• The Toyota Avalon and Camry Are Now AWD, But I’m More Interested in the Pictures

Toyota really outdid themselves on the AWD Avalon and Camry Pictures!

Toyota is super proud of the fact that it was able to pair the 2019 RAV 4’s AWD system with the 2020 Camry and 2021 Avalon. It’s also proud of the fact that AWD can be specified on most trim levels without adding too much weight (just 165 pounds for the Camry,) but what I’m more interested in are the pictures that Toyota released along with this news.

Toyota Went Photoshop Crazy With Camry and Avalon AWD Press Images

The Toyota Avalon and Camry Are Now AWD, But I'm More Interested in the Pictures
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The Toyota Avalon and Camry Are Now AWD, But I'm More Interested in the Pictures
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I’ll discuss the Camry and Avalon’s new-found traction in the next section, but right now, I just want to point out how damn cool these pictures are. I have to admit, I usually tend to care less about cars like the Camry and Avalon – after all, this is Topspeed.com, and there’s nothing fast about either, right? However, then I got a look at these pictures, and I honestly have to commend the effort Toyota put into photoshopping these bad boys. That image of the blue Camry hitting that 15-mph S-curve in the middle of a thunderstorm on a rain-covered road is just pure gold. I don’t know why, but I really dig it..

Of course, the images snow are pretty cool too, but the dark nature of those storm photos just really sticks out. Well-done, Toyota.

How Toyota Made the Camry and Avalon AWD and How to Get One

The Toyota Avalon and Camry Are Now AWD, But I'm More Interested in the Pictures
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If you’re looking to get an AWD Camry, then you’ll need to wait until early spring 2020 to get one

, and you’ll have to option it on the Camry LE, XLE, SE, or XSE trim levels. Optioning the AWD system allows you to pick the Cold-Weather package on the LE, XLE, and XSE. Otherwise all standard features carry over.

The Avalon, on the other hand, won’t be available until Fall of 2020, and it will go on sale as a 2021 model.

There’s no word on pricing yet, but expect Toyota to follow suit with a lot of other automakers and price the AWD models some $2,000-$3,000 over the equivalent FWD models.

Toyota Dug Into the Parts Bin to Make the Avalon and Camry AWD

The Toyota Avalon and Camry Are Now AWD, But I'm More Interested in the Pictures
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If you didn’t know, the Camry and Avalon are built atop of Toyota’s TNGA platform, much like the parts donor that makes the AWD models possible – the Toyota RAV4.

In short, Toyota dug out the RAV4’s engine, transmission, transfer case, and rear differential from the parts bin and sent them over to the Camry and Avalon’s production line.

That’s the secret. More interesting than that, both models borrow the propeller shaft – aka driveshaft – from the Highlander, albeit in a slightly modified form.

The Toyota Avalon and Camry Are Now AWD, But I'm More Interested in the Pictures
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Not surprisingly, creating the Frankenstein vehicles required some pretty serious changes under the skin.

Now, the Camry and Avalon will have parts of the RAV 4’s (again, slightly modified) rear multi-link suspension, and must have the electric parking brake, and a revised fuel tank.

Toyota managed to keep passenger hip point and trunk space the same, so that’s a big plus. Both models are now a little heavier, but that’s to be expected. Keep in mind that this is about providing efficiency and safer travel in less-than-favorable conditions, so the AWD Camry and Avalon still won’t be something you’ll cross-shop against, say, the Subaru WRX, for example – there’s just no comparison, so don’t even think about it.

The AWD Camry and Avalon Require the RAV 4’s 2.5-liter Four-Cylinder Engine

2019 Toyota RAV4 Exterior
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While the four-cylinder in the Camry isn’t a big deal, don’t hold out hope for landing a V-6 Avalon with AWD because that isn’t going to happen.

Since the RAV 4’s engine and transmission are part of the deal, that V-6 is out of the running.

Camry models will offer up 202 horsepower, with the exception of the XSE trim, which will have 205 horsepower – just like both Avalon trim levels available with AWD.

2020 Toyota RAV4 specifications
Engine 2.5-liter Dynamic Force4-cylinder, aluminum alloy block with aluminum alloy cylinder head
Displacement 151.7 cu. in. / 2,487cc
Bore x Stroke 87.5 x 103.4 mm
Compression Ratio 13.0:1
Horsepower 203 hp @ 6,600 rpm
Torque 184 lb.-ft. @ 5,000 rpm
Transmission Direct Shift 8-speed Electronically

For what it’s worth,

this is the first time since the Toyota Camry has been offered with All-Wheel Drive since Toyota phased out the Camry AllTrac back in 1991

after just three years on the market. The AWD Avalon and Camry are designed for North America only and will be built right here in the U.S. at Toyota’s manufacturing plant in Kentucky.

Robert Moore
Robert Moore
Editor-in-Chief and Automotive Expert - robert@topspeed.com
Robert has been an auto enthusiast his entire life. He started working cars at a young age, learning the basics from his father in the home garage on the weekends. As time went on, Robert became more and more interested in cars and convinced his father to teach him how to drive when he was just 13 years old. Robert continued working on cars in his free time and learned as much as he could about engines, transmissions, and car electrical systems, something that only fed his curiosity more and eventually led him to earn a bachelors degree in automotive technology with a primary focus on engine performance and transmission rebuilding.  Read full bio
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