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William Maley

2018 Toyota Camry Does Something Unexpected, Becomes Expressive: Comments

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The Toyota Camry isn't what you would call exciting. Bland and boring, yes. But the Japanese automaker hopes to change that perception with the introduction of the 2018 Camry.

Toyota allowed their designers to go somewhat crazy with the Camry and it shows. There is a bit of Prius and C-HR in the design of the new Camry with a more aggressive nose, lower hood and beltline; and a very short rear deck. Moving inside, Toyota has revamped the design of the dashboard to make it more flowing. Seats have been resculpted to provide better comfort.

The Camry is the latest model to use Toyota's TNGA platform which the company describes as “a structural reform movement for the entire company that will result in cars that are more dynamic, athletic, and fun to drive.” You may laugh, but as I can attest, this platform is the real deal when I drove the Prius - the first model to use TNGA. Toyota has also lowered the center of gravity and added a multilink rear suspension.

For engines, the Camry boasts a new 2.5L four-cylinder and 3.5L V6 with D-4S Fuel Injection. Oddly no power figures were given for either engine. Both will come paired with an eight-speed automatic. A hybrid variant with the new 2.5L four will also be available.

The 2018 Camry arrives at your local Toyota dealer this summer.

Source: Toyota
Press Release is on Page 2


Ante Raised: All-New 2018 Toyota Camry Gains Emotionally-Charged Design and Performance Experience

  • Best-selling car in America... assembled in America, by Americans, for Americans
  • Aggressive exterior character lines and low center of gravity
  • Spacious interior with advanced driver focus
  • New gas and hybrid powertrains generate more horsepower and greater estimated MPG
  • Standard Toyota Safety Sense-P

DETROIT, January 9, 2017 - It almost isn’t fair.  Toyota Camry, the best-selling car in America for the past 15 years, is about to ruffle some feathers. The eighth-generation sedan has gone through a total evolution, from a proven, dependable and safe car to one that also possesses a more exciting and emotional character, thanks to its newfound sporty performance and style.

The new Camry utilizes TNGA (Toyota New Global Architecture) which represents a completely new strategy to the way the company designs, engineers, and packages its vehicles. TNGA retains all of Toyota’s traditional values of superlative build quality and safety while injecting a fun driving experience that plays on all the senses. The physical manifestation is the usage of a new engine, transmission and GA-K platform.

 “The all-new 2018 Camry is, without a doubt, the most captivating mid-size sedan we’ve ever produced,” said Bob Carter, Toyota senior vice president of automotive operations.  “It delivers on everything Camry owners have come to expect from America’s best-selling car, and adds to it, jaw-dropping design, more advanced technology, cutting-edge safety systems, and stirring performance that raises it to an unparalleled level of excitement.”  

 “In order to create something that stirs people’s soul, we’ve laid out the concept of a new sedan that provides fun and excitement behind the wheel,” said Masato Katsumata, the Chief Engineer of the new Camry. “In developing the next-generation Toyota Camry, we were able to start with a clean slate, which allowed us to create a true driver’s car.”
 
Design Backstory 
The Camry development team aimed for a styling design concept that achieves strong harmony between refinement and a sensual athletic image, creating a new approach to the market. The result is a new signature design language that takes the car into a beautiful and futuristic new direction.
  
There were three primary design goals when penning the all-new Camry: a distinctive, low center of gravity that results in a firm wide stance; a practical-yet-emotionally styled cabin profile, and a sporty and upscale image both inside and out. These design goals have resulted in a new type of sedan that’s both exciting to look at and, more importantly drive, reestablishing itself as the new standard in the midsize-sedan category.
 
An Exterior with Unexpected Attitude
The new Camry’s face is accentuated by a two-piece grille comprised of flowing thin and thick treatments – key elements of the Camry’s “Keen Look” design philosophy. The curvaceous 1.6-inch-lower hood sits neatly above the grille’s uppermost section which accommodates a commanding Toyota emblem. For the hybrid model, the emblem is tinged a distinct blue hue. This fashionable trifecta of grille, hood, and emblem blends flawlessly into the A-pillar, and produces a stance that is undoubtedly more aggressive than that of any predecessor.

