Dealers confirm the debut of 2012 Toyota Camry for this fall

Article by Christian Andrei, on June 30, 2011

The all-new 2012 Toyota Camry will be arriving this fall and will be promoted via a major advertising campaign. Toyota confirmed this during its annual dealer meeting in Las Vegas, Nevada, earlier this week. Toyota released a statement, saying that the 2012 Camry and Camry Hybrid were developed to “meet the changing needs of the 21st century driver.”

The carmaker also stated that the new Camry has technologically advanced features, a contemporary design for its interior and exterior, an enhanced performance, and a refined ride and handling.

The midsize sedan was shown to dealers during the meeting but it won’t be revealed to the public until later this year. Automotive News reported that Toyota’s media and advertising campaign for its top-selling car will begin in October.

There will be 40 new ads that will each portray the car as “smart, safe, and worry-free.” Sales of the Camry were affected when Toyota’s image was damaged due to the recall of millions of vehicles around the world because of defective accelerator pedals and floormats.

However, the Camry is still one of the best-selling cars in the United States. From January to May 2011, about 126,094 units were sold. Camry sales in 2010 totaled 327,804 units. The Camry will be competing against several refreshed cars but Toyota is optimistic that the 2012 model will revive the sales of its sedan.

Simple while still staying elegant, the new 2012 Toyota Camry has a more contemporary shape which helps highlight the fact that when compared to prior models, it has a lower and wider stance. This particular design communicates what is known as an architectural statement. This is made possible by the use of precise and sharp character lines. Meanwhile the rocker panel molding is more defined, and in the LE and the XLE have chrome accents. When combined with the cross-section of the door which is now more curved, it results in a look that is more expressive. Highlighting the design of the new body even further is the offer of four new colors.

Two of these colors, which are new to the brand especially in the U.S., are Clearwater Blue and Attitude Black Metallic. Clearwater Blue has a water-like and glassy finish, owing to the integration of a silver metallic pigment. Meanwhile Attitude Black Metallic is similar to the standard jet black but comes with a new interpretation by adding in a bright blue pigment. For the SE version, it will have its own lower-body design once it is launched and will even come with the very exclusive upper grille section in fine-mesh. Its fog lamps are housed in the lower grille section which comes in three parts. This is also where the headlamp bezels, with a black sport trim, are also housed.

With the rocker panels being more prominent in the SE version, it gives that clear link of the underbody spoilers for both the front and the rear, accenting the width, and the trunk lid where the spoiler is integrated. For the XE and the XLE models, there is an extra chrome trim on the exterior. In addition to the headlights having a more dynamic form, its main-beam unit has a curve that is more noticeable and that has been merged to the bumper cover. Fitted as standard for the SE and the XLE are the fog lights. Meanwhile the lamp clusters in the rear have been tightly wrapped to the body sides with its top section going all through the trunk panel. While the 2012 Camry does have its exterior proportions similar to those of its previous models, the interior has more space and is even more inviting.

While the seat location has been modified, the seats themselves were redesigned. The dashboard also comes with a new design as well as the headliner trim, pillar trim, and the lean door. Combined, they not only enhance the impression of space but provide actual space. They even improve visibility for the outside. Helping improve the forward visibility was the way the seat of the driver was repositioned. The height is even adjustable with the total travel range at 2.4 inches, half inch greater compared to the previous model. The steering wheel was repositioned as well with the tilt or telescoping increased by as much as 33%, thus enhancing comfort for the driver.

Toyota will also be offering for the 2012 Camry four types of materials for the seat covers. The first is fabric which is available for both the LE and the XLE. Exclusive for the SE is the fabric that has SofTex. The XLE V6 will come with the standard leather trim, though this same material is offered as an option for the four-cylinder XLE. Finally for the XLE Hybrid and the SE, the seat cover will be offered with the Ultrasuede with leather. While the XLE V6 will be fitted with the heated seats as standard, the four-cylinder XLE, XLE Hybrid, and the SE will come with the variable temperature control. That is not all as the LE and the XLE versions will have the seats in either gray or ivory.

In particular, the SE comes with distinct upholstery which is either black-on-gray or black-on-black. Comfort in the interior is improved further by having longer cushions for the seat, higher seatbacks, and the frames for the front-seat with its new design. For the SE model, the side bolsters of the front seats are thicker. The three-spoke steering wheel is wrapped in leather and placed on it is the paddle-shift control for the vehicle’s automatic six-speed transmission. While there are indeed a number of redesigns done on the Camry, there are also some that may not be that obvious. These changes were done on the door trim, the headliner just above the rear seat, A-pillars, and the B-pillars.

This reshaping of the interior trim results in getting an increased feel of space. In many vehicles, the middle of the trim and the structure leaves a space known as clean surface. However by having a lean-car design, the trim is able to follow the structure just underneath it. The extra space that results from the few millimeters gained helps raise comfort. Moved forward in addition to the front seats is the accelerator pedal though the hip point for the rear seat was placed rearward.

This resulted in a 0.6-inch increase in the couple distance. Combined with the front seatbacks, which have been reshaped as well, the knee room in the rear is increased by as much as 1.8 inches. With the center console redesigned and mixed with the rear seat cushion’s front edge, the legroom of the middle seat in the rear is upped by 2 inches. Meanwhile for the instrument panel, the use of materials with contrasting textures and 3D construction give it a feel of depth.

In fact, the shapes enhance the forward sightline and give the cabin more space. The center cluster is significantly curved which helps lower the visual mass giving it an appearance as if it is floating above the instrument panel. Enhancing the comfort even further is the use of soft textures on the armrest of the center console and the door, and the upper portion of the door trim and the instrument panel. All throughout the interior, the stitching-look trim complements the stitching that is present on the soft padding of the instrument panel. The design team made sure to use an aluminum color and color trim with care.

In terms of functionality, the Camry has many equipped to it that can meet the demand of many consumers. Even so, it manages to retain straightforward controls and even allows for intuitive use. In particular, the control knobs, when used, have that high precision feel. Extra attention was also given to ensure that the design of the center console would deliver comfort and function. On the driver and the passenger side, the use of the soft kneepads add that needed comfort.

For the front section, it becomes easy to connected media devices like iPods due to the USB port, input jack port, and 12V accessory connector. Instead of the standard flip-up design, the console door in the rear slides and this making it easier to access by those in front. For the steering wheels, Bluetooth and audio controls are integrated to it with two designs offered. The first is a four-spoke version available for the LE and XLE with the XLE one wrapped in leather. For the SE, the steering wheel has a three-spoke design and wrapped in leather as well.

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