiling occurring in Melbourne today. A showroom debut is scheduled for November, with the new Camry Hybrid set for an early 2012 launch.
Featuring an all-new platform and sharper styling, the 2012 Camry brings improved performance and fuel consumption, and a new electric vehicle mode for the hybrid model.
The local line-up will also feature a new variant dubbed Atara, which will sit in the line up as a high-grade model just below the flagship Grande, possibly as a replacement for the Sportivo.
"Camry is the smart, safe and worry-free leader of the Toyota brand - a symbol of Toyota's benchmark quality, durability and reliability," Toyota Australia boss David Buttner said.
"The next-generation car is intended to do everything better, which is important because our loyal Camry owners have big expectations."
The Australian Camry range opens with a 2.5 litre four-cylinder petrol engine producing 132kW and 230Nm of torque. The new engine replaces the current 117kW 2.4 litre unit.
The petrol engine will be offered with an entirely new six-speed automatic transmission, which will includ a sequential shift mode. The Atara model also gets a set of steering wheel mounted paddle shifters.
Fuel consumption for the US model is estimated to be 8.4 l/100km on the combined cycle, although official EPA figures are still to be released and Australian numbers have not been confirmed.
In the US, an updated version of Toyota's Aurion-powering 3.5 litre V6 will power the top-shelf Camry variants, but Toyota Australia will continue to keep the local Camry a four-cylinder only vehicle. The new Aurion will arrive in the second quarter of next year and will use the updated six-cylinder engine
The new Camry's body structure has been developed with increased rigidity, and there is also a new front and rear suspension design. No exterior sheetmetal is shared with the current-generation Camry, and around 90 percent of the 2012 Camry's components are new.
For Toyota, the new Camry is also the first model to feature the company's new Electric Power Steering control system.
There are additional sound-absorbing devices in areas where noticeable sounds can enter the cabin, developed witha focus on suppressing noises that are near the frequencies of human speech, creating an environment more suited to quiet conversation.
As expected, the 2012 Camry line-up retains a hybrid model, with the 2012 Hybrid Camry powered by an Atkinson cycle 2.5 litre petrol engine replacing the existing 2.4 litre engine.
Combined as part of Toyota's Hybrid Synergy Drive system, the engine and electric motors develop 149kW, with fuel consumption listed at 5.7 l/100km. The 0-100km/h time is a claimed 7.6 seconds.
The current Australian-built Hybrid Camry, with its 140kW 2.4 litre petrol-electric system, lists fuel consumption at 6.0 l/100km and the 0-100km/h sprint at 8.9 seconds.
Unique to the 2012 hybrid is a new EV Drive system, allowing the Camry to be driven on electric power alone for up to 2.5 kilometres, at speeds up to 40km/h.
Toyota Australia has also confirmed that the Hybrid Camry will continue to be built locally for our market, along with its specialised hybrid drivetrain. The Hybrid will debut locally at the start of 2012.
Features And Equipment
Although the new Camry is no larger than its predecessor, Toyota says it has increased rear leg room by 45mm, thanks to a repositioned accelerator pedal and front seats.
The backs of the front seats have been reshaped, and the hip point of the rear seats has also been moved further back.
Internationally, Toyota's Entune entertainment and infotainment system debuts with the new Camry, bringing internet connectivity and support for specialised apps for weather, traffic, news, and even movie ticket purchasing.
Toyota Australia has yet to confirm plans for making the Entune system available locally.
As with the current Hybrid Camry, the 2012 hybrid is differentiated from its regular petrol siblings by Toyota's familiar blue-tinted badges, and a unique grille design. Inside, the hybrid gets its own trim options and a special 'Optitron' display in the dash.
A new variant will also be offered in Australia, dubbed Atara - a Hebrew word for Crown (a common naming theme in the Toyota range).
Among other features, the Atara is identifiable by its dual exhaust outlets, alloy wheels, bootlid spoiler, and aggressive front bumper design.
Toyota describes the spec as "an extra dimension to the Camry brand, appearing on Camry models targeted mainly at private buyers and the user-chooser segment of the fleet market."
"The introduction of Atara reflects the added sophistication of the new range," Mr Buttner said.
"Atara signifies that next-generation Camry will continue to lead its segment with overall specification, performance, quality and value that are appreciated by Australian motorists," he said.
The Australian-built 2012 Camry, including Atara, will arrive in local dealership showrooms in the third week of November, with pricing to be revealed closer to launch.
A new Camry Hybrid, also built in Australia, will be released in the first quarter of 2012.