After some seven years on the market in which it has taken Toyota’s U.S. sales in the midsize segment to new heights, the seventh-generation Camry is being prepared for retirement as a brand-new sedan is coming into the spotlight, Revealed at the 2017 Detroit Auto Show, the eighth-generation Camry is a significant departure from its predecessor and signals the beginning of a new era for the American-made midsize.
Although made extremely popular by its comprehensive standard features list, good fuel economy, solid safety, and affordable sticker, the Camry was often criticized for its bland looks and included in "best cars for older drivers" tops more than once. Toyota is actually struggling with this across the board, but it has managed to roll out more youthful designs with its latest Corolla,RAV4, and especially the C-HR. The previous Camry’s facelift made a few steps in that direction, but the eighth-generation model brings the approach we’ve been waiting for.
Although the new design is clearly evolutionary, the Camry is a lot more appealing to look at. The front grille and emblem are now framed in a body-colored elements, the lower grille is bigger and sportier, the side vents are significantly larger, while the headlamps have more angular design. Pair all of the above with the creased, muscular hood and you’re looking at a midsize that’s anything but bland.
Moving onto the sides, Toyota finally ditched the boring belt line that ran undisturbed from the front fenders to the rear for a more exciting character line that highlights the beefier wheel arches. The two-tone rims and the black window trim gives it a decidedly sporty look you wouldn’t expect from a Camry. Of course, the model shown here is actually an expensive trim and the lower versions will feature more chrome, but I don’t see how a bit of bling would ruin the excellent proportions of the sedan. Around back we can see more features we don’t usually find on a Camry. There’s the protruding spoiler atop the nicely sculpted trunk lid, the new taillights with vent extensions toward the apron, and the revised bumper with quad exhaust pipes and diffuser-like elements.
All of a sudden I feel like shouting "shut up and take my money!"
The cabin also seems like a great place to spend time in. The redesigned dashboard comes with a funky, V-shaped center stack, optimized seating positions, more upscale upholstery and trim, a seven-inch instrument cluster, and a 10-inch head-up display. It also has a new infotainment screen with smartphone-like menus, navigation (standard), on-board Wi-Fi, and an upgraded JBL sound system. The latter two are optional.
Under the hood, there a range of all-new drivetrains. The base model comes with a naturally aspirated 2.5-liter four-cylinder unit that should offer better power and torque than the current 178 horsepower and 170 pound-feet. It may seem surprising that Toyota went all-motor again instead of choosing the turbocharged routed, but the Japanese company claims that the longer stroke and higher compression ratio will deliver best-in-class fuel economy. Next up is a redesigned 3.5-liter V-6, shared with the Highlander and Sienna. Again, output figures aren’t available, but expect more than the previous 268 horses and 248 pound-feet, as well as more than 21 mpg city and 31 mpg highway.
Finally, the Camry Hybrid combines the 2.5-liter four-cylinder with a revised continuously variable transmission that features a new Sport mode that simulates a six-speed transmission. This model also has a new battery pack and Toyota promises "Prius-like city/highway" fuel economy, which should be around 54 and 50 mpg, respectively. The sedan also gained a stiffer chassis and suspension for improved dynamics, but we will talk more about that in our review.
Continue reading for the full story.
Why It Matters
Although I’ve always liked the Camry for being the fair and reliable midsize sedan that it’s been for quite some time, I often felt that Toyota was a bit shy about giving it the bold and sporty look that its deserves. And seeing all those TRD-made concept at each SEMA Show since the seventh-gen model has been around made it that much more frustrating. Well, those time are long gone and the Camry is finally living up to its potential as a midsize that’s not just for the middle-aged and elderly to buy and drive.
At first glance, the new Camry will revolutionize how most people see this family car, and if things go according to plan, it should become even more popular.
At first glance, the new Camry will revolutionize how most people see this family car, and if things go according to plan, it should become even more popular. Of course, it all depends on power, fuel economy and all that stuff we don’t know much about, but all should see notable improvements. The Camry never really lacked power or features compared to the competition and I don’t think this will change, especially in this day and age when automakers are stuffing even the base model with all sorts of features to keep customers happy. All that the Camry needed was a sportier, more youthful design, and it has finally received it!
It almost isn’t fair.
Toyota Camry, the best-selling car in America for the past 15 years, is about to ruffle some feathers. The eighth-generation sedan has gone through a total evolution, from a proven, dependable and safe car to one that also possesses a more exciting and emotional character, thanks to its newfound sporty performance and style.
The new Camry utilizes TNGA (Toyota New Global Architecture) which represents a completely new strategy to the way the company designs, engineers, and packages its vehicles. TNGA retains all of Toyota’s traditional values of superlative build quality and safety while injecting a fun driving experience that plays on all the senses. The physical manifestation is the usage of a new engine, transmission and GA-K platform.
