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Mentioned in passing during the Lexus ES launch last week, UMW Toyota has now confirmed its intent to offer the Toyota Camry Hybrid as a locally-assembled CKD model soon. Pending government rulings on possible tax breaks for large-capacity CKD hybrid vehicles, its pricing could be pegged at a small premium over the current range-topping Camry 2.5V.

At present, hybrid cars with engines displacing under 2,000 cc and electric cars enjoy full exemption on both import and excise duties, but the current set of tax incentives – which were first announced in Budget 2011 and then extended in Budget 2012 – is set to end on Dec 31, 2013.

The upcoming Budget on October 25 should see the continuance of exemptions for hybrids, but rumours abound that the current application is likely to be revised, with the possibility that import/excise duty exemptions will be granted to locally-assembled hybrids as opposed to that in effect now.

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That would fit into the scheme of things for the Camry Hybrid if it is to be CKD-ed. Previous iterations of the model never arrived here previously because its engine displacement runs well above the 2.0 litre ceiling covered by the current tariff scheme – it’s powered by a 2.5 litre 2AR-FXE Atkinson cycle unit, the same unit as found in the Lexus ES 300h.

With a combined output of 205 PS, the Camry Hybrid can get to 100 km/h 8.6 seconds, compared to the standard 2.5V’s 9.7 seconds. Fuel consumption is significantly better too, at an average of 19.6 km per litre over 13.0 km/L for the petrol-only variant. Toyota’s proprietary eCVT replaces the six-speed automatic transmission.

The petrol/electric Camry was displayed at the 4th International Greentech and Eco Products & Exhibition and Conference Malaysia (IGEM 2013) last weekend, along with the NS4 Plug-in Hybrid Concept. The pair will again be present at Toyota’s KLIMS’13 stand from November 15-24 at the PWTC.

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