Toyota has launched the seventh-generation Camry, which the Japanese automaker claims as the America's best-selling car for nine years running and 13 of the past 14 years.

The car is debuting amid tough competition from Honda Accord, Ford Fusion, Hyundai Sonata and Chevrolet Malibu.

The 2012 Camry offers a more spacious interior, improved driving dynamics and an even quieter ride than before, said Toyota, which has sold more than 15 million Camry models worldwide since the sedan's launch in 1983.

The all-new 2012 Camry blends an evolution of the car's values - such as comfort, efficiency, reliability and safety - with a more appealing design and engaging driving experience, said Bob Carter, Toyota Division group vice president and general manager. 

All Camry models with the revised 2.5-litre four-cylinder engine now offer 178 horsepower, an increase of 9 hp, and 170 lb.-ft. of peak torque. The vehicle is expected to give 25 miles per gallon (MPG) in city and 35 mpg in highways.

The sedan's DOHC 3.5-liter V6, available in the SE and XLE grades, delivers 268 horsepower at 6,200 rpm and 248 lb.-ft. of peak torque at 4,700 rpm. Enhancements to this engine boost its fuel economy to projected EPA-estimated ratings of 21 mpg city/30 mpg highway, the best for any current V6 midsize sedan.

The V6 uses chain-driven camshafts and Dual Variable Valve Timing with intelligence (Dual VVT-i). To improve efficiency, the V6 features a new, lower oil viscosity and an automatic transmission fluid warmer that brings the transmission to operating temperature more quickly in cold weather. Higher final drive-gear ratios also contribute to better fuel economy in the new Camry models.

Meanwhile, the Camry's hybrid version has 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine. The 2012 Camry Hybrid LE, with EPA-estimated 43 mpg city/39 mpg highway/41 mpg combined, yields a more-than-30 percent boost in fuel economy in the EPA city and combined driving cycles, compared to the previous generation, thanks largely to the new hybrid powertrain.

The hybrid version's engine gives a combined 200 horsepower and varies power between the gas engine and electric motor, or combines both, as needed.

A new water-cooled exhaust gas recirculation (EGR) system helps to ensure the lowest possible emissions at all vehicle speeds and helps increase fuel efficiency.

Toyota added that the vehicle's 7.6-second zero-to-60 acceleration time places the Camry Hybrid between the four-cylinder and V6 models. In addition, the EV Drive mode in the hybrid vehicle allows the driver to operate the car on the electric motor alone for up to 1.6 miles at lower speeds.

The all-new Camry and Camry Hybrid will offer six different model grades to choose from. Camry will be available in the entry-level L, value-driven LE, premium XLE and sporty SE grades. The XLE and SE are available with four-cylinder or V6 engines. The Camry Hybrid is offered in LE and XLE grades.

For 2012, the Camry offers four seat-covering materials: fabric in the LE and XLE; fabric with SofTex in the SE, standard leather trim on the XLE V6 (optional in the XLE four-cylinder), and Ultrasuede® with leather available for the SE and XLE Hybrid. Heated seats are standard on the XLE V6 and are available for SE, XLE four-cylinder and Hybrid with variable temperature control.

All new Camry models will feature Toyota's latest electric power steering (EPS) control system, which will offer more flexibility to steering-feel tuning. The system regulates power-assist response based on vehicle speed, and for the first time steering-input rate. 

The SE grade will feature a power-assist ratio that provides a more sporty feeling than the LE and XLE. Also, electricity is only consumed when assist power is necessary, helping to improve fuel economy.  Electric power steering is also more environment-friendly, as it does not require hydraulic fluid.

Toyota offers 36-month/36,000 mile basic new-vehicle warranty applies to all components other than normal wear and maintenance items. Additional 60-month warranties cover the powertrain for 60,000 miles and against corrosion with no mileage limitation.

The hybrid-related components, including the HV battery, battery control module, hybrid control module and inverter with converter, are covered for eight years/100,000 miles.

The Camry Hybrid LE carries a price tag of $25,900, while the Camry Hybrid XLE model comes for $27,400. Prices exclude the delivery, processing and handling (DPH) fee, which is $760.

The new Camry models with four-cylinder and V6 engines will begin reaching Toyota dealers in October, while Camry Hybrid models will arrive in November.

2012 Camry Pricing Chart

Model Year

Model

Code

Grade

Engine / Transmission

MY 2012

MSRP

MSRP Chg ($)

MSRP Chg (%)

MY2011

MSRP

        

2012

2514

L

2.5L L4 (2AR) / 6AT

$21,955

$710

3.3%

$21,245

2012

2532

LE

2.5L L4 (2AR) / 6AT

$22,500

(-$200)

-0.9%

$22,700

2012

2546

SE

2.5L L4 (2AR) / 6AT

$23,000

(-$965)

-4.0%

$23,965

2012

2540

XLE

2.5L L4 (2AR) / 6AT

$24,725

(-$2,000)

-7.5%

$26,725

2012

2550

SE

3.5L V6 (2GR) / 6AT

$26,640

$0

0.0%

$26,640

2012

2554

XLE

3.5L V6 (2GR) / 6AT

$29,845

$0

0.0%

$29,845

2012

2559

HYBRID LE

2.5L L4 (2AR) HV / ECVT

$25,900

(-$1,150)

-4.3%

$27,050

2012

2560

HYBRID XLE

2.5L L4 (2AR) HV / ECVT

$27,400

(-$800)

-2.8%

$28,200