As I gently press the start button in the car, I fail to
hear the engine start. I press it again and it switches off. I gently press it
once again and wonder what’s going wrong. I cannot hear the roar of an engine.
I tug at the automatic gear lever and move it to the drive mode...the car
begins to move. Holy Mother Earth, this car is so silent! It not only saves on
petrol, but on there is no noise pollution too. The Toyota Camry Hybrid has
been in India for around a year and people in the country still have to develop
a taste for such cars.
India has seen its share of hybrids with the Toyota Prius a
few years ago, a Honda Civic hybrid that had a bitter start and the Toyota
Camry Hybrid in 2013. It’s obvious that Indians don’t care a damn about the
environment, even when the car they drive is packaged so beautifully. The Camry
hybrid comes with all bells and whistles in terms of luxury.
Once you are seated inside, you are in a world full of
comfort. The seats, the ergonomically designed inside fascia, the controls etc,
all of them smack of perfect finesse. It’s safe also as it comes with four
Under the hood is a 2.5-litre, 158bhp petrol unit that gets
a lot of assistance from a 141bhp electric motor that powers the car’s front
wheel via an electronically-controlled Continuously Variable Transmission
(CVT). As you drive, the power centre shifts from the motor to the engine and
vice versa. When you start the car and begin your drive, it is an all-electric
mechanism that is at play. The moment you floor the throttle the petrol engine
takes control. The dash board display shows the power change through a very
interesting graph. So how’s the battery recharged? Each time you brake, it
recharges the batter. As simple is that!
The interiors of the car are plush with wood finish on the
dash and ventilated seats in the front. The car has a great road presence and
it drives well. It’s a little more expensive than the ordinary Camry but scores
high on the environment front.
TOYOTA CAMRY HYBRID
Type 2AR-FXE, 4 cylinders, In-line, Gasoline
16-Valve DOHC, chain drive with VVT-I (intake)
Front / Rear
MacPherson Strut with Stabilizer Bar /Dual Link
with Stabilizer Bar
Fuel Tank Capacity
Tyres: Front / Rear
215 / 55 R17 (Tubeless)
E-CVT (Electronically-Controlled Continuously
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