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2018 Toyota Camry hits showrooms late summer

The all-new 2018 Toyota Camry will be rolling into dealers late summer. The eighth-generation sedan utilizes TNGA (Toyota New Global Architecture), which represents a completely new strategy to the way the company designs, engineers, and packages its vehicles. TNGA's physical manifestation is the usage of a new engine, transmission and GA-K platform.

“With an exhilarating design, refined interior, stirring driving performance, cutting-edge safety and technology, and class-leading fuel efficiency, the all-new Camry retains its excellent value while raising its level of fun and excitement to new heights,” said Bill Fay, Toyota senior vice president of automotive operations. “It is, quite simply, the best Camry ever and the benchmark in the mid-size sedan segment.”

The new Camry’s face is accentuated by a two-piece grille comprised of flowing thin and thick treatments. The 1.6-inch-lower aluminum hood sits above the grille’s uppermost section which accommodates a Toyota emblem. For the hybrid model, the emblem is tinged a blue hue. The grille, hood, and emblem blend into the A-pillar and produces a more aggressive look.

The 2018 Camry has a sleeker profile than the current model. By lowering the hip points of the occupants (0.8-inches 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. Character lines around and along the body augment the aggressive front and rear fenders.

Like the front, the rear features an athletic motif. 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. A newly designed “C A M R Y” badge that gives the car a more upscale look.

Camry will be available in five grades: L, LE, XLE, SE and XSE. The sportier SE and XSE grades wear a noticeably different body style than the entry level L and LE, and premium XLE grades, highlighted by a sculpted rocker panel, new 19-inch black machined-finish alloy wheels (standard on XSE and optional on SE) a rear spoiler lip, aggressive front bumper, and rear bumper with a lower diffuser. The face is much more distinctive with large side intakes flanking the lower bumper, a high and slim upper intake encompassing the central Toyota badge, and a gloss black mesh grille. A unique rear bumper with distinctive corner lines and smoke-tinted rear combination lamps highlight the changes at the rear.

Weight reduction has been achieved through the fitment of an aluminum hood, while new construction techniques have led to the use of thinner body panels for the roof, hood, trunk lid, front and rear doors and front fenders when compared with the previous model.

Laser Screw Welding (LSW) has been incorporated at key junctures throughout the body/platform for increased joint rigidity. A special high-rigidity urethane adhesive has been applied to both the windshield and rear window where it meets the vehicle body that helps to realize increased body rigidity. The fortified body includes additional gussets for the front/rear door frame (B-pillar) that have greatly increased the frame/joint strength.

The front suspension tower brace embedded within the cowl body now makes use of a closed cross-section construction, further advancing the vehicle’s handling. At the rear of the vehicle, a new rear body frame of annular construction enhances structural rigidity, joined by additional braces added to the rear suspension that can withstand higher levels of lateral force and increase the vehicle’s lateral rigidity.

Toyota engineers incorporated a variety of new noise, vibration and harshness (NVH) countermeasures. These include sound absorbing/insulation through the fitment of a hood insulator and upper and lower fender separator. The passenger compartment is further insulated from the engine and road noise using foam/vibration dampening materials throughout the vehicle along with a thicker dash silencer mat across the entire interior firewall section. A special vibration-damping coating has been applied over a wider area of the underfloor, joined by noise-proofing material encompassing more surface area of the interior’s ceiling. Wind noise has been suppressed through a newly-designed rain gutter molding and a reduction in the step at the bottom of the windshield.

Three new colors join an expanded exterior palette. New colors include Wind Chill Pearl, Brownstone, and Galactic Aqua Mica. They join holdovers, Super White, Celestial Silver Metallic, Predawn Gray Mica, Midnight Black Metallic, Ruby Flare Pearl, Blue Streak Metallic, and Blue Crush Metallic. Camry XSE models will also offer a Midnight Black Metallic roof option mated to a choice of Blue Streak Metallic, Celestial Silver, or Wind Chill Pearl body colors.

The exterior palette will be mated to interior colors in either Ash, Macadamia or Black. A sporty Cockpit Red interior is available on the XSE.

The completely redesigned interior has the driver situated in an 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 character line that flows down from the instrument cluster and bisects the center console waterfall.

