As consumer attention continues to swing away from traditional sedans and in the direction of SUVs and crossovers, Toyota is making a push to ensure its Camry mid-size sedan keeps turning heads.
Automotive News reports that at a presentation of pre-production models of the 2018 Camry, Toyota GM Jack Hollis said it's time for the manufacturer to "start fresh" with its well-known family car.
To that end, the new Camry will come in traditional "L-badged" models, and sportier "S-badged" variants that it is designing to be easily distinguishable from one another from 200 yards away. That's ironic considering Camry owners are an easy target for jokes about people not being able to tell their cars apart from competitors by Honda, Ford, Chevrolet and others.
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That said, we noticed the 2017 Toyota Camry, and those dating back to the 2012 introduction of the seventh-generation car, make a slight shift away from its middle-of-the-road status, and based on Hollis' comments, Toyota wants to continue that move.
Beyond styling tweaks, the report says Toyota has extracted "about 30 more horsepower" from both the Camry's four- and six-cylinder engines and is plugging an eight-speed automatic transmission into those gasoline-powered models. Gas-electric hybrid models will get tweaks too, including a bit more power and a continuously variable transmission that will behave more like a traditional gearbox.
Notable in the new Camry range will be XLE and XSE models, whose middle letters could fairly be parsed as "luxury" and "sport."
We'll have full details on the 2018 Toyota Camry soon, in an upcoming first drive report.