Japanese carmaker Toyota is gearing up to launch the all-new Camry hybrid in India on January 18, 2018. Toyota has no plans to introduce the petrol version (at least initially), as the demand for the hybrid far outpaced the petrol for the current model.
Toyota's rival to the Honda Accord Hybrid as well as the Skoda Superb and VW Passat is developed on an all-new chassis, features a new design and packs in more equipment and an improved hybrid powertrain.
The new, eighth-gen Camry is based on Toyota’s New Global Architecture (GA-K) platform, which also underpins the new Lexus ES 300h. The stylish sedan has a V-shaped element up front and a grille that connects the headlamps and a large air dam. It features more prominent creases along the sides and a raised boot lip. In all, this promises to be the most aggressive-looking Camry ever.
The engine on offer will be a reworked 2.5-litre, four-cylinder petrol unit making 176hp and 221Nm of torque, which is higher than the outgoing car’s 158hp output, combined with a 118hp (88kW) electric motor, taking the total (limited) output to 218hp. This Camry is equipped with the Toyota Hybrid System II, which brings a lighter Power Control Unit and moves the battery pack from the trunk to under the rear seat. Toyota claims, as a result, energy losses have been minimised, making it a more efficient hybrid system.
The cabin of the new Camry has been updated significantly as well. Gone is the current car’s drab dashboard. A new, 8.0-inch touchscreen infotainment system sits on top of the centre console. There’s also a new 10-inch head-up display and a 7.0-inch multi-information display in the instrument cluster.
Interestingly, the Camry hybrid will also help Toyota meet the Corporate Average Fuel Efficiency (CAFE) norms. To be introduced in 2022, they stipulate a stringent limit of 113g of CO2 per kilometre (for the fleet), down from the current 138g.
Although the phase two of the FAME (Faster Adoption and Manufacturing of Hybrid and Electric vehicles) is yet to be rolled out, the Camry will continue to benefit from the first phase of the scheme. However, just as its predecessor, it will face a steep tax as hybrids attract the highest tax rate under GST. Expect the new Camry hybrid to priced close to Rs 39 lakh (ex-showroom).
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