“The all-new 2018 Camry is, without a doubt, the most captivating mid-size sedan we’ve ever produced,” said Bob Carter, Toyota senior vice president of automotive operations.
“It delivers on everything Camry owners have come to expect from America’s best-selling car, and adds to it, jaw-dropping design, more advanced technology, cutting-edge safety systems, and stirring performance that raises it to an unparalleled level of excitement.”
“In order to create something that stirs people’s soul, we’ve laid out the concept of a new sedan that provides fun and excitement behind the wheel,” said Masato Katsumata, the Chief Engineer of the new Camry. “In developing the next-generation Toyota Camry, we were able to start with a clean slate, which allowed us to create a true driver’s car.”
The Camry development team aimed for a styling design concept that achieves strong harmony between refinement and a sensual athletic image, creating a new approach to the market. The result is a new signature design language that takes the car into a beautiful and futuristic new direction.
There were three primary design goals when penning the all-new Camry: a distinctive, low center of gravity that results in a firm wide stance; a practical-yet-emotionally styled cabin profile, and a sporty and upscale image both inside and out. These design goals have resulted in a new type of sedan that’s both exciting to look at and, more importantly drive, reestablishing itself as the new standard in the midsize-sedan category.
An Exterior with Unexpected Attitude
The new Camry’s face is accentuated by a two-piece grille comprised of flowing thin and thick treatments – key elements of the Camry’s “Keen Look” design philosophy. The curvaceous 1.6-inch-lower hood sits neatly above the grille’s uppermost section which accommodates a commanding Toyota emblem. For the hybrid model, the emblem is tinged a distinct blue hue. This fashionable trifecta of grille, hood, and emblem blends flawlessly into the A-pillar, and produces a stance that is undoubtedly more aggressive than that of any predecessor.
The 2018 Camry has a sleeker profile than the current model. By lowering the hip points of the occupants (nearly 1.0-inch in the front and 1.2-inches at the rear), and therefore their seating positions, the design team was able to reduce the car’s overall vehicle height by approximately one inch
from the current model and incorporate a lower roofline, without sacrificing interior space. This invited the designers to pursue a wind-cutting shape and improve aerodynamics. Striking character lines around and along the body augment the aggressive front and rear fenders, giving the reimagined Camry a sportiness that’s never before been perceived on this model.
The lower hip point, shoulder line, roof line and hood height gives the new Camry the appearance that it has a low center of gravity, which it does.
The design team knew the TNGA platform provided them with a great opportunity to pen a very expressive sedan, and they took advantage of this by getting the lines close to the ground and forming an energetic silhouette. They incorporated a strong stance that can be seen as you walk around the car.
Like the front of the vehicle, the rear features an athletic motif that melds flowing lines and complex shapes to form a sculpted landscape. Looking closely at the C-pillar’s detail reveals a multitude of surfaces that reflect light from all angles. A distinct crease extends from the slim multicolor taillights down to the bumper, effectively “pushing” the wheels outward in appearance to create a wide posture akin to that of a premium sports sedan. The exclamation point here is provided by a newly designed Camry logo that gives the car an upscale identity.
Camry will again be available in four grades: LE, XLE, SE and XSE.
The new Camry’s “Sport” SE and XSE grades wear a noticeably different body style than the entry level LE and premium XLE grades, highlighted by a sculpted rocker panel, new 19-inch black machined-finish alloy wheels (XSE only)
a subtle rear spoiler lip, aggressive front bumper, and rear bumper with an integrated lower diffuser. The face is much more distinctive with large side intakes flanking the lower bumper’s unique “Catamaran” accents, a high and slim upper intake encompassing the
central Toyota badge, and a powerfully expressive mesh grille. A revised rear bumper with distinctive corner lines and smoke-tinted rear combination lamps highlight the changes at the rear.
The Camry design team sought to make the new Camry sport models instantly recognizable and appear different from the other models from as far as 200 yards away.
Striking and Comfortable Cabin
The completely redesigned interior is a fusion of functionality, futuristic styling, and a high degree of personal space and craftsmanship.
While the driver is situated in a sporty cockpit-type environment having gauges angled toward his or her direction, the front passenger is treated to a sense of openness and freedom that results from the innovative dashboard design. A key visual element of this driver-focused design concept is a sweeping yet elegant new character line that flows down from the instrument cluster and bisects the center console waterfall. The design of the entire front console strikes a smooth connection between the ease of use of all controls/systems and a handsome and modern sculptural look that is pleasing to the eye. All surfaces throughout the cabin—dashboard, instrument panel, center console, door trim, etc.—employ the highest grade of soft touch and premium materials. Using an approach typically used in home furnishings, the design utilizes a mix of tones and hues throughout a space rather than a strict color profile. The result is a cabin space having diverse colors and materials, and that enhances passenger comfort and visual satisfaction.
