The Japanese carmaker is taking a gamble by pushing hybrid technology to the core of the American market since the upcoming generation of Camry, which is the best-selling car in the United States, will only have a gas-electric hybrid powertrain.
For both front-drive and four-wheel-drive models, Toyota claimed the new Camry will pair a 2.5-liter petrol engine with an electric driving system optimized to produce more power.
Toyota decided to discontinue its four-cylinder and six-cylinder combustion models, which accounted for roughly 85% of all sales during the present model year, in order to comply with stricter fuel economy regulations in the United States. David Christ, the head of Toyota's North American division, said that the decision was made in part because of that, and another factor was the good performance they could get from the hybrid.
As the manufacturer adopts a "multi-pathway" strategy to meet consumer demands in every market, Toyota is wagering that consumer demand for hybrids as well as plug-in hybrids will stay strong despite its acceleration of the development of electric car technologies.
In comparison to the current Camry with a mechanical all-wheel driving system, the hybrid engine and new electronic all-wheel driving system provide 232 combined horsepower, according to Toyota. This is nearly 15% more horsepower.
Friday marks the opening of the Los Angeles Auto Show, and on Tuesday, Toyota executives introduced the ninth iteration of its midsized Camry car.
Except for General Motors' Chevrolet Malibu, the new Camry is going to compete in the market segment that has been mostly neglected by the Detroit automakers. Its direct rivals will be a few sedans like the Hyundai Sonata, Honda Accord, and Tesla's all-electric Model 3.
The California New Car Dealers Association reports that in the first nine months of 2023, sales of Tesla Model 3 exceeded those of the Camry in California, a significant market for Toyota.
While the 2025 Camry goes on sale in the spring of next year, Toyota has not revealed the price or the car's fuel economy. Currently, the lowest-priced Camry hybrid vehicle costs almost $2,400 higher than the lowest-priced Camry combustion type.
Christ stated that the majority of hybrid powertrains are sold for an extra cost of 1500 to 2000 dollars over combustion engines, and they believe the benefits of hybrid powertrain justify such a high price.
The present-generation Camry hybrid has been rated for combined city and highway driving at 52 miles per gallon (84 km/l), whereas the standard four-cylinder Camry is rated for 32 mpg. According to fuel efficiency data from the US government, the hybrid vehicle uses less gasoline than the combustion type, saving $650 a year on fuel expenses.
Toyota previously moved to an all-hybrid configuration for the Sienna minivan. According to Christ, it is the car with the highest number of reservations and the second-fastest turning speed.