The 2018 Camry has a sleeker profile than the current model. By lowering the hip points of the occupants (nearly 1.0-inch in the front and 1.2-inches at the rear), and therefore their seating positions, the design team was able to reduce the car’s overall vehicle height by approximately one inch  from the current model and incorporate a lower roofline, without sacrificing interior space. This invited the designers to pursue a wind-cutting shape and improve aerodynamics. Striking character lines around and along the body augment the aggressive front and rear fenders, giving the reimagined Camry a sportiness that’s never before been perceived on this model.

The lower hip point, shoulder line, roof line and hood height gives the new Camry the appearance that it has a low center of gravity, which it does.  The design team knew the TNGA platform provided them with a great opportunity to pen a very expressive sedan, and they took advantage of this by getting the lines close to the ground and forming an energetic silhouette. They incorporated a strong stance that can be seen as you walk around the car.

Like the front of the vehicle, the rear features an athletic motif that melds flowing lines and complex shapes to form a sculpted landscape. Looking closely at the C-pillar’s detail reveals a multitude of surfaces that reflect light from all angles. A distinct crease extends from the slim multicolor taillights down to the bumper, effectively “pushing” the wheels outward in appearance to create a wide posture akin to that of a premium sports sedan. The exclamation point here is provided by a newly designed Camry logo that gives the car an upscale identity.

Camry will again be available in four grades: LE, XLE, SE and XSE.  The new Camry’s “Sport” SE and XSE grades wear a noticeably different body style than the entry level LE and premium XLE grades, highlighted by a sculpted rocker panel, new 19-inch black machined-finish alloy wheels (XSE only)  a subtle rear spoiler lip, aggressive front bumper, and rear bumper with an integrated lower diffuser. The face is much more distinctive with large side intakes flanking the lower bumper’s unique “Catamaran” accents, a high and slim upper intake encompassing the
 
central Toyota badge, and a powerfully expressive mesh grille. A revised rear bumper with distinctive corner lines and smoke-tinted rear combination lamps highlight the changes at the rear.

The Camry design team sought to make the new Camry sport models instantly recognizable and appear different from the other models from as far as 200 yards away.
 
Striking and Comfortable Cabin
The completely redesigned interior is a fusion of functionality, futuristic styling, and a high degree of personal space and craftsmanship.  While the driver is situated in a sporty cockpit-type environment having gauges angled toward his or her direction, the front passenger is treated to a sense of openness and freedom that results from the innovative dashboard design. A key visual element of this driver-focused design concept is a sweeping yet elegant new character line that flows down from the instrument cluster and bisects the center console waterfall. The design of the entire front console strikes a smooth connection between the ease of use of all controls/systems and a handsome and modern sculptural look that is pleasing to the eye. All surfaces throughout the cabin—dashboard, instrument panel, center console, door trim, etc.—employ the highest grade of soft touch and premium materials. Using an approach typically used in home furnishings, the design utilizes a mix of tones and hues throughout a space rather than a strict color profile. The result is a cabin space having diverse colors and materials, and that enhances passenger comfort and visual satisfaction.

The front seats have been completely reengineered with improved ergonomics, providing maximum comfort with a newfound level of ease and engagement to match the new Camry’s elevated performance and athleticism. Rear-seat accommodations are more refined than ever with improved roominess and ergonomics. Exquisite stitching on the front- and rear-seat surfaces is but one example of the high level of craftsmanship found throughout the vehicle.
 
High Interaction, Minimal Distraction 
The new Camry features Toyota’s latest Human Machine Interface (HMI) whose next-generation display technology offers a unique level of integrated information with minimal distraction. It relays information through three interlinked displays: available interlinked displays: a 10-inch color Head-Up Display (HUD); a seven-inch multi-information display within the instrument cluster, and an eight-inch audio/navigation display and HVAC (heating, ventilation and air conditioning) control panel that’s seamlessly integrated into the center console in a modern, flush-surface design. Convenient and highly intuitive operation is assured through customizable features and smart phone-like touch screen icons that create a seamless connection and user workflow between the HMI system and other digital media.
  
