Toyota is apparently planning to launch a hybrid variant of its premium sedan – the Toyota Camry in India. This car will apparently be locally assembled alongside the present Toyota Camry. However, the price tag is likely to go up by at least Rs. 12 lakh.
Overdrive reports that the Toyota Camry hybrid may be launched in August. It does seem strange that Toyota would want to launch a hybrid, and that too one far more expensive than the Prius, which it already sells in India – but with very few being sold. The Camry Hybrid is likely to cost over Rs. 36 lakh, while the regular Camry is at a Rs. 24 lakh price point.
The Toyota Camry Hybrid will have more power than the present 2.5 litre Camry. It will have a small electric motor coupled with the car’s automatic transmission to give it additional power and also save on fuel. It will apparently also be able to travel only on electric power for a short distance of about 2.5 km with speeds not exceeding 40 kmph. But otherwise, it would have a proper 2.4 litre petrol engine with 146 bhp of power and 187 Nm of torque. The electric motor would produce about 140 bhp of power and 270 Nm of torque. And when they operate in a combined mode, maximum power is about 190 bhp. It comes with a small Nickel Hydride battery pack to power the electric motor. The car can operate in petrol only, electric only or petrol-electric combined modes. Also read: Toyota Camry launch
Other “green” features that it offers includes a water-cooled exhaust gas recirculation system, to keep NOx emission levels low, an airconditioner that can save power and low rolling resistance tyres. There are likely to be some external differentiators for the car as well such as redesigned headlamps, grille and bumper housing for the foglamps.
What we think
This may be just a signature sales pitch by Toyota, as the demand for hybrid cars or green cars is quite low in India. The Prius, one of the best-selling Toyota hybrids globally, hardly sells a handful of cars in India. The Honda Civic Hybrid imported and sold a few years ago by Honda in India, found no takers and had to be hived off at nearly 50% the price. The all-electric Mahindra e2o is struggling to find its footing. Would buyers pick up hybrid Toyota Camry for Rs. 12 lakh over the regular Camry? Not unless they really do care for the environment. Also read: Toyota Camry road test and review