Toyota showed off the new Camry hybrid yesterday at the Auto Show in Detroit. With an estimated fuel economy of 43 mpg city/37 mpg highway, the Camry is a welcome addition to the short list of hybrid vehicles on the road today.
Toyota captured over 50% of the hybrid market last year with the Toyota Prius and sold 73.5% of the hybrids in the US. Making a hybrid option for one of the most popular sedans should help them increase their market share.
An excerpt from their press release:
Toyota extends its hybrid leadership by making its exclusive Hybrid Synergy Drive available in the 2007 Camry. Hybrid Synergy Drive consists of dual gas and electric power sources that are complementary and produce a combined 192 horsepower. This system varies power between gas and electric, or both, as needed.
The first half of this system consists of the 2.4L four-cylinder 2AZ-FXE Atkinson-cycle engine, which generates 147 hp and is coupled to a continuously variable transmission (CVT). The second half of the Hybrid Synergy Drive equation consists of a small, specially developed electric drive motor that produces 45 horsepower, an ultra-small inverter with a specially designed compact battery and a transaxle to provide the economy and seamless performance hybrid drivers seek.
In addition to its groundbreaking Hybrid Synergy Drive, Camry Hybrid comes with a long list of standard features. These include a tire-pressure monitoring system, halogen headlamps with automatic on/off, a premium JBL audio system with an auxiliary audio jack and Bluetooth® technology, cruise control, a tilt and telescopic steering wheel, dual-zone automatic climate control heating and air conditioning, an eight-way-adjustable power driver's seat, a 60/40 split fold-down rear seat, 16-inch aluminum wheels, heated outside rear-view mirrors and much more.
Additionally, the Camry Hybrid is equipped with an "ECO" button that limits energy consumption by the HVAC system and under certain conditions can help improve fuel economy.
Because there are situations in daily driving in which the gas engine in a Toyota hybrid is completely shut down, air-conditioning and power-steering systems are driven electrically, rather than by the engine. This ensures these features will continue to operate, whatever the status of the Camry Hybrid's drive system.
Finally, special attention was paid to the vehicle underbody with the use of wheel spats and underbelly pans resulting in a low coefficient of aerodynamic drag (Cd) of 0.27, which helps increase fuel economy.