Full Utilization of Toyota New Global Architecture (TNGA)
The 2018 Toyota Camry fully incorporates the Toyota New Global Architecture (TNGA). At its foundation, TNGA is a structural reform movement for the entire company that will result in cars that are more dynamic, athletic, and fun to drive.

By extending the wheelbase by two inches, as well as bringing down the roof and hood height (by approximately 1.0 and 1.6-inches, respectively), the development team lowered the center of gravity and created a wider and more composed vehicle. The new platform also allows for an ideal seating position for the driver, now lower and near the center of the car for enhanced feedback, along with adjusting the overall seating position for all the vehicle’s occupants. A lower heel point provides more foot room and ease of movement. The range of steering column adjustment has been increased from the current vehicle, while the hood, cowl, and dashboard height have all been lowered for enhanced outward visibility.

The driver and front passenger will experience an unprecedented sense of outward visibility, thanks to a more compact design for the instrument panel and a lowered beltline. The reimagined position of the A-pillar and side mirror sections results in enhanced lateral visibility and creates a noticeable sense of openness when the driver sits behind the wheel.
 
All Gain With No MPG Pain 
Three new powertrains will be available on the new 2018 Camry: They include a new 3.5-liter V6 with D-4S Fuel Injection and an all-new 2.5-liter inline-4 gasoline engine, which comes paired to a new 8-speed Direct-Shift automatic transmission (8AT), and a next-generation Toyota Hybrid System (THS II).

To match the chassis’ increased handling and performance capability, Toyota engineers have developed the TNGA-inspired all-new 2.5-liter 4-cylinder Dynamic Force Engine to make the most of the platform’s enhanced designs, packaging and rigidity. This new generation engine focuses on higher torque, higher power and lower fuel consumption in total use range. This is accomplished by achieving rapid combustion due to higher tumble air flow. With its long-stroke and high compression ratio, multi-hole direct fuel injectors, variable cooling system and the latest version of Toyota’s Variable Valve-Timing-intelligent Electric (VVT-iE), this high-output powerplant takes the gasoline-powered internal combustion engine to a new level with world-leading thermal efficiency of 40 percent. Along with enhanced performance characteristics, the new engine is also expected to be extremely fuel efficient, and is anticipated to achieve best-in-class fuel economy. It comes mated to the newly developed Direct Shift-8AT transmission that provides direct-lock up from gears two through eight to eliminate power loss from the torque converter, executing shifts like a high-performance automated manual gearbox.

The new hybrid system has also been engineered to provide the ideal balance of energy efficiency with superior power output to maximize driving performance and enjoyment. The next-generation Toyota Hybrid System has been engineered to work in concert with the new 2.5-liter 4-cylinder Dynamic Force Engine setup offering significantly more driving excitement than before. The hybrid’s Continuously Variable Transmission (CVT) features a new Sport Mode setting that allows the driver to execute smooth yet quick “gear” shifts of the simulated 6-speed sequential shift transmission. The SE grade adds paddle shifters for increased fun and a more sporting driving experience. The Sport Mode setting also improves acceleration and feel thanks to an electric power boost from the hybrid system. Furthermore, to help enhance the vehicle’s handling capability, the hybrid system’s battery pack has moved from the trunk to beneath the rear seat for a noticeably enriched handling feel, thanks to the vehicle’s much improved lower center of gravity—yet another benefit of the TNGA platform.

In addition to its enhanced handling and driving performance, the hybrid version of the new Camry is anticipated to achieve best-in-class fuel economy ratings, with Prius-like city/highway driving efficiency.
 
A New Experience Focused on Vastly Superior Driving Dynamics
At the foundation of the Camry’s sporty handling and enhanced ride quality is its high-strength body/platform structure. Through the increased use of ultra-high-tensile steel and the application of a new molding technology it delivers enhanced structural rigidity.

