The 2018 Toyota Camry Hybrid will start showing up at dealerships in late summer with a revised hybrid system offering substantial fuel efficiency gains.

The Camry Hybrid’s LE option comes with a 52 mpg combined highway estimated-EPA rating, the same as the 2017 Prius hatchback gets in EPA combined rating.

The new Total Hybrid System (THS II) gets much of its mpg improvement through a more-efficient transmission system. The new Sequential Shiftmatic works with a continuously-variable transmission while continuously finding a balance between high power output and the best possible energy efficiency.

Toyota engineers simulated a quick-shifting six-speed automatic transmission in the new Camry to improve power and efficiency. The SE option uses a paddle shifter to get it done, while the LE and XLE versions use a console-mounted shift lever.

Owners will see a 30-percent combined mpg increase for the LE package. Toyota says its best-in-class EPA mileage comes in at 51 city, 53 highway, and 52 combined in mpg. The SE and XLE options offer a 21 percent gain with a 44 city, 47 highway, and 46 combined EPA-estimated rating.

Toyota said that an updated Power Control Unit (PCU) in the new hybrid system plays a key role in improving operational efficiency in the powertrain. Improvements in conversion efficiency in the PCU and transaxle/electric motor reduce energy loss by about 20 percent. Improvements in the cooling system cuts out another 10 percent in energy loss.

The Camry Hybrid comes with two electric motors paired to an Atkinson cycle engine. The engine works in concert with electric motor MG2. Energy efficiency is gained by using both onboard electric motors (MG1 and MG2) for hybrid battery charging.

As for batteries, Toyota is leaning a little bit more toward lithium-ion, with that technology available for the LE grade. The SE and XLE get the traditional Toyota battery, the nickel-metal hydride battery pack on the SE and XLE packages.

Another improvement in the new hybrid makes the storage space better by moving the hybrid’s battery pack from the trunk area to beneath the rear seat. That brings a lower center of gravity to the car.

SEE ALSO:  2018 Toyota Camry Hybrid To Have Prius-Like Fuel Economy

The Camry Hybrid comes out along with the all-new gasoline engine Camry, now in its eighth-generation after 15 years of being a top selling car in the U.S.

Launched about a decade ago, the Camry Hybrid will have its third-generation version roll out. It continues to be one of the best-selling Toyota hybrids.

The MSRP for the conventional Camry goes from $23,495 to $34,950, while the Camry Hybrid is priced at $27,800 for the LE to $32,250 for the XLE.

These MSRP prices do not include the delivery, processing and handling (DPH) fee.