Three new powertrains will be available including a new 2.5-liter inline-four-cylinder D-4S gasoline engine and a new 3.5-liter V6 with D-4S Fuel Injection, both of which are paired to a new eight-speed Direct-Shift automatic transmission (8AT); and a next-generation Toyota Hybrid System (THS II).

The 2.5-liter four-cylinder Dynamic Force Engine incorporates an array of Toyota technologies including Dual VVT-i with VVT-iE (Variable Valve Timing intelligent system by Electric motor), D-4S (Direct injection 4-stroke gasoline engine Superior version) direct injection and laser-clad valve seats for optimal power production, emissions performance and fuel efficiency. With its long-stroke and high compression ratio, multi-hole direct fuel injectors, variable cooling system and VVT-iE, this high-output powerplant takes the gasoline-powered internal combustion engine to an increased level of thermal efficiency.

The engine features VVT-iE on the intake side while utilizing VVT-i (Variable Valve Timing with intelligence) for the exhaust, a highly efficient compression ratio of 13:1 (14:1 for the hybrid version) for increased thermal efficiency and fuel efficiency and a bore and stroke measuring 3.44 inches and 4.07 inches, respectively; the stroke has been increased from the previous 3.86 inches to achieve the higher compression ratio.

Peak horsepower is estimated at 206 at 6,600 rpm (176 horsepower at 5,700 rpm in the hybrid configuration) with torque estimated at 186 lb.-ft. at 5,000 rpm (163 lb.-ft. at 3,600-5,200 rpm for the hybrid). Fuel economy is rated at an EPA-estimate of 29 mpg city/41 mpg highway/34 mpg combined), a 26 percent improvement for combined mpg over the previous model.

The 24-valve DOHC 3.5-liter V-6 engine employs the VVT-iW system for the intake, with VVT-i (Variable Valve Timing - Intelligent) on the exhaust, an efficient 11.8:1 compression ratio and a more squared bore and stroke of 3.70 inches and 3.27 inches, respectively, in comparison to the longer stroke of the Camry’s new 2.5-liter inline 4-cylinder power plant. Power output is rated at 301 horsepower at 6,600 rpm an impressive torque rating of 267 ft.-lb. at 4,700 rpm. Despite its exceptional power output, the new 3.5-liter V-6 engine achieves exemplary fuel efficiency with an EPA-estimated rating of 22 mpg city/33 mpg highway/26 mpg combined, an increase of eight percent for combined mpg over the previous V6.

The V-6’s VVT-iW variable valve timing system has been engineered to ensure high torque production at all engine speeds. It utilizes the Atkinson cycle to enhance fuel economy without sacrificing performance or engine start ability at extremely low temperatures as well as in wide-open throttle (WOT) engine operation. Fuel efficiency is further enhanced by decreasing pumping losses from the delayed closing of the intake valves.

Both the 2.5-liter 4-cylinder Dynamic Force Engine and the 3.5-liter V-6 are equipped with the new Direct Shift 8-speed automatic transmission. The new gearbox also includes a torque converter that offers a wider range of lock-up (when compared to the previous 6-speed automatic transmission) for a more direct driving feel while contributing to improved fuel efficiency through suppressed engine revving.

The new Toyota Hybrid System (THS II) has Sequential Shiftmatic technology that allows the driver to “shift” the continuously-variable transmission (CVT), mimicking a quick-shifting six-speed automatic transmission via paddle shifters (on SE grade) or with the console-mounted shift lever while simultaneously achieving an optimal balance between high power output and exemplary energy efficiency. Driving characteristics and trunk room are improved through the implementation of the new TNGA packaging as it allows for the hybrid system’s battery pack to be moved from the trunk area to beneath the rear seat, positioning the battery weight at a lower center of gravity axis.

The Hybrid is available in three grades, LE, SE, and XLE and achieves EPA-estimated mpg of 51 city/ 53 highway/52 combined on the LE grade, an impressive 30 percent increase for combined mpg, and 44 city/47 highway/46 combined on the SE and XLE, reflecting an increase of 21 percent for combined mpg.

The manufacturer’s suggested retail price (MSRP for the new 2018 Toyota Camry gas models will range from $23,495 for the value-driven L grade 4-cylinder to $34,950 for the Premium XSE V6. The MSRP for the Camry hybrid will range from $27,800 for the LE to $32,250 for the XLE.

06/21/17

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