Further aiding performance is an innovative new double wishbone rear suspension system that imbues the chassis with responsive handling and precise steering control while simultaneously delivering ride quality on par with premium luxury vehicles. A new four-point engine mounting system adds to the vehicle’s civil road manners as it greatly reduces unwanted noise, vibration and harshness (NVH) from permeating into the passenger compartment.

The biggest challenge for the Camry engineering team was to figure out how to convey the driving dynamics of a soul-stirring sedan.  Driving dynamics were always at the forefront of the engineering philosophy for the new Camry.  They wanted a new Camry in which the driver will be highly impressed with the handling capability and composure of the new design.  So much so, that drivers will notice the dramatic improvements within the first few seconds of driving.
 
Toyota Safety That Makes Sense
Among the many safety features on the 2018 Camry is standard Toyota Safety Sense™ P (TSS-P). This multi-feature advanced active safety suite bundles cutting edge active safety technologies including Pre-Collision System with Pedestrian Detection (PCS w/PD), Full-Speed Range Dynamic Radar Cruise Control (DRCC), Lane Departure Alert with Steering Assist (LDA w/SA); and Automatic High Beams (AHB). Select models will also come with standard Blind Spot Monitor (BSM) with Rear Cross Traffic Alert (RCTA).
 
All 2018 Camry’s have 10 standard airbags and Toyota’s Star Safety System™, which includes Enhanced Vehicle Stability Control, Traction Control, Electronic Brake-force Distribution, Brake Assist, Anti-lock Braking System, and Smart Stop Technology®. All Camry’s also come equipped with a standard backup camera.
 
Ever Better Entune™ 3.0 Multimedia For Everyone
Camry drivers will be the first to enjoy enhanced connectivity and entertainment through the new Toyota Entune™ 3.0 multimedia system.  The new 2018 Camry will feature Entune 3.0 on all models, offering an enhanced set of connected vehicle technologies.  

The Entune 3.0 system will feature navigation and App Suite Connect for everyone.  All Camry four-cylinder and hybrid models will come standard with the Connected Navigation Scout GPS Link with Moving Maps.  Camry V6 models will offer the new Dynamic Navigation system, providing improved map accuracy.  The wireless map updates provide over-the-air map downloads of recently added roads and point-of-interest not contained in the existing head unit map.  

Entune 3.0 delivers several new technologies including available Remote Connect, which provides remote start and door unlock capability, vehicle status notifications, a guest driver monitor, and vehicle finder.  Keeping up with your vehicle’s health status has never been easier.  Available Service Connect will provide up-to-date vehicle information on fuel level, maintenance alerts, and more.  Entune 3.0 will also offer available WiFi Connect, allowing up to five mobile devices to connect using 4G LTE.

The new 2018 Camry will also offer a JBL premium audio system that features new advancements in sound quality.  Sound enhancements include Sound Staging, which positions speakers directly in front of the listener to help emulate a live concert venue; Low Frequency Sounds, made possible by an added 10.1-inch subwoofer; Clari-Fi, a technology that “un-compresses” music to help restore an audio track’s dynamic range; and nine speakers that are specifically tuned to the Camry’s cabin dimensions and materials.  


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I like it.  Wouldn't mind a V6 XSE.  Maybe Toyota is getting it's MOJO back.  Do wish they hadn't went so crazy with the front fascia. 

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Great interior, great new powertrains, honest attention to driving dynamics, but Toyota/Lexus can't design the front of a car to save their lives. Your choices are XSE with a Lexus-style predator grille or the standard model with a gigantic front-spanning grille like an Avalon cranked up to 12.

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Pretty nice, except I don't like the front end much. At least I can shave in the parking lot at work now if I forget to at home.

 

 

 

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I am shocked, I actually like the style, have to agree with @frogger that the nose on the car reminds me of a shaver and makes you want to grab the auto, and shave your face.

Inside I am mixed by, not really taken by the dash.

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Wow. Crisp design, upscale interior, tidier dimensions, lovely proportions. The red car looks fantastic. Way to go, Toyota.

