Sun, 03 Dec 2023

DETROIT, Michigan: Toyota is making a bold move by announcing that the next-generation Camry, the best-selling sedan in the U.S., will be exclusively offered as a gas-electric hybrid.

The 2025 Camry will feature a 2.5-liter gasoline engine combined with an electric drive system, available in both front-wheel drive and all-wheel drive configurations.

The decision to go all-hybrid with the Camry was influenced by several factors, including the need to meet stringent U.S. fuel economy regulations. David Christ, head of the Toyota brand in North America, noted that compliance with these rules played a significant role in discontinuing the four- and six-cylinder combustion models, which constituted 85 percent of the current model's sales. Another key factor was the impressive performance achieved with the hybrid powertrain.

While Toyota has been actively developing electric vehicle technology, the company continues to place a strong bet on the demand for hybrids and plug-in hybrids. This approach aligns with Toyota's commitment to offering a diverse range of options to meet customer preferences.

The new hybrid powertrain, combined with an electronic all-wheel drive system, will deliver a robust 232 combined horsepower, representing a nearly 15 percent increase compared to the outgoing Camry with a mechanical all-wheel drive system.

Toyota unveiled the ninth generation of the Camry in Los Angeles, positioning it in a segment that has seen reduced offerings from Detroit brands, with Chevrolet Malibu being an exception.

The new Camry's competitors will include sedans such as the Honda Accord, Hyundai Sonata, and Tesla Model 3, among others. Notably, the Tesla Model 3 outsold the Camry in California, a significant market for Toyota, during the first nine months of 2023.

While Toyota did not disclose the pricing and fuel efficiency details for the 2025 Camry, it emphasized the value of the hybrid powertrain, which typically carries a premium of US$1,500 to $2,000 over combustion models. Christ said. "We think the value the hybrid powertrain brings is worth that kind of premium."

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