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.
The now 2012 Camry Hybrid complies with AT-PZEV (Advanced Technology Partial-credit Zero Emissions Vehicle) standards. Aside from this, the new Camry Hybrid delivers a more pleasing sound while sprinting, thanks to new sound absorbing materials in the engine bay as well as with more linear control over engine speed.
Since there are moments that the Toyota Camry Hybrid’s gasoline engine shuts off, functions like air conditioning and power steering systems needed to be driven electrically. The car’s Hybrid Synergy Drive system is provided with a number of new efficiency measures that include lower internal losses in the transaxle and improved motor-voltage control. Moreover, the car’s regenerative braking has been enhanced.
Furthermore, the air cooling system for the nickel-metal-hydride battery positioned in the luggage compartment behind the rear seats has been enhanced. Thanks to the more compact size of the battery and the repositioning of the DC/DC converter to the engine compartment, the trunk of the new Camry Hybrid is larger by 2.1 cubic feet than in its predecessor.
The fact that the new Toyota Camry Hybrid is now lighter overall makes the car perform better and consume less fuel. It could accelerate from nil to 60 mph in just 7.6 seconds, a sprint time quick enough to position the Camry Hybrid between the four-cylinder and V6 models. Also helping the new Camry Hybrid more economical are its lower rolling resistance tires, which could be availed in 17-inch size.
The 2012 Camry Hybrid now features an EV Drive mode that enables for a full-electric mode for up to 1.6 miles at speeds of below 25 mph. When the vehicle is operating in this mode, the EV indicator illuminates.
Just like its predecessor, the new Toyota Camry Hybrid features an ECO mode that can optimize throttle response and air conditioning output, helping the car achieve maximum fuel economy. The driver can now operate the Camry Hybrid as economically as possible thanks to a Hybrid-exclusive instrument cluster with Hybrid System Indicator and fuel consumption indicator.