The eighth-gen Toyota Camry Hybrid, which scheduled to launch in India by mid-2019, has been spied testing in Bengaluru. The next-gen rival to the Honda Accord Hybrid, Skoda Superb and Volkswagen Passat will come with a new design, an all-new chassis, more equipment and a reworked hybrid powertrain.
The new Camry shares the same front-wheel-drive Toyota New Global Architecture (TNGA) platform with the recently launched Lexus ES 300h, though in the Camry, it is called the GA-K. This has helped increase the sedan’s dimensions compared to the current model, including a 50mm increase in the wheelbase, which now stands at 2,825mm. While it is bigger than the older model, the new Camry’s weight has not increased and now gets better in-cabin insulation.
Based on Toyota’s new ‘Keen Look’ design language, the next-gen sedan will be the most aggressive-looking Camry yet. It sports a V-shaped grille that connects the headlamps and a large air dam at the front. The sides feature prominent creases running from the front to the rear doors, while the boot gets lip spoiler.
The cabin of the new Camry has been updated significantly as well. Gone is the current car’s drab dashboard. It has been replaced with a new sweeping design that is tilted slightly towards the driver. 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. The interior boasts more soft-touch materials and will come with segment-rivalling kit in the form of a nine-speaker JBL audio system, wireless smartphone charging, dual-zone automatic climate control, and cooled and power reclining rear seats.
Safety kit has also seen a serious uptick with 10 airbags (one more than the current-gen model), a pre-collision system with pedestrian detection, dynamic radar cruise control and a lane departure alert with steering assist offered as standard.
As with the current model, the new Camry is expected in hybrid form only. The 2.5-litre, four-cylinder petrol engine has been tweaked to now make 176hp and 221Nm of peak torque (an increase of 16hp and 8Nm). The internal combustion engine works in conjunction with a 118hp (88kW) electric motor, which takes combined output to a limited 208hp (an overall increase of 3hp). This petrol-electric hybrid system is mated to a 6-step CVT automatic gearbox that can be operated via paddleshifters, and will have four drive modes - Normal, Eco, EV and Sport. Toyota has also added a new Auto Glide Control coasting feature which is meant to boost fuel economy.
While the current Camry retails at Rs 37.22 lakh (ex-showroom, Delhi), expect to shell out a Rs 1 lakh premium for the new model.