AUSTRALIAN PRODUCTION of the Camry Hybrid isn't scheduled to begin until early next year, but petrol-electric Camrys are already being churned out at Toyota's Chachoengsao plant in Thailand.
Destined to be sold throughout the South-East Asia region, the Thai-built Camry Hybrids wear the same headlights, tailights and sheetmetal used by the Aurion, although under the skin they're virtually identical to the Aussie-market Camry.
Power is supplied by the same 109kW 2.4 litre Atkinson-cycle inline four and 30kW electric motor that powers the Japanese and US-market Camry Hybrids, which is the same powertrain that will be offered in the Australian-built cars.
Our Camry Hybrids will carry the distinction of being the first locally-built hybrid vehicles, and should offer a sound alternative to the soon-to-be-launched 2010 Prius.
As for styling, Toyota's David Buttner described the Hybrid Camry Concept Vehicle that was unveiled at the Melbourne Motor Show in February as being "a strong pointer to the hybrid Camry we will manufacture right here in Australia from early next year".