 

Every other midsize maker just let out a big "Damn."

 

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think perhaps the 2.5L may have some mazda tech in it... because of the scion iA  that's now a ...yaris?

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There is not a single photo of the normal LE and XLE non hybrid grille.

 

Otherwise, I see this as the design of a car so cömmitted to being a functional appliance, that you just cannöt jelp but feel kind of awe and respect for it.

 

I think Toyota has embraced the Subaru school of design, and it actually looks like the Camry fully realized finally in this century...

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No one can really compete on Töyötäs turf when it comes to that image of reliability or something, so if Toyota made a serious attempt at the niche segments still left in the midsize space, like the Fusion Sport or adding AWD, or plug in hybrid, I could forsee a huge sales surge, stealing much from all the gains the others have made at the expense of the Camry, but really, thät plätförm was getting really öld...sö all new had to happen.

 

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would have been nice to see a better straight side on picture.  but overall i don't mind this.  It's better than a Prius for example.  It energizes their look a bit, even if its a bit awkward.  It sort of brings them up to Kia's level.

Interior not bad either but does look plasticky.

 

still would not enter my mind for buying one.

 

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      North American International Auto Show world premiere of future fully-electric INFINITI crossover INFINITI to showcase a new EV platform INFINITI celebrating 30 years in 2019 HONG KONG – INFINITI will preview a vision for its first fully-electric crossover at The North American International Auto Show (NAIAS) in Detroit in January, revealing a new form design language for electrification, infused with Japanese DNA. INFINITI made its global debut 30 years ago at the NAIAS.
      The advent of electrified platforms heralds a fresh approach to what crossover and sedan platforms look like, both inside and out. With new exterior proportions, electrification also gifts interior space, enabling spacious, and lounge-like interiors, rich in welcoming and assistive technologies.
      In January, the company announced INFINITI would electrify its portfolio from 2021 onward, using either e-power (serial hybrid) or pure EV powertrains.
      "Thirty years ago, as a 24-year old designer in the audience, I saw the birth of INFINITI in person and am proud to be part of the journey of creating iconic luxury automobiles," said Alfonso Albaisa, Senior Vice President for Global Design, Nissan Motor Co. "Now, 30 years later, Q Inspiration shows how new proportions triggered by the new electrified power of INFINITI has inspired a new direction, a new visual language. Alongside our Prototype 10 Pebble Beach Concept, both designs embody a deep simplicity inspired by the technology within and a new artistry inspired by our unique culture and of course our roots in Japan."
      The Q Inspiration, revealed at the 2018 NAIAS, and Prototype 10, seen at the 2018 Pebble Beach Concours d 'Elegance, both provided elements of a futuristic design language. At the 2019 NAIAS in January, these elements will come together to provide the clearest vision yet of the future of INFINITI in an era of electrified design.
      "The concept car we will show in Detroit is the beginning of a new era for INFINITI, and an illustration of where we want to go with the brand. Electrification and other new technologies have given us the opportunity to evolve our design philosophy," said Karim Habib, Executive Design Director, INFINITI.
      "The industry is at a technological inflection point," said Roland Krueger, Chairman and Global President of INFINITI Motor Co. "As such, INFINITI has a compelling vision as a luxury challenger brand to bring a full portfolio of beautifully-designed electric vehicles to customers around the world. We will focus on developing the full portfolio of e-power and EVs."
      INFINITI recently reported the best November sales in the brand's 29-year history.
    • By William Maley
      (Author's Note: Before diving into this review, I did an Afterthoughts piece on maximizing the fuel economy in the Grand Cherokee Trackhawk last month. If you want to see Trackhawk somewhat out of its element, then check out the piece here.)
