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Aurion to squeeze rivals – and Camry!

Ready: Toyota's all-new Aurion goes on sale officially from November.

Camry emerges as the biggest casualty in Aurion's impressive power and economy figures

5 Sep 2006

MORE questions have been raised over the fuel consumption of Toyota’s new Camry following a press release issued by Toyota Australia itself last week that claimed the forthcoming Aurion large sedan will set new class benchmarks for power and economy.

According to Toyota, when it is launched next month Aurion will return official combined average fuel consumption of just 9.9 litres per 100km – a full 1.0L/100km less than Holden’s new entry-level VE Commodore Omega V6 sedan (10.9L/100km) and 0.8L/100km less than Ford’s upcoming BF Series II Falcon XT sedan (10.7L/100km or 10.2L/100km with the optional six-speed auto).

Crucially, however, while Aurion’s ADR 81/01 fuel consumption figure betters both of its key homegrown large-sedan rivals – and the unpopular Avalon it replaces (11.2L/100km) – it also matches the official figure listed for the five-speed auto version of Toyota’s own Camry.

While the smaller Camry sedan is powered by a 117kW/218Nm 2.4-litre four-cylinder, Toyota says the Aurion’s 3.6-litre V6 will produce almost 60 per cent more power, with 200kW of peak power available on regular unleaded petrol (91 RON ULP) and 204kW on tap using premium unleaded (95 RON PULP).

Significantly, the figures mean Aurion will offer more peak power than both the VE Commodore’s base (180kW) and premium (195kW) 3.6-litre V6 variants and the 190kW inline 4.0-litre six that is standard across Falcon. Mitsubishi’s 3.8-litre 380 sedan is even further off the pace with 175kW, but offers a Commodore-beating 343Nm of maximum torque.

Falcon is the current class-leader for torque, with a peak of 383Nm, but Toyota is yet to reveal torque figures for Aurion.

The new Camry’s fuel consumption has already come under scrutiny because its key rivals offer significantly better official figures, with the 122kW/207Nm 2.3-litre Mazda6 auto sedan claiming 8.9L/100km on PULP, Honda’s 140kW/223Nm 2.4-litre Accord Euro auto sedan claiming 9.4L/100km and Subaru’s MY2007 Liberty sedan returning a claimed 9.6L/100km in 127kW/187Nm 2.0R auto guise and 8.9L/100km in 121kW/226Nm 2.5i auto form.

8 center imageMeantime, Kia’s new Magentis sedan offers ADR81/01 fuel consumption of 8.6L/100km for its 119kW/221Nm 2.4-litre four-cylinder (manual) and 9.3L/100km for the 138kW/247Nm 2.7-litre V6 variant (auto).

Toyota Australia chairman Emeritus John Conomos hit back at criticisms Camry’s fuel consumption was too close to that of the VE Commodore’s at the new model’s launch by asserting medium sedan buyers made purchasing decisions based on the number of cylinders rather than outright fuel consumption figures.

Camry remains Australia’s top-selling medium sedan despite being renewed last month, but will face even more competition in the form of an all-new mid-sized four-door from Holden this year.

As revealed by GoAuto last December, GM Daewoo’s Magnus sedan replacement, revealed as the Tosca but to carry the global Epica name here, will form the basis for an all-out market attack on the dominant Camry later this year. It will be powered by the choice of two six-cylinder engines: a 104kW 2.0-litre or a 115kW 2.5-litre mated to either five-speed manual or automatic transmissions.

An unofficial 8.2L/100km fuel consumption figure has been touted for the base Epica 2.0-litre manual, while the automatic 2.5-litre variants is believed to offer average fuel consumption of 9.5L/100km. For the record, the manual Camry returns ADR 81/01 consumption of 8.9L/100km. Epica may also eventually be available with 2.0-litre turbo-diesel power.

Last week it was reported a Queensland Holden dealer announced details of the Epica sedan at a VE Commodore function in mid-August, when it was revealed the fourth South Korean-sourced Holden model would be priced from $24,990 – undercutting even the bargain-basement Hyundai Sonata and its Magentis sister model by $1000. Camry is priced from $28,000.

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