The front seats have been completely reengineered with improved ergonomics, providing maximum comfort with a newfound level of ease and engagement to match the new Camry’s elevated performance and athleticism. Rear-seat accommodations are more refined than ever with improved roominess and ergonomics. Exquisite stitching on the front- and rear-seat surfaces is but one example of the high level of craftsmanship found throughout the vehicle.
High Interaction, Minimal Distraction
The new Camry features Toyota’s latest Human Machine Interface (HMI) whose next-generation display technology offers a unique level of integrated information with minimal distraction. It relays information through three interlinked displays: available interlinked displays: a 10-inch color Head-Up Display (HUD); a seven-inch multi-information display within the instrument cluster, and an eight-inch audio/navigation display and HVAC (heating, ventilation and air conditioning) control panel that’s seamlessly integrated into the center console in a modern, flush-surface design. Convenient and highly intuitive operation is assured through customizable features and smart phone-like touch screen icons that create a seamless connection and user workflow between the HMI system and other digital media.
Full Utilization of Toyota New Global Architecture (TNGA)
The 2018 Toyota Camry fully incorporates the Toyota New Global Architecture (TNGA). At its foundation, TNGA is a structural reform movement for the entire company that will result in cars that are more dynamic, athletic, and fun to drive.
By extending the wheelbase by two inches, as well as bringing down the roof and hood height (by approximately 1.0 and 1.6-inches, respectively), the development team lowered the center of gravity and created a wider and more composed vehicle. The new platform also allows for an ideal seating position for the driver, now lower and near the center of the car for enhanced feedback, along with adjusting the overall seating position for all the vehicle’s occupants. A lower heel point provides more foot room and ease of movement. The range of steering column adjustment has been increased from the current vehicle, while the hood, cowl, and dashboard height have all been lowered for enhanced outward visibility.
The driver and front passenger will experience an unprecedented sense of outward visibility, thanks to a more compact design for the instrument panel and a lowered beltline. The reimagined position of the A-pillar and side mirror sections results in enhanced lateral visibility and creates a noticeable sense of openness when the driver sits behind the wheel.
All Gain With No MPG Pain
Three new powertrains will be available on the new 2018 Camry: They include a new 3.5-liter V6 with D-4S Fuel Injection and an all-new 2.5-liter inline-4 gasoline engine, which comes paired to a new 8-speed Direct-Shift automatic transmission (8AT), and a next-generation Toyota Hybrid System (THS II).
To match the chassis’ increased handling and performance capability, Toyota engineers have developed the TNGA-inspired all-new 2.5-liter 4-cylinder Dynamic Force Engine to make the most of the platform’s enhanced designs, packaging and rigidity. This new generation engine focuses on higher torque, higher power and lower fuel consumption in total use range. This is accomplished by achieving rapid combustion due to higher tumble air flow. With its long-stroke and high compression ratio, multi-hole direct fuel injectors, variable cooling system and the latest version of Toyota’s Variable Valve-Timing-intelligent Electric (VVT-iE), this high-output powerplant takes the gasoline-powered internal combustion engine to a new level with world-leading thermal efficiency of 40 percent. Along with enhanced performance characteristics, the new engine is also expected to be extremely fuel efficient, and is anticipated to achieve best-in-class fuel economy. It comes mated to the newly developed Direct Shift-8AT transmission that provides direct-lock up from gears two through eight to eliminate power loss from the torque converter, executing shifts like a high-performance automated manual gearbox.
The new hybrid system has also been engineered to provide the ideal balance of energy efficiency with superior power output to maximize driving performance and enjoyment. The next-generation Toyota Hybrid System has been engineered to work in concert with the new 2.5-liter 4-cylinder Dynamic Force Engine setup offering significantly more driving excitement than before. The hybrid’s Continuously Variable Transmission (CVT) features a new Sport Mode setting that allows the driver to execute smooth yet quick “gear” shifts of the simulated 6-speed sequential shift transmission. The SE grade adds paddle shifters for increased fun and a more sporting driving experience. The Sport Mode setting also improves acceleration and feel thanks to an electric power boost from the hybrid system. Furthermore, to help enhance the vehicle’s handling capability, the hybrid system’s battery pack has moved from the trunk to beneath the rear seat for a noticeably enriched handling feel, thanks to the vehicle’s much improved lower center of gravity—yet another benefit of the TNGA platform.
In addition to its enhanced handling and driving performance, the hybrid version of the new Camry is anticipated to achieve best-in-class fuel economy ratings, with Prius-like city/highway driving efficiency.
A New Experience Focused on Vastly Superior Driving Dynamics
At the foundation of the Camry’s sporty handling and enhanced ride quality is its high-strength body/platform structure. Through the increased use of ultra-high-tensile steel and the application of a new molding technology it delivers enhanced structural rigidity.