      I keep a list of vehicles that I would like to evaluate on my computer. This list is what I reference whenever I reach out to automakers and inquire about getting vehicles. Some of the vehicles on the list only spend a short time, while others are there for years. An example of the latter is the Jeep Grand Cherokee SRT. Having driven this briefly a couple of times within the past few years, I was shocked by how capable this machine was around a winding road and power on tap. I always wanted to see how this model would fare during a week-long test where it would serve as a daily driver.
      Fast forward to this October when I finally got my chance to spend some quality time with one. Although, this wasn’t any Grand Cherokee SRT. What pulled up in my driveway was the SRT Trackhawk with the 6.2L Supercharged Hellcat V8 and 707 horsepower under the hood. This was going be an interesting week I thought while walking around the vehicle. 
      The capability on offer with the Trackhawk really defies the laws of physics. For example, the Trackhawk will hit 60 mph in 3.5 seconds. Quite impressive when you consider that it tips the scales at a hefty 5,363 pounds. A lot of credit has to go to the all-wheel drive system which shuffles the power around to make sure it gets onto the payment, not in tire smoke. Stab the throttle and hold on to dear life as supercharged V8 thunders into life. Within the blink of an eye, you’ll be traveling well above the posted speed limits. Even lightly pressing on the pedal gets the Trackhawk up to speed at a surprising rate. Starting up the Trackhawk is always an event as the engine provides a growl that is more common on late 60’s high-performance muscle cars. Your neighbors may get annoyed get after while with the noise, especially in the early morning hours. On the road, it will be hard to resist stepping on the throttle to hear the whine of the supercharger and cracking exhaust note. Overall fuel economy for the week? Somehow, I was able to achieve 14 mpg. For the suspension, Jeep lowered the ride height, replaced various components, and did some revised tuning. It makes for an entertaining vehicle in the corners with reduced body roll and impressive response from the steering. Some drivers will be wishing for the steering to provide more road feel. A set of optional Pirelli P Zero tires were fitted onto my tester and provide a noticeable increase in grip. However, these tires perform at their best when they are warmed up. Push them when you first get onto the road or in cold weather, and you’ll find out they lose a fair amount of grip. The changes to the suspension does cause the ride to be slightly rougher with some bumps do make their way inside. The Grand Cherokee SRT was already an egressive looking beast with an altered front end (narrowed front grille with three slots underneath and black surround for the headlights), larger wheels, and huge exhaust tips. Trackhawk models only add some small touches such as ‘Supercharged’ badging on the doors, black exhaust tips, and a Trackhawk badge on the tailgate. If there is one disappointment to the Grand Cherokee Trackhawk, it would be the interior. For a vehicle with a price tag of over $90,000, Jeep could have done something to make it feel somewhat special. Yes, there is carbon fiber trim, Alcantara inserts for the seats, and a quite thick steering wheel. But the rest if the interior is what you’ll find on other Grand Cherokees, which makes the Trackhawk a bit of a tough sell. On the upside, the Trackhawk retains many of the plus points of the Grand Cherokee’s interior such as ample room for passengers, logical control layout, and the excellent UConnect infotainment system. To summarize the Grand Cherokee Trackhawk, it is quite absurd. An SUV should not be able to hit 60 mph in under four seconds, be agile in the corners, and have a snarl that will give muscle cars a run for their money. It is not a logical vehicle and yet, it is quite impressive what has been pulled off. Disclaimer: Jeep Provided the Grand Cherokee, Insurance, and One Tank of Gas
      Gallery: 2018 Jeep Grand Cherokee SRT Trackhawk
      Year: 2018
      Make: Jeep
      Model: Grand Cherokee
      Trim: SRT Trackhawk
      Engine: 6.2L Supercharged V8
      Driveline: Eight-Speed Automatic, Four-Wheel Drive
      Horsepower @ RPM: 707 @ 6,000
      Torque @ RPM: 645 @ 4,800
      Fuel Economy: City/Highway/Combined - 
      Curb Weight: 53,63 lbs
      Location of Manufacture: Detroit, Michigan
      Base Price: $86,200
      As Tested Price: $91,530 (Includes $1,445 Destination Charge)
      Options:
      High-Performance Audio System - $1,995.00
      20-inch x 10-inch Black Satin Aluminum Wheels - $995.00
      295/45ZR20 BSW 3 Season Tires - $895.00

      View full article
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