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Toyota update commits to Camry hybrid, axes V6

Toyota trims its Camry line-up from nine variants to five with mid-life update

11 Mar 2021

TOYOTA Australia has used the mid-life update of its Camry mid-sized sedan to axe the V6 petrol engine and capitalise on the overwhelming popularity of the hybrid variants by fitting the green powertrain to 80 per cent of the facelifted range.


Slashing the range from nine variants to five, Toyota says the decision to “focus” on the hybrid powertrain comes off the back of hybrids accounting for more than 70 per cent of all Camry sales last year.


By contrast, a Toyota Australia spokesperson confirmed to GoAuto that in 2020, the V6 variants made up less than five per cent of total Camry sales, hence its axing from the local line-up.


“Toyota Australia can confirm that from February 2021 production, Camry sedan will only be available in four-cylinder petrol and hybrid powertrains only,” they said.


“There are no current plans to reintroduce a V6, unless demand for such a variant were to change also.”


Toyota Australia sales and marketing vice-president Sean Hanley meanwhile said customers had “come to appreciate the significant benefits to their bottom line, practicality and their environmental footprint” offered by the hybrid powertrain.


“When we launched the first Camry Hybrid 10 years ago, it was only the second hybrid model after Prius,” he said.


“Today, we offer the hybrid powertrain in seven model lines and with over 70 per cent of current Camry buyers opting for the hybrid version, it is our biggest seller.


“Now with this facelifted model, we are further improving the proposition with a more stylish aesthetic inside and out and more advanced safety and comfort technology.”


So far as styling and the interior goes, the facelift primarily centres around a more aggressive-looking grille and front bumper combination while the dashboard has been reorganised in the name of ergonomics and aesthetics, including a new floating 9.0-inch infotainment touchscreen – Ascents make do with a 7.0-inch unit.


There have been some changes made under the bonnet too with the base Ascent 2.5 petrol scoring a new 2.5-litre ‘Dynamic Force’ four-cylinder engine developing a much handier 152kW (+19kW) – a torque figure will be revealed at launch.


Drive in the base model is still sent to the front wheels via the same eight-speed automatic transmission as before with combined fuel economy pegged at 6.8 litres per 100km.


A few undisclosed refinements have also been make to the hybrid mill which have resulted in peak power dropping to 155kW (-5kW) while fuel economy has remained steady at between 4.2-4.7L/100km.


Safety has also been stepped up across the board with several key new additions to the Toyota Safety Sense suite including Toyota Connected Services, road sign assist, emergency steering assist and intersection turn assistance.


The new features join the established collection of pre-collision safety systems with pedestrian and day cyclist detection, active cruise control, lane trace assist and auto high beam among others.


There is a cost to paid for the extra gear and grunt however with prices up across the board by between $1700-$4200 depending on the variant.


Unsurprisingly, the Camry has been the dominant force within the sub-$60,000 medium car segment so far this year ending February, accounting for 70.2 per cent of all segment sales (1816 units), more than seven times that of the Skoda Octavia in second (242/9.4%).


2021 Toyota Camry pricing*

Ascent 2.5 (a) $30,990
Ascent 2.5 hybrid (a) $33,490
Ascent Sport 2.5 hybrid (a) $36,290
SX 2.5 hybrid (a) $39,190
SL 2.5 hybrid (a) $46,990

*Excludes on-road costs

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