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2010 Camry facelift revealed

On the way: Revised Camry is destined for Australia, eventually.

Toyota will offer a mild massage of its midsizer in the last quarter of this year

16 Jan 2009

TOYOTA rolled out a subtle facelift and heart transplant for its American-market Camry at the North American International Auto Show in Detroit this week.

But Australian buyers will have to wait for the revised Camry, with the body and trim tweaks arriving in October at the earliest. The all-new four-cylinder engine will not arrive until the next-generation Camry in about 2011.

In the US, two versions of a 2.5-litre twin-cam four-cylinder petrol engine with VVT-i variable valve timing usurp the old 2.4-litre unit that – in 117kW guise – has been the sole engine choice for the Melbourne-made Camry in Australia. One has 126kW of power while the upper-spec versions have 133kW.

In America, five-speed transmissions will be replaced by new six-speed gearboxes, in manual and automatic, with the auto gaining sequential shift mode.

8 center imageWhether the Australian 2010 Camry will come with the extra gear ratios is unknown, but unlikely, as Toyota’s investment in the Victorian-built Camry means it is on a different development cycle to its North American cousin.

On the other hand, the Camry’s V6 petrol alter ego, the Aurion, has been available only with a six-speed automatic transmission since it replaced the unloved Avalon in 2006.

The rest of the modifications to the American Camry are mundane, and include larger projector headlights, a different grille and front bumper with a bigger air intake, mildly revised tail-light lenses, fresh wheel covers/alloys, an audio upgrade, improved power window switches and slightly different cabin trim.

Toyota is also taking the opportunity to create greater visual differentiation between the petrol powered and petrol-electric Camry Hybrid.

Green-minded buyers will be more easily identified in their Camry Hybrids thanks to a slightly different front fascia that includes a unique grille and bumper, restyled fog lights and unique alloy wheels. Bolder ‘Hybrid’ graphics are also fitted outside, while the interior scores its own instrumentation cluster and unique seat material surfaces.

The Camry has been the best-selling passenger car for the past seven years in the US – and it would have been a clean dozen but for the time when the Honda Accord beat the Toyota across the line in 2001.

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