Toyota launches hybrid Camry



hybrid toyota camry

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Under the cloud of a media storm hitting Toyota over problems with its flagship Prius, the company today launched the first Australian-made hybrid, the Camry.

Toyota has taken one of the most popular medium sedans on the market and given it an eco spin. Having sold more than 180,000 hybrid Camrys in the world so far, the company is hoping the car takes off in Australia. It's a Prius for the masses.

The Aussie version of the hybrid Camry has been designed for Australian conditions. It's 32 per cent more fuel efficient than the standard Camry model, a spokesperson for Toyota said.

Toyota says an average year's driving of 20,000 kilometres would save a family $15/week and 1.5 ton CO2, not to mention seven tanks of fuel.

About 95 per cent of the car is recyclable, and Toyota will work with a local Australian company to recycle the batteries (which last about eight years, or 160,000 kilometers.)

In the first year, 10,000 cars are expected to be produced, despite a looming recall of the Prius – a decision that is likely to be announced in the next couple of days after a "robust investigation" is complete, said Toyota spokesperson, Dave Buttner.

While Toyota are clearly proud of the local achievement, it also acknowledged the negative cloud over the company.

"Reputation is something we take very seriously. I couldn’t stand before you at the moment and say that [the recalls] wont' have an affect," said Buttner.

Buttner assured consumers that the Camry had "totally different" braking system to the Prius, so would not suffer the same issues of "brake feel" problems.

Quick stats:
Base price: $36,990
Carbon equivalent emissions: 142 g/km
Fuel economy: 6.0L/100km
2.4L engine
Hybrid synergy drive (electric engine in series and parallel)
B 'shift' regenerative braking
'Eco' air conditioning powered by the electric engine