Toyota has reached a milestone. The Camry now has a hybrid version that's sportier than the regular gasoline-powered vehicle. What the Australian division of Toyota did is something that while not impossible, was thought to be far down the line. In fact, this hybrid version is even more efficient than the Yaris. The earliest that we could expect this model to be released would be in 2010.
According to Toyota Camry hybrid's chief engineer Yukihiro Okane who spoke with Drive, the car will be faster than the gasoline model when it comes to 0-100km/h acceleration. It will also achieve a fuel consumption rating of 38 mpg (6.2 l/100km).
Okane said that the division tuned the suspension and steering assistance to make it stiffer and sportier only for the Australian market. He said that the company's intention was to make the car much more fun to drive Toyota has many ongoing projects related to fuel consumption reduction.
Okane revealed that the company seeks to improve efficiency by utilizing better aerodynamics and smaller displacements of its engines.
In addition, Okane confirmed that Toyota is mulling the development of plug-in electric and lithium-ion batteries for its hybrids. At the moment, however, it will stick to nickel metal hydride batteries.
He recognizes the potential of lithium ion but that the company will need to confirm how durable, reliable, safe and stable the lithium ion is before a switch is made.