Further aiding performance is an innovative new double wishbone rear suspension system that imbues the chassis with responsive handling and precise steering control while simultaneously delivering ride quality on par with premium luxury vehicles. A new four-point engine mounting system adds to the vehicle’s civil road manners as it greatly reduces unwanted noise, vibration and harshness (NVH) from permeating into the passenger compartment.
The biggest challenge for the Camry engineering team was to figure out how to convey the driving dynamics of a soul-stirring sedan.
Driving dynamics were always at the forefront of the engineering philosophy for the new Camry.
They wanted a new Camry in which the driver will be highly impressed with the handling capability and composure of the new design.
So much so, that drivers will notice the dramatic improvements within the first few seconds of driving.
Toyota Safety That Makes Sense
Among the many safety features on the 2018 Camry is standard Toyota Safety Sense™ P (TSS-P). This multi-feature advanced active safety suite bundles cutting edge active safety technologies including Pre-Collision System with Pedestrian Detection (PCS w/PD), Full-Speed Range Dynamic Radar Cruise Control (DRCC), Lane Departure Alert with Steering Assist (LDA w/SA); and Automatic High Beams (AHB). Select models will also come with standard Blind Spot Monitor (BSM) with Rear Cross Traffic Alert (RCTA).
All 2018 Camry’s have 10 standard airbags and Toyota’s Star Safety System™, which includes Enhanced Vehicle Stability Control, Traction Control, Electronic Brake-force Distribution, Brake Assist, Anti-lock Braking System, and Smart Stop Technology®. All Camry’s also come equipped with a standard backup camera.
Ever Better Entune™ 3.0 Multimedia For Everyone
Camry drivers will be the first to enjoy enhanced connectivity and entertainment through the new Toyota Entune™ 3.0 multimedia system.
The new 2018 Camry will feature Entune 3.0 on all models, offering an enhanced set of connected vehicle technologies.
The Entune 3.0 system will feature navigation and App Suite Connect for everyone.
All Camry four-cylinder and hybrid models will come standard with the Connected Navigation Scout GPS Link with Moving Maps.
Camry V6 models will offer the new Dynamic Navigation system, providing improved map accuracy.
The wireless map updates provide over-the-air map downloads of recently added roads and point-of-interest not contained in the existing head unit map.
Entune 3.0 delivers several new technologies including available Remote Connect, which provides remote start and door unlock capability, vehicle status notifications, a guest driver monitor, and vehicle finder.
Keeping up with your vehicle’s health status has never been easier.
Available Service Connect will provide up-to-date vehicle information on fuel level, maintenance alerts, and more.
Entune 3.0 will also offer available WiFi Connect, allowing up to five mobile devices to connect using 4G LTE.
The new 2018 Camry will also offer a JBL premium audio system that features new advancements in sound quality.
Sound enhancements include Sound Staging, which positions speakers directly in front of the listener to help emulate a live concert venue; Low Frequency Sounds, made possible by an added 10.1-inch subwoofer; Clari-Fi, a technology that “un-compresses” music to help restore an audio track’s dynamic range; and nine speakers that are specifically tuned to the Camry’s cabin dimensions and materials.
Camry - Everybody’s All-American
For nearly three decades, Camry’s American manufacturing home has been Toyota Motor Manufacturing, Kentucky (TMMK) in Georgetown, Ky.
Most Camrys sold in America are assembled in Georgetown by more than 7,700 proud American team members. This pride has been reflected by the fact Camry is the best-selling car in America and has held this sales crown for 15 consecutive years!
Overall Camry sales in the U.S. since it first launched back in 1983 have surpassed 10 million units, and counting.
With Camry as a cornerstone of its US operations, Toyota has been part of the cultural fabric of America for nearly 60 years. With over $22 billion in direct U.S. investment, including 10
manufacturing facilities, 1,500 dealerships and 136,000 dedicated employees, Toyota has produced 25 million vehicles in the U.S. over the last 30 years.
History of Camry
Sold in more than 100 countries, the Toyota Camry is the most popular mid-size sedan in the world and is the segment leader in many global markets where it is available. Introduced in Japan in 1982, the Camry was Toyota’s first mass-produced vehicle with a transverse engine layout. Its welcomed combination of affordability with superior packaging, quality and engineering was a revolutionary concept, allowing the Camry to distinguish itself from other, notably larger American sedans that were popular at the time. One could say it was a pioneer in establishing the
Midsize-sedan segment. In the following years, the Camry became a sales success everywhere it was sold. Today, Camry remains a key model in the Toyota lineup and is manufactured in 10 different plants around the globe, with total sales surpassing 18 million units.
The all-new 2018 Toyota Camry will begin rolling into Toyota dealers in late summer 2017.