The best-selling car in America for the past 15 years breaks its mold with a new platform and powertrains. Things have changed with Toyota’s 8th-generation flagship sedan and the legacy of being simply a "standard sedan" has been blown up.
“We don’t want to just stay in that [standard sedan] position, so that was our driver to make an unprecedented change,” Masato Katsumata, global chief engineer of the 2018 Camry, said in an interview with Automotive Engineering following the car’s world debut at the NAIAS 2017.
Creating a car that would elicit fun and excitement for the driver was a key goal.
“This was not just another typical, conventional full model change,” Katsumata said about the approach of the engineers who had a hand in developing a midsize car with more advanced technology—and unexpectedly performance—than the current Camry.
The Toyota New Global Architecture (TNGA) set the stage for a highly revamped Camry. With TNGA, said Toyota Motor Corp. President Akio Toyoda, “Our engineers were able to accommodate the new design’s low center of gravity and the extreme sculpting of the sheetmetal.”
Primary vehicle dimensions are a 111.2-in (2824-mm) wheelbase, 191.3-in (4859-mm) overall length, 56.7-in (1440) overall height and 72.4-in (1839-mm) overall width. All but the height dimension have increased in comparison to the current Camry.
Camry will be offered with an all-new 2.5-L "Dynamic Force" 4-cylinder gasoline engine paired with an equally new Direct Shift 8-speed automatic transmission. This next-generation 4-cylinder spotlights higher torque, higher power and lower fuel consumption in the "total-use" range. And this high-output powerplant is reported to have 40% thermal efficiency, a claim Toyota also recently made about the 4-cylinder engine powering the Prius hybrid. See SAE Technical Paper: http://papers.sae.org/2017-01-1021/.
The 2018 car also will be available with a 3.5-L V6 with D-4S fuel injection, as well as a next-generation Toyota Hybrid System variant. Unlike the current Camry Hybrid’s trunk-located battery pack, the 2018 model’s power pack is under the rear seat. The hybrid system’s CVT offers a new Sport Mode setting that enables the driver to feel smooth, quick simulated "gearshifts" via the simulated 6-speed sequential shift transmission.
The 2018 Camry is slated to reach dealerships in late summer 2017.