2.5L 4 cylinder VVT-I with Hybrid Synergy Drive
Electronic - CVT
ICE-167bhp, Elec Motor-141bhp,
Combined – 202bhp
ICE-213Nm, Elec Motor-270Nm
244W Nickel Metal Hydride
MacPherson Strut with Stabilizer Bar
Dual Link with Stabilizer Bar
Ventilated Steel Disc Brakes
Solid Steel Disc Brakes
Kerb Weight (Kgs)
Price (ex-showroom Delhi)
Report: Rahul Kapoor; Photography:
going to come a time when either fuel prices will be so high that it would
exceed the prices of cars they are meant to fuel, or completely gone from the
planet all together. What are we going to do then? Well I literally have no
What I do
know is that Toyota is trying their best to conserve as much of it they can
with a thing called a hybrid.
Essentially it is a petrol powered car with an electric motor. How it
works is both the engine and the electric motor power the front wheels, while
the engine and the brakes also charge the batteries. Toyota first fitted this
system into the Prius and then into the Camry. When the Camry Hybrid first came
to India as an import, there weren’t many takers. Then Toyota brought the
production of the Camry to India which brought down the price and eventually,
people started taking interest in the car.
really liked hybrids. A car with two engines didn’t make any sense to me what
so ever. So I asked Toyota to let me actually see what this hybrid is all about
and they handed me the new Camry Hybrid which was facelifted and which was priced
at Rs.32Lakh. So here are the two questions I need answered. Firstly, does the
technology work in the real world? Secondly, Is it worth the price tag?
starters, I think the Camry looks great with the new aggressive styling. It
doesn’t look like any other traditional Japanese car with uninteresting styling
anymore. It’s like something out of a Japanese Sci-Fi film. A single side of
head lamps has nine bulbs doing different things, a total of 18 different bulbs
to illuminate the dark unlit Indian roads. That’s going to be handy. Then there
are chrome bits, I personally think all of the chrome together is slightly a
bit too blingy, though I guess it’s still charming. But what do I know about
is littered with more Japanese Sci-Fi-ery. With chrome dials and perfectly
working buttons that are finished with Japanese build quality and precision.
Nothing looks like it’s going to stop working anytime soon. Then the seats are
designed by some sorcerer I believe. So that you don’t sweat from your back and
bottom, the soft comfy leather seats have tiny little holes in them which blow
air onto your back and your bottom to stop you from sweating from these places.
Amazing, is it not? Even the most expensive Audi’s or Merc’s or BMW’s don’t
have this. The only word that comes to mind sitting in the Camry Hybrid is
“Luxury”. The rear seats can recline, the sunshades block the sun, and the seats
are immensely comfortable with enough leg room to stop Indians from their usual
Now let’s get
to down to its other attributes. How does it drive? Well, firstly there is a 2.5 litre VVT petrol
engine and an electric motor with a 244W Nickel Metal Hydride battery pack
under the boot. All of it together produces a total of 202bhp while the
electric motor alone delivers 270Nm of torque. The transmission is a simple
Continuously Variable Transmission (CVT) controlled by electronics which
delivers such seamless shifts it almost feels like there are no gears at all.
The electric motor is just so silent you forget you’re in a car and the sound
proofing is so good, there is no road noise, tyre noise or anything apart from
the annoying Indian honking roads. When you floor the throttle and engage the
engine, only then can you hear some noise from the 4 cylinder petrol engine. And
that’s pretty much it for the noise. But thanks to the electric motor, the
acceleration is so instant; it just makes your day. You’ll never want to reach
your destination if you’re driving one of these. It just so much fun to drive
with the electric power steering being feather light but the tyres could use a
bit more grip.
practical? Yes with a giant boot and seating for 5 it is extremely practical.
But do I have the answers to my questions? Let’s see; does the technology work
in the real world? If you know how to drive it, yes, majorly it does work and
give you slight advantage from what you would get over the standard Camry. But
the EV mode won’t win you bragging rights with Greenpeace. Without full charged
batteries, you can’t access it at all, and even when you do, you only get about
3kms of range. But here is the thing, if you can have one of these, why would
you go for a standard Camry at all? It just doesn’t make sense. I’ll admit I’m
still not convinced with the technology, that some claim, will save the polar
bear. But as a car, I wouldn’t have it any other way. The next question is does
it justify the price tag? Well with all the kit and all the technology and
those seats from the land of sorcerers, I believe it is the bargain of the
century. But there is a problem with the Camry Hybrid that dawned on me and it’s
not with the car. The problem is, most of the people who’ll buy it here in
India, will only be chauffeured in it, they will probably never experience the
joy of driving this car. They will have no idea what this car is capable of.
It’s such a shame… What a waste…
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