Toyota is all set to launch the Camry Hybrid in the Indian market at the end of August.
Despite the extremely poor response for hybrid cars in India (both the Honda Civic and Toyota’s own Prius hardly sold) Toyota has ambitious plans for the Camry Hybrid and is planning to locally assemble it in India alongside the 2.4-litre petrol model. Toyota believes it can sell around 20-25 Camry hybrids a month which is around 5-6 percent of total Camry sales.
The Camry Hybrid will get a host of visual changes to differentiate it from the regular Camry.
On the outside, it comes with a completely different front bumper with a wider air dam and restyled fog lamps with chrome inserts. The grille also comes with a chrome strip. The Hybrid could also come with larger 17-inch alloys.
At the rear, it won’t be very different from the petrol Camry, except for the blue badge that reads ‘Hybrid Synergy Drive’.
On the inside, there will be a lot of changes. The dashboard will be slightly redesigned and the instrument cluster will get three dials. Also, Toyota will use a different seat fabric to add to the premium feel.
The 2.5-litre engine, mated to a hybrid powertrain, will see a bump up in power thanks to the use of an electric motor. This engine comes mated to an e-CVT (electronic continuously variable transmission) gearbox.
The hybrid powertrain features a water cooled system that reduces the temperature of the exhaust gas and then reroutes this to the intake to control emissions.
The system has also been tweaked to increase efficiency by reducing transaxial losses and improving motor control. Also, the car will come with an EV drive mode, where you can drive on the electric motor alone for 2.5 km, provided you don’t cross 40kph. Toyota will also tweak the chassis a bit to compensate for the extra weight of the electric powertrain.
Apart from the hybrid powertrain, Toyota plans to differentiate this model from the regular one by adding a lot of extra features to increase the value proposition. Still, the Camry Hybrid is expected to cost around Rs. 36 lakh (ex-showroom), that's around Rs. 12 lakh more than the petrol Camry. That’s quite a price to go green.