2015 Toyota Camry ushers in 'sweeping redesign' [w/poll]Wed, 16 Apr 2014 10:27:00 EST
With a dozen years atop the nation's best-selling car charts, you might think that there wouldn't be a lot of incentive for Toyota to rework its Camry, particularly so early in the life of the current model. But despite its unassailable sales totals, the midsize sedan has come in for substantial criticism for its milquetoast dynamics, piecemeal interiors and bland design.
As part of CEO Akio Toyoda's mantra to build more exciting cars, the 2015 Camry has arrived with a fresh new look and content that goes far beyond the Japanese automaker's typically slight mid-cycle redesigns. Featuring some 2,000 new parts, the 2015 Camry casts a 1.8-inch longer shadow and stretches across a widened track (0.4 inches). And it won't be just the widened track that should help deliver a more dynamic performance – Toyota is citing a stiffer chassis thanks to additional spot welds along with a rejiggered suspension, retuned electric power steering and a new two-stage brake booster for improved braking feel.
A new XSE trim promises the sportiest performance yet, including model-specific shock absorbers and springs, stiffer bushings, unique stability control programming and 18-inch wheels to go along with a unique front end treatment featuring mesh grille inserts and a revised fascia.
But Camry sales have rarely been driven by performance – millions of the things have been purchased due to the family sedan's ironclad reputation for attributes like reliability, strong resale value, comfort and ease of use. The latter two aspects often help secure the former, and to that end, Toyota has made a lot of changes to the Camry's interior, both seen and unseen. Visible changes include a redesigned gauge cluster with a new 4.2-inch TFT display, richer materials, a redesigned center stack and a console tray with available wireless charging. Hidden alterations include 30-percent more sound insulation to help deliver a serene ride.
Despite all these changes, the Camry's powertrains appear to be largely carryover, with an available 2.5-liter four-cylinder or 3.5-liter V6 engine, both yoked to conventional six-speed automatic transmissions. The Camry Hybrid will continue to be offered with a 2.5-liter Atkinson-cycle four-cylinder paired with an electric motor and electronic continuously variable transmission. As previously reported, the Camry Hybrid is joined by a new SE trim with a firmer suspension and retuned steering. So far, Toyota is keeping performance metrics close to the vest – there's no word yet on power, acceleration or fuel economy figures.
Most of the discussion coming out of today's New York Auto Show is likely to be centered on the Camry's very different looks – particularly in sportier XSE trim. With scowling headlamps, gaping new lower fascia and a sharply creased hood, this new model as far more attitude than its predecessor.
What do you think? Have a look in our gallery above, then vote in our poll.
Related Gallery2015 Toyota Camry: New York 2014
More Than Skin Deep: America's Best-Selling Car Gets Even Better With a Sweeping Redesign for 2015
Toyota Camry rebuilt from the ground up with almost 2,000 new parts
New, sporty XSE and Hybrid SE grades amp up driving dynamics
Most upscale interior in segment with soft-touch materials throughout
Produced by over 7,000 American team members
April 16, 2014
NEW YORK (April 16, 2014) - So what do you do when you have the best-selling car in the industry for 12 straight years? You find ways to make it even better. That's exactly what Toyota did with the introduction of the new 2015 Camry. After selling almost a million of the industry's benchmark sedan since the current generation launched in 2011, Toyota stripped it down to its chassis and rebuilt it from the ground up, raising the bar yet again in the ultra-competitive mid-size sedan segment.
"Customers today love the durability, quality and value that the Camry represents, but they are looking for a little more style, comfort and performance, and this 2015 Camry has all of the above," said Bob Carter, senior vice president of automotive operations of Toyota Motor Sales, USA, Inc. "This is the new Camry, and it's coming from the new Toyota."
Toyota designers and engineers re-imagined nearly every exterior surface of the car. Only the roof remains unchanged. The new, upscale interior features premium, soft-touch materials throughout the spacious cabin. Advanced instrumentation with intuitive controls helps keep the driver's eyes safely on the road ahead.
Underneath the striking new exterior, the chassis and body structure are bolstered with additional spot welds, enhancing rigidity for better ride quality. A retuned suspension takes the Camry's handling to a whole new level of responsiveness.
Two new grades, the sporty and luxurious XSE and the eco-fun Hybrid SE, join the well-equipped entry LE and the premium XLE grade, giving customers more choice than ever before.
An Expressive and Athletic Exterior
The 2015 Camry's exterior is more expressive and athletic with prominent character lines. The new car is slightly longer (1.8 inches or 45 mm) and features a widened track (0.4 inches or 10 mm) that communicates a dynamic stance and presence.
A pronounced body line starts from the Camry's muscular front fender and spans across the doors and rear quarter panel, conveying a sense of motion. The completely revised, more aggressive front bumper cover features a wider more prominent trapezoidal grille shape, expressing a lower center of gravity.
The 2015 Camry will be available in 10 colors, including the new Celestial Silver Metallic and Ruby Flare Pearl.
