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New Toyota Camry Hybrid

The new Toyota Camry Hybrid has arrived in India now in its eighth-generation. With a changing environment and the growing concern over its preservation, is this truly the king of rational choice?

Story: Jim Gorde
Photography: Toyota

Rational. How many actually think rationally? How many of our decisions of our are actually influenced more by what others think than what we truly need or desire for ourselves? Countries have fallen into debt vastly because of this very reason. If you think about it, you’re never truly alone, and that’s explicitly made clear when on the road. There are billions of people and most of them form what we consider “traffic”. When you’re on the road, you become traffic. The best you can do is move as quickly as possible or permissible and adhere to road safety rules, because, if everyone thinks they’re alone on the road, all hell would break loose; as it clearly has in many of our “modern metros”. Responsibility is not something everything takes seriously – if you think otherwise, wake up! Furthermore, we are responsible for what we do, every second of every day. To borrow a phrase from a certain franchise, there’s “no fate but what we make”. Some movies have spelled out our future in the past. Yet, we see them as entertainment and overlook the critical message they want to deliver. If everyone is irresponsible, we’re doomed.  And doomsday is not too far away. However, a small – actually medium- to large-sized – change is drastically needed and while many manufacturers have jumped on the band-wagon globally, the seventh-largest country and even higher-placed vehicle market has a lot to learn and adapt to.

Hybrid vehicles are the saviours. Not everyone can have unlimited electricity at a throwaway price – not until the technology to emulate what plants have been doing for millions of years becomes a reality – unless synthetic fuel, where sunlight is converted to a tangible state, is something we achieve. Fossil-fuel is running out, yes, but we need to use what we have wisely. Technology to eradicate our dependence on it is not entirely in place where possible and completely unfeasible in other areas. However, bridging the gap is our immediate solution and that’s where hybrid vehicles step in. Use a combustion engine to support an electric motor to achieve as clean a mobility solution as possible. Of late, the ‘H’ word is looked upon with disdain by many and, as such, Toyota prefer to term their latest offering a “self-charging electric vehicle”. Wow.

New Toyota Camry Hybrid

The new Toyota Camry Hybrid, then, is a brand new solution making the most of efficiency with an all-new powertrain. I do not say that loosely for the Camry Hybrid not only gets an all-new 2.5-litre petrol combustion engine but also a new fourth-generation hybrid drive system that uses a more powerful electric motor than before, making 88 kW (or 120 PS) and 202 Nm of peak torque, paired to a “Hyper Nickel” or nickel-metal-hydride battery pack of less than three kWh. The reason for this is, the energy created or regenerated by the recuperation system doesn’t have to be stored for a long time leading to complex, heavy and expensive storage solutions. It is used almost immediately to power the car and reduce the load on the combustion engine at all times. That leads to a claimed 23.27 km/l in ideal conditions. However, even in the most challenging conditions, this 218-PS, 1.7-tonne premium luxury car can return the same fuel efficiency as a much lighter, less powerful and way less comfortable budget hatchback. So, what else does the Camry have going for it?

More on page 2 >

 

About the author: Jim Gorde

 

Automotive Correspondent at Bike India and Car India.
Believes that learning never stops. Loves V8 engines as much as a good breakfast.
t: @BikeIndia / @CarIndia

 

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