Toyota Camry hybrid launched at Rs. 29.75 lakh

Toyota has launched a locally-manufactured hybrid car in the form of the Toyota Camry Hybrid. This car is priced at Rs. 29.75 lakh and will be made at Toyota’s second plant in Bidadi. However, is the Toyota Camry Hybrid a little too early?

If there’s one thing that has been holding back the development and roll out of hybrid cars in India it is the costs. Hybrids, no doubt, are great with fuel economy, but the initial purchase cost puts off many. The other thing hybrids are great with is environment friendliness – and that’s probably the only set of buyers of hybrid vehicles in India. In fact, Toyota is right now the only car maker in India offering a hybrid – or two of them now – with the Toyota Prius and the Toyota Camry Hybrid, while Mahindra is the only car maker to offer an all-electric car in the form of the Mahindra e2o.  Also read: Govt framing norms for hybrid cars

So what’s new with the Toyota Camry Hybrid?

The Toyota Camry Hybrid combines a newly developed 2.5 litre “beltless” petrol engine with an electric motor. It uses a complex ECU called the Hybrid Synergy Drive to monitor driving conditions and switch between power sources – either the petrol engine or the electric motor. Power to the electric motor comes from a battery pack. The combined power output of the petrol engine and the electric motor is 205 PS (201 bhp). It comes with an electronically controlled CVT (automatic) transmission.

The electric motor also acts as a generator when the car is slowing down or running only on petrol power to charge the on-board batteries. It also converts the wasted energy from the wheels when decelerating or braking to electric power to charge the batteries (regenerative braking). Also read: Five car types we need in India now

By using a combination of a petrol engine and an electric motor, this car, with an impressive amount of power also gives a fuel efficiency of 19.16 kmpl, which is exceptional for a luxury car like the Camry. It also gives much lower CO2 emissions.

The car also has some new features that are quite interesting besides the usual features. It also features a power-operated reclining rear seat, which is a segment first. The rear armrest has the controls for the reclining feature, plus an electronic rear sun blind, and controls for the AC and audio system. It also has a three-zone climate control system – driver, passenger and rear-seat occupants can all set different AC temperatures.

The car is available in four colours – grey, white, silver and black. Also read: Hybrid cars in India – is the Toyota Prius the lone car?