New Lighting Shines with Form and Function
The new sleek headlamps complement the aggressive front fascia, while the front turn signal indicators and LED DRL's are integrated for an elegant appearance. The 2015 Camry will offer exterior lighting with available LED low and high-beams and auto static leveling. The Camry's rear tail lamps sweep into the tapered sheet metal at the rear of the car. A decorative garnish connects
the tail lamps across the trunk lid and emphasizes its new sporty stance.
A Modern, Refined Interior
The interior of the new Camry is more refined than ever with premium materials, roomier feel and improved amenities. The center stack features a high-tech, upscale look that smoothly integrates with the console.
The center console tray has been redesigned to increase capacity while offering a convenient power source in the storage box. The new enclosed bin in front of the shifter now offers 12v, USB and a segment-first, available wireless charging system for select smart phones.
The 2015 Camry's cockpit offers intuitive top-flight in-car electronics and displays that help reduce driver stress and distraction. The instrument panel features a new 4.2-inch TFT screen nestled between the three-dimensional Optitron gauges on the SE, XLE and XSE models. The screen's color animation displays a wide range of vehicle functions and coordinates with the multimedia system to display audio, navigation, warnings and communications.
Detailed stitching and trim elements finished in satin chrome convey a sophisticated appearance. Varying by model, seat cover textures range from premium cloth all of the way to genuine leather and Ultrasuede with durable, high contrast French-stitching.
The Quietest Camry Ever
Toyota engineers focused on reducing unwanted wind and road noise to offer an even quieter cabin. Window and door seals were improved to keep noise outside. The carpet features 30 percent more insulating material. Even the Camry's side mirrors were redesigned to better control air flow reducing turbulence and noise.
Dialing Up Driving Dynamics
Additional spot welds were added to the door opening flanges to increase rigidity and enable spirited handling. A combination of Macpherson struts up front, a multi-link arrangement at the rear and a stiffer body structure allows for unique suspension tuning across trim levels.
The electric power steering on all Camry models is tuned for better on-center feel, better straight line stability and more direct-feeling steering inputs. In addition to improvements in steering feel, the new Camry's hydraulic system has been revised with a two-stage brake booster to improve brake feel.
The Camry will continue to be available with 2.5-liter four-cylinder or 3.5-liter V6 gas engines paired with 6-speed automatic transmissions, or a 2.5-liter Atkinson Cycle engine with Hybrid Synergy drive matched to an E-CVT.
Making the Grade
In 2011, Toyota launched the sporty Camry SE grade, resulting in attracting buyers that were 12 years younger than the rest of the segment average. The SE model now accounts for 45 percent of the Camry sales mix, proving that drivers want sportier models.
Building on this success, the Camry XSE grade gives customers more of what they want with enthusiastic driving dynamics and luxurious amenities. The Camry SE and XSE are distinguished by a unique mesh grille and fascia treatment. The Camry XSE adds to its edgier look with model-specific 18-inch wheels, unique shock absorbers, firmer bushings, higher rate coil springs, and unique EPS tuning, making it the sportiest Camry yet.
Also for 2015, a Camry Hybrid SE has been added to the lineup with unique dynamic suspension tuning that delivers an eco-fun driving experience. Up front, a stabilizer bar, absorber valve structure, and control arm bushing components were enhanced to offer improved ride quality while sharpening steering feel. The Hybrid SE's vehicle stability control system has been retuned for smoother intervention and a more natural driving feel.
Advanced Safety Features
All Toyota vehicles come standard with the STAR Safety System. In addition, Camry will offer safety-focused driver aids including Lane Departure Alert, Adaptive Cruise Control, Pre-Collision System with Auto High Beams, and Blind Spot Monitor with Rear Cross Traffic Alert.
Every Camry sold in North America is the product of over 7,000 skilled American team members. From design and engineering in Michigan, to assembly in Kentucky, a unique American touch goes into each Camry that rolls off of the line. The new 2015 Camry will arrive in dealerships this fall.
Watch the Camry Reveal Livestream
Meet Monte Kaehr, Camry Chief Engineer
Toyota (NYSE:TM), the world's top automaker and creator of the Prius, is committed to building vehicles for the way people live through our Toyota, Lexus and Scion brands. Over the past 50 years, we've built more than 25 million cars and trucks in North America, where we operate 14 manufacturing plants (10 in the U.S.) and directly employ more than 40,000 people (more than 32,000 in the U.S.). Our 1,800 North American dealerships (1,500 in the U.S.) sold more than 2.5 million cars and trucks (more than 2.2 million in the U.S.) in 2013 – and about 80 percent of all Toyota vehicles sold over the past 20 years are still on the road today.
Toyota partners with philanthropic organizations across the country, with a focus on education, safety and the environment. As part of this commitment, we share the company's extensive know-how garnered from building great cars and trucks to help community organizations and other nonprofits expand their ability to do good. For more information about Toyota, visit www.toyotanewsroom.com.
By Chris Paukert
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