Toyota India will launch the new 2012 Camry in India on 24 August. The new version of the premium sedan was displayed at the 2012 Auto Expo, where the Japanese car maker had confirmed to roll-out the model later in the year. Now we know the date, but no further details about the India specific model are available as yet. Like the current model the new Camry will compete with the Hyundai Sonata, Honda Accord, Skoda Superb, Nissan Teana and the Volkswagen Passat.
The Camry sales dipped quite a bit once the petrol prices started climbing over last two years and the European competitors started offering diesel models in the same price bracket. That is also the reason that not a single unit of the current Camry has been sold from start of the year. Unfortunately, even the new model will be petrol only, as the Camry is not available with an oil-burner anywhere across the world. The new flagship Toyota car will be a tad more powerful than its predecessor at 2.5-litre (4-cylinder Dual-VVT-i) building around 180bhp and 230Nm of torque. There is also V6 version available globally and it will have to be seen if it is offered here. The fuel efficiency and emissions of the Camry have also been improved to a big extent with the new model.
The new Camry has angular and sharp face, unlike the current model that looks curvy. The new grille with horizontal straight lines and chrome finish, along new bumper give it more contemporary look. There are rumours that this model will be built in India after CKD imports, to reduce cost and will compete directly with the Hyundai Sonata on prices. However, we doubt Toyota will take this route due to very limited volumes sans diesel engines.
The premium sedan segment in India is now dominated by Europeans only, due to availability of efficient diesel mills. None of the Japanese or Korean premium cars in India are available diesel engines – Hyundai Sonata, Honda Accord, Toyota Camry and Nissan Teana. The reason for this difference is that the Japs have never felt the need of diesel cars, due to affordable gasoline prices in the region. Things are now changing; the car makers from the region are facing a pinch in global markets (specifically in Europe) due to demand for diesel cars. We expect the next generation of all these models to have diesel engines – either their own or through an alliance with one of the European manufacturers.