DETROIT (Reuters) – The next generation of the Toyota Camry, the best-selling sedan in the U.S. market, will come with a gas-electric hybrid powertrain only, the boldest move yet by the Japanese automaker to push hybrid technology into the U.S. market. The heart of the American market.
Toyota said the 2025 Camry will combine a 2.5-liter gasoline engine with an electric propulsion system tuned to provide more power in both front-wheel and all-wheel drive versions of the car.
Complying with stricter U.S. fuel economy rules was a factor in Toyota’s decision to make the new Camry a fully hybrid line, ditching the four- and six-cylinder combustion models that make up about 85% of sales in the current model year, Toyota brand president David Crist said. Business in North America, according to Reuters. Another factor behind the decision was “the performance we were able to get out of the hybrid,” he said.
While Toyota has accelerated the development of electric vehicle technology, it is still betting that demand for plug-in hybrids and hybrids will remain strong as the automaker takes a “multi-track” approach that seeks to meet customer needs in every market.
Toyota said the hybrid powertrain and new electronic all-wheel drive system deliver 232 horsepower, roughly 15% more than the previous Camry with mechanical all-wheel drive.
Toyota executives unveiled the ninth generation of the Camry midsize sedan on Tuesday in Los Angeles, ahead of the Los Angeles Auto Show that opens on Friday.
The new Camry will compete in a segment that Detroit brands have largely abandoned, with the exception of General Motors’ Chevrolet Malibu. Among the new Camry’s direct competitors, aside from dozens of compact and midsize SUVs, are a few remaining sedans such as the Honda (7267.T) Accord, Hyundai (005380.KS) Sonata, and the all-electric Tesla (TSLA.O). . Model 3.
The Tesla Model 3 outsold the Camry in California, a key market for Toyota, during the first nine months of 2023, according to data from the California New Car Dealers Association.
Toyota did not reveal prices or fuel efficiency numbers for the 2025 Camry, which is scheduled to be launched in showrooms next spring. The cheapest hybrid Camry currently sells for about $2,400 more than the cheapest combustion Camry.
Most hybrids sell for $1,500 to $2,000 for combustion models, Crist said. “We believe the value a hybrid powertrain brings deserves this kind of distinction.”
The current Camry Hybrid is rated at 52 miles (84 km) per gallon in combined city and highway driving, compared to 32 mpg for the conventional four-cylinder Camry. The hybrid model saves $650 a year in fuel costs compared to the combustion model, according to U.S. government fuel economy data.
Toyota previously converted its Sienna small car to a full hybrid powertrain approach. The Sienna is “our second-fastest car and the car we have the most reservations about,” Crist said.
Joe White reports in Detroit Editing by Matthew Lewis
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