GET ready for the Toyota Camry that’s good to drive.
Or, at least, it will offer more excitement with some of the updated mid-sized range.
The heavily revised Toyota Camry lineup – with 800 new parts and fresh speed skater-inspired sheetmetal – includes a unique-to-Australia sports model designed to broaden the appeal of a medium car known for its conservatism.
That sports version – the Atara SX - includes unique suspension, 18-inch Bridgestone tyres and a faster steering ratio.
But the same 2.5-litre four-cylinder engine, with a modest 135kW of power. It is not available with the 151kW petrol-electric hybrid drivetrain.
Toyota Technical Centre president Max Gillard said the Atara SX allowed Toyota to create “a Camry with two flavours” – one that offered variants focused on reliability and comfort, and one focused on the “fundamental excitement of driving”.
That Camry Atara SX was engineered locally to Australian conditions under the watchful eye of chief engineer Masato Katsumata.
Katsumata claims the new suspension setup has “transformed Camry into a true driver’s car” and one that is “much more fun to drive”.
The cynical – including us at Wheels – would suggest there was plenty of room to move.
Toyota will no doubt be hoping the Toyota Camry Atara SX will be more successful than the locally produced Toyota Aurion TRD, with its supercharged V6 that struggled to compete with V8 and six-cylinder turbo options from Ford and Holden.
Toyota has priced its final Australian-made Camry from $26,490 (plus on-road costs) with the Atara SX priced at $31,990.