Toyota rolled out a 2018 Camry today in Detroit that has a more appealing design, a vastly improved interior, a more exciting drive character and a hybrid model the automaker said will have Prius-like fuel economy.
A new hybrid system features a new 2.5-liter Atkinson cycle four-cylinder engine conneted to a continousouly-variable transmission (CVT) that features a Sport Mode allowing the driver to execute simulated “gear” changes.
Hybrid SE versions add a paddle shifter for a more fun driving experience.
The battery pack has moved from the trunk to beneath the rear seat, improving a lower center of gravity that adds to handling and driving performance.
Toyota did not say if the battery would be a lithium-ion battery type, or if the car would continure with a nickel-metal hydrid battery.
There’s a new front end with a two piece grille, one thin and one thicker, with the upper grille sporting a large Toyota logo in blue on hybrid models.
Like the Prius, the all-new eighth generation 2018 Camry is built using the new Toyota New Global Platform (TNGA), which results in the car being wider, lower to the ground and two-inches longer.
Beyond that, engineers sharpened the steering and introduced a more sophisticated double wishbone rear suspension design.
Inside is a completely new interior with surfaces throughout the cabin covered in high grade soft touch and premium materials. Front seats were redesigned to be more comfortable and supportive, and have a lower hip point that improves front road vision.
The dash has a sweeping character line that flows down from a new instrument cluster and bisects the center console which features an eight-inch display screen and easy-to-reach controls.
Drivers of the new Camry will be the first to use Toyota’s new Entune 3.0 multimedia system that introduces several new features including available Remote Connect, which provides remote start and door unlock capability, vehicle status notifications, a guest driver monitor and vehicle finder.
All 2018 Camry’s will have a standard review camera and Toyota’s Safety Sense package that includes a pre-collision system with radar cruise control, pedestrian detection and lane departure alert.
Available options are a blind spot monitor with rear traffic alert, rear cross braking and a bird’s eye view camera.
The 2018 Camry Hybrid will go on sale late this summer along with the standard gasoline powered models, with pricing released closer to delivery time.