New Sasol GTC cars set for thrills

The iconic Grand Prix Circuit will present a new challenge to the GTC drivers as they tackle the country’s fastest racetrack on June 16.

Suzuki’s new Swift hatch and sedan in SA

Suzuki kicks off its new model assault with an all new Swift hatchback and standalone sedan called the Dzire.

Toyota unveils all-new Camry

2006-01-11 07:38

The Toyota Camry, the best-selling car in America four years running and for eight of the past nine years, is completely new for 2007.

Refusing to take continued success for granted, Toyota engineers and designers chose to expand the very definition of Camry.

In doing so, they created a new benchmark for sedans. Engineers and designers rethought every aspect of the Camry, from its chassis to its body, interior, accessories and drivetrain.

The result is a world-class sedan that not only redefines global standards for comfort, performance and design, but also is available, for the first time, with Toyota's Hybrid Synergy Drive.

An all-new exterior design provides the 2007 Camry with a visual impact that signals a departure from the upright style of its predecessor.

This new Camry shape is athletic and modern, with a long, high-visibility cabin set on a horizontal underbody with strong, rounded planes and elongated structures.


The wheelbase now is longer than before, and track is wider, with the wheels pushed out toward each of the car's four corners.

The Camry interior was completely redesigned with an emphasis on a stylish design with increases in space, comfort and convenience for front and rear passengers.

Interior upgrades include redesigned seats, rear-seat personal reading lamps, a multi-information display, more storage compartments, improved ease of use of door and instrument panel features, 60/40 split fold-down rear seats, reclining rear passenger seats (XLE only), and much more.

Camry will be available in five grades equipped with a comprehensive list of features to enhance comfort, convenience and overall value.

The CE gets an impressive list of standard features including air conditioning with a pollen filter, power windows with driver's auto-down, power door locks with an anti-lockout feature, cruise control, dual colour-keyed power outside mirrors, halogen headlamps with an automatic on/off feature, optitron meters, a tilt and telescopic steering wheel and a six-speaker 160-watt digital AM/FM/CD audio system with an auxiliary audio jack.

16 inch wheels

It also comes with 16-inch wheels, a full complement of seven airbags, a vehicle immobiliser and four-wheel disc brakes.

The Camry LE adds to this package a long list of additional features, including a remote keyless entry and eight-way-adjustable power driver's seat.

The sporty SE separates itself from other Camry grades with a sport-tuned suspension calibrated for a firmer ride and better handling.

Enhanced underbody aerodynamics, developed using Toyota's Formula 1 technology and extensive wind-tunnel testing, provides the SE with optimal down-force and front-to-rear balance to enhance stability at higher speeds.

Features standard on the SE include sporty 17-inch aluminum wheels, a distinct black, honeycomb-style grille, ground-effects body enhancement, smoked tint halogen headlamps, unique sport-trimmed interior in dark charcoal or medium gray with a leather-wrapped, three-spoke steering wheel and amber-coloured optitron gauges.

The premium XLE's list of standard features includes an upgraded dual-zone automatic climate controlled system with steering-wheel controls, a premium 440-watt JBL audio system with Bluetooth(TM) technology for hands-free calling, wood-style trim, moonroof, rear reclining seats, fog lamps and 16-inch aluminum wheels. Four-cylinder models come standard with special seat fabric designed to be gentle on the skin, while V6 models feature standard leather-trimmed seats.

Options available on select Camry grades include a tilt/slide moonroof, heated seats, voice-command DVD navigation system, leather-trimmed seating, rear spoiler, Vehicle Stability Control and a Smart Key System with push-button start that allows drivers to lock, unlock, or start the car just by carrying the Smart Key on his/her person.

Under the bonnet

The all-new Camry is powered by an upgraded 2.4 litre four-cylinder engine equipped with Variable Valve Timing with intelligence (VVT-i), which features reduced noise and vibration levels and produces 116 kW horsepower at 6 000 r/min, and 218 Nm of torque at 4 000 r/min.

Fuel economy is also improved with estimated ratings of 13 litres/100km (city) and 9.4 litres/100km (highway) on models equipped with a five-speed manual transmission and 13 litres/100km (city) and 9.6 litres/100km (highway) when equipped with a five-speed automatic.

For those looking for more power, a new 24-valve, DOHC 3.5-litre V6, which employs Dual Variable Valve Timing with intelligence (Dual VVT-i) is available in the LE, SE and XLE.

The new V6 generates 197 kW at 6 200 RPM and 336 Nm of torque at 4 700 r/min.

It is mated to an all-new six-speed automatic transmission and will deliver estimated fuel economy ratings of 14.5 litres/100km in the city and 10.4 litres/100km on the highway.

Four-cylinder Camrys sold in California (and states with California emission standards) meet Partial Zero Emission Vehicle (PZEV) standards and carry the Air Resources Board (ARB) rating of Super Ultra Low Emission Vehicle (SULEV).

Cars powered by the non-PZEV four-cylinder and V6 engines are ARB-certified as Ultra Low Emission Vehicles (ULEV).

All 2007 Camrys are equipped with an Antilock Brake System (ABS), Electronic Brake-force Distribution (EBD) and Brake Assist. Vehicle Stability Control (VSC) with traction control is available as an option.

Dual-stage advanced SRS airbags are standard on all Camry models. Standard seat-mounted side airbags and side-curtain airbags help provide coverage for the length of the passenger compartment. A driver's knee airbag also is standard.

Hybrid power

Toyota extends its hybrid leadership by making its exclusive Hybrid Synergy Drive available in the 2007 Camry.

The Hybrid Synergy Drive System consists of dual gas and electric power sources that are complementary and produce a combined 143 kW. This system varies power between gas and electric, or both, as needed.

The first half of this system consists of a 2.4 litre four-cylinder Atkinson-cycle engine that generates 109 kW and is coupled to a continuously variable transmission.

The second half of the Hybrid Synergy Drive equation consists of two small, specially developed electric drive motors that produce a combined 33 kW, an ultra-small inverter with a specially designed compact battery and a transaxle to provide the economy and seamless performance hybrid drivers seek.

Because there are situations in daily driving in which the gas engine in a Toyota hybrid is completely shut down, air-conditioning and power-steering systems are driven electrically, rather than by the engine.

This ensures these features will continue to operate, whatever the status of the Camry Hybrid's drive system.

Finally, special attention was paid to the vehicle underbody with the use of wheel spats and underbelly pans resulting in a low coefficient of aerodynamic drag (Cd) of 0.27, which helps increase fuel economy.

The Camry Hybrid with Hybrid Synergy Drive will yield exceptional fuel efficiency with preliminary estimated ratings of 7.4 litres/100 km in the city and 8.6 litres/100km on the highway and 8 litres/100km in combined driving.

Additionally, Camry Hybrid is expected to be certified as an Advanced Technology Partial Zero Emissions Vehicle (AT-PZEV), just one of a handful of cars to meet the strict AT-PZEV standard.

Pricing for Camry and the all-new Camry Hybrid will be announced in the near future.

When announced, prices will reflect the continuation of Camry's tradition of affordable pricing, reflecting its excellent overall value.


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