Toyota have previewed the Toyota Camry Hybrid that will be assembled in Thailand. The Thai-assembled Camry Hybrid will be the first Camry Hybrid to be based on the Aurion-based Camry body. Currently the Camry Hybrid sold in countries such as the US are based on the JDM Camry, which to me looks more funky and sporty, somewhat like an overgrown Altis.
As the Camry sold in Thailand and the rest of the ASEAN region are based on the Australian Toyota Aurion, it only makes sense that Toyota bases the Thai Camry Hybrid on the Aurion body. The Thai assembled Toyota Camry Hybrid features its own front grille and rear tail lamp design as well as a front bumper that looks similiar to the one found on the facelifted Toyota Camry, but with some differences in the fog lamp area.
The Australian-assembled Camry Hybrid will likely continue to be based on the JDM Camry body, as indicated by the Toyota HC-CV Hybrid Camry Concept displayed at the 2009 Melbourne Auto Show.
Toyota Motor Thailand president Mitsuhiro Sonoda says the Camry Hybrid will be priced quite closely to exiting petrol-powered Camry models in Thailand, predicting a premium of not more than 100,000 Thai baht. This is because the Camry Hybrid is subject to an excise duty of only 10% instead of 35% in Thailand.
Since a top of the line Camry 2.4 can go for over 1.7 million Thai baht (it starts from about 1.5 million for the cheaper 2.4G), the Camry Hybrid would likely be priced at about 1.8 million Thai baht. I don’t think he was referring to the 3.5Q which retails for nearly 3 million Thai Baht.
The warranty for the Toyota Camry Hybrid will also be extended to 5 years or 150,000km, which is longer than the regular 3 year warranty that you get with Toyota cars there. This is to help ease public acceptance of the relatively new technology which many fear will be expensive to maintain once the warranty period ends. Toyota has also partnered with insurance firms there to offer the same premiums as the regular models despite the Camry hybrid having more expensive parts.
I am not sure whether the Thai Camry Hybrid will share the same hybrid powertrain as the US market Camry with different styling, but under the US car’s hood is the 2.4 litre Atkinson cycle 2AZ-FXE engine producing 147 horsepower at 6,000rpm and 187Nm of torque at 4,400rpm, paired to a 30kW (40 horses) electric motor with 270Nm of torque. These two are combined and send power to the front wheels via an E-CVT transmission. The Thai Camry Hybrid should use something similiar.
Look after the jump for more photos of the Camry Hybrid.
[zenphotopress number=99 album=311]