Most successful midsize sedan Toyota Camry is rolling our way as a new generation, and let me tell you people are anticipating it just to see what it has to offer this time. Apparently, when it arrives, it will be more tech advanced than anything so far, and it will be even capable of rivaling the Honda’s semi-autonomous drive tech. So far sounds good but one thing is still unknown, and it is related to the handling and drive performance and if it will be able to offer any thrill.
New 2018 Toyota Camry is going to be built upon a TNGA (Toyota New Global Architecture) platform, yes the same one that will hold the next gen Prius. The good thing about the TNGA platform is that it offers some liberties in vehicle sizes and drive configurations, but that is not all, it is also very lightweight and more rigid than predecessors which only implies that the fuel economy might get better.
Lightweight architecture and a good powertrain is a recipe for the fun driving experience which is something that is expected from the new Camry but also something that the next gen Prius will have to work hard for. When we take a look at the exterior, Camry and Prius have always had some similarities, but Camry always looked a little better for some, while Prius had one thing on its side and that is the efficiency. An impressive hybrid powertrain that Prius offered was able to deliver 50 mpg while Camry was stuck at 42/38 mpg at best.
Why we are telling you this, well the recent reports are pulling towards the same thing when the next gen Camry comes out, but this time with significant improvements to fuel efficiency. The latest generation of Prius that has been recently introduced pushes the figures to 58/53 mpg, and while we know that Camry will be offered in the hybrid version, we do not know if it will stick to old and not that impressive tech or it will be moved closer to what its cousin has to offer.
Obviously, 2018 Toyota Camry Hybrid will never reach Prius level, but it doesn’t have to since Japanese car maker is not looking in that direction. These are two quite different vehicles where Prius is all about the economy while Camry needs to offer decent performances and arguably better look that sometimes influences efficiency. Old combination of 2.5-liter naturally aspirated engine, and an electric motor that is supplied from nickel-metal hydride battery pack should be upgraded. A similar setup could be offered so it would keep 200 hp total system power but this time in combination with Lithium-Ion battery pack that is more efficient, lighter and compact. The result could be improved fuel economy that should go up to 45/50 mpg with few tweaks on 2018 model.
What fears us the most is that the Camry might lose its identity and end up with pretty much the same look as Prius, in the design department. Even Toyota managed to deliver significantly better looking Prius we still like Camry a lot more so hopefully they will keep these two separated in terms of design language.