It was confirmed that a seventh-generation version of the Toyota Camry is set to be launched in the fall. At a Prius V event, Bob Carter, group vice president and general manager-Toyota Div., was interviewed by Ward's. Carter said that the next-gen Camry can’t be announced yet but he says that the existing Camry is nearing the end of its lifecycle.
He estimates that there will be a fall introduction. He denied that the model had been delayed, asserting that its plans have not changed significantly.
He said that if there have any adjustments, it’s in days and not weeks. Ward’s states that last year, Toyota sold 327,804 Camrys-- the car's lowest record since 1994. It was in March 2006 that the current-generation Camry debuted as an ’07 model.
This means that if it debuts in the fall, it has a lifecycle of 5.5 years. This is a longer span than’80s and ’90s-era Camrys but it's comparable with the last-generation model. Its gap is also similar to the current and previous Honda Accord, the second-best-selling midsize sedan in the U.S.
The replacement schedules of Hyundai and Kia brands have been more aggressive. For instance, there are only four years between the current and last-generation Hyundai Sonata. Many industry observers consider the latest Sonata and Kia's new Optima midsize sedan as serious rivals to the top Japanese models because of their highly styled exteriors and enhanced fuel economy.
Through April, there have been steep increases in the sales of the Sonata and Optima. Meanwhile, Camry’s deliveries went up by a smaller figure and the Accord’s sales fell slightly.
Ward’s revealed that from January to April 2011, the Sonata sold 73,616 units, about 46.4% higher. On the other hand, Optima deliveries totaled 22,087, higher by 81.4%. Camry sales totaled 107,264, an 11.1% increase, while Accord’s deliveries dropped very slightly by 0.5% to 94,375 units.
For the 2012 model year, the new Camry features a simple and modern appearance, but sports a wider and lower stance than its predecessors. With a design marked by crisp, precise character lines, the 2012 Camry expresses an "architectural statement." Its sharply curved door cross-section as well as its more defined rocker panel molding – which is accentuated with chrome on LE and XLE models – makes the Camry more expressive than before. The 2012 Toyota Camry comes with dynamically shaped headlights, with the pronounced curve of the main beam now merged into the bumper cover.
On the rear, the Camry comes with lamp clusters wrapped firmly onto the sides, with top sections expanding into the trunk panel. XLE and SE models of the Camry have the fog lights as standard. On the other hand, LE and XLE models don extra exterior chrome trim, while the SE grade sports a new lower-body design and fine-mesh upper grille section.
The SE model’s three-part lower grille section accommodates the fog lamps and black sport trim headlamp bezels. Its rocker panel moldings – now made more prominent – neatly connect to integrated front and rear underbody spoilers, thereby accentuating the car’s width. In addition, the car’s trunk lid now features an integrated spoiler. Four new exterior colors are now available for the 2012 Toyota Camry.
Two of these -- Attitude Black Metallic and Clearwater Blue – make their debut on US-bound Toyota vehicles. Attitude Black Metallic features a bright blue pigment for a new reinterpretation of traditional jet black while Clearwater Blue blends a silver metallic pigment for a glassy finish.
As soon as the driver and the passengers enter the new 2012 Camry, they will be pleased to find a more spacious interior, despite similar external dimensions. The cabin boasts modified seat locations, redesigned seats and "lean" door, a new dashboard design, as well as a new pillar and headliner trim. Toyota repositioned the driver's seat and increased the tilt of the telescoping steering wheel by 33 percent to provide enhanced driver comfort and better forward visibility.
Toyota also repositioned the accelerator pedal and the front seats have been brought further front forward while the rear-seat hip is pointed rearward, resulting to a 0.6-inch increase in couple distance. Together with the reshaped front seatbacks, the repositioning increased the rear-knee room by 1.8 inches. Likewise, the redesigned center console and front edge of the rear-seat cushion resulted to a two-inch increase in rear middle seat legroom.