Toyota Camry Hybrid to be launched in August
Despite the extremely poor reception to hybrid cars in India (both the Honda Civic and Toyota’s own Prius failed miserably), Toyota has announced that it will launch the Camry Hybrid in August. Toyota believes it can sell around 20-25 Camry Hybrids a month, which makes up around 5-6 percent of total Camry sales. It’s planning to locally assemble the Camry Hybrid in India alongside the 2.4-litre petrol model.
The Camry Hybrid will get a host of exterior and interior changes to differentiate it from the regular Camry. At the front, it comes with a new bumper having a wider air dam, as well as restyled fog lamps with chrome inserts. The front grille also features a chrome strip. There isn’t anything new about the rear, except for the blue badge that reads ‘Hybrid Synergy Drive’. On the inside, we get a redesigned dashboard and three dials in the instrument cluster. Toyota will also use a different seat fabric to add to the premium feel.
The 2.5-litre engine, mated to a hybrid powertrain, will see a bump up in power thanks to the use of an electric motor. This engine comes mated to an e-CVT (electronic continuously variable transmission) gearbox. The hybrid powertrain features a water cooled system that reduces the temperature of the exhaust gas and then reroutes this to the intake to control emissions. The system has also been tweaked to increase efficiency by reducing transaxial losses and improving motor control. The car will also have an EV drive mode, with which it can be driven on the electric motor alone for 2.5 km, provided the car doesn’t cross 40 kmph. Toyota will also tweak the chassis a bit to compensate for the extra weight of the electric powertrain.
Even with all the extra features, an expected price of Rs. 36 Lakh (about Rs. 12 Lakh over the regular Camry) seems too high to attract enough customers. Watch this space for updates on the Toyota Camry Hybrid!