UMW Malaysia launched 2 new model, the New Toyota Camry 2012/2013 and New Toyota 86 sports car which is priced at around RM150K and RM249K respectively. View images of the new camry and Toyota 86 here including the test drive review from thestar reporters.
NEW TOYOTA CAMRY AND TOYOTA 86 SPORTS CAR LAUNCHED
UMW Toyota Motor came out with all guns blazing on Friday as it put out the welcome carpet at the Sepang International Circuit for the all-new Camry executive sedan and the 86 sports coupe. The Camry, which features a range of improvements, aims to strengthen the nameplate’s position as the country’s bestselling medium-sized passenger car for the past six years. The 86, meanwhile, marks Toyota’s return to making “fun-to-drive” cars after years of focusing more on the passenger car, MPV and SUV segments.
The muscular Camry
Whether you are a Toyota loyalist or a newbie thinking of buying the Camry because you’ve heard that it’s reliable and very comfortable, here’s more evidence to push you in that direction with the coming of the all-new Camry.
What most struck us about the seventh-generation Camry after three laps on the Sepang circuit were the comfort levels, handling, and better overall performance. To ensure we had a basis for comparison, UMW Toyota arranged for the new Camry to be tested alongside the outgoing model. The 2.4-litre variant of yore was compared against the new 2.5-litre, which now replaces the former as the top of the line in the flagship model. Exterior changes are subtle and not so obvious to the naked eye.
The new Camry still uses the same platform as the old Camry but its front, roofline and rear have been re-shaped to give it a more prestigious look and better interior space, according to Camry chief engineer Michihiko Sato. The end result is a car that looks a little more muscular than its predecessor. Toyota has decided not to make the car bigger in the interest of fuel efficiency while playing with the interior to expand passenger space.
And that’s obvious in the rear seats where headroom and legroom have increased measurably. Comfort is also enhanced for passengers where the contact area between seats and the person’s body has been expanded. Visually, the wood panelling on the dash and the bits of wood on the steering wheel would probably appeal to traditional Camry buyers. For the first time, the Camry now uses electric power steering but, wonder of wonders, there is surprisingly good feedback from the front wheels as you speed through sweeping bends. Sato said Toyota engineers have given Asean customers (that’s us Malaysians too) a sporty feel as requested, and the steering has been programmed to be stiffer so that corners can be taken with a little more of that “fun to drive” feeling. We would say the ride is as comfortable as before but the extra space all round just steps up the comfort levels even more. What’s neat is that the front passenger headrest can be folded forward so that the passenger immediately behind – be it the towkay or your grandma – can have an unimpeded forward view.
Simple features like a fin on the wing mirror attachment help contribute to less wind rustling and smoothen airflow around the car.
Increased cabin padding has resulted in less exterior noise seepage into the cabin.
On top of that, the Camry aerodynamics have been improved with aero-corners to enable air to flow smoothly around the body. Underneath, there are fewer openings and more covers installed to provide a smoother surface.
Small fins on door mirrors and towards the rear also help to keep wind noise down so it’s still quiet inside even when pushing 140kph. On the move, the extra horsepower and torque from a 2.5-litre engine (181bhp/231Nm) helps to give this car an edge over the old Camry. It goes a little faster with power smoothly relayed to the ground via a new six-speed auto transmission.
Banking into corners and exiting at a hurried pace plus stopping in the straights show that Toyota has indeed fine-tuned the Camry further with an overriding emphasis on ensuring passenger comfort.
Body roll is much more controlled and the front doesn’t dip as much when the car is subjected to hard braking. On-the-road with insurance prices for the Camry are RM149,900 for the 2.0E variant, RM157,900 for the 2.0G and RM180,900 for the 2.5V.
The sporty 86 Though hailed as the spiritual successor of the Toyota AE 86 (also known as hachi roku in Japanese) of the 1980s, the latest 86 also draws inspiration from two past Toyota sports cars – the curvaceous body styling harks back to the 2000GT and the flat engine layout to the Sports 800. A low slung two-door coupe design now, the 86 boasts a hip point of 400mm, the lowest for any current production Toyota model. The 2+2 seater car is offered with a six-speed sequential automatic transmission with paddle shifters and six-speed manual.
Both versions are powered by a 2.0-litre 16-valve twin cam DOHC Boxer engine featuring direct and port fuel injection system, similar to the one found in the high performance Lexus IS-F sedan. The engine, a joint effort by Toyota and Subaru, produces 200bhp at 7,000rpm and has maximum torque of 205Nm from 6,400 to 6,600rpm to effect a lively driving experience. The automatic can sprint from 0 to 100kph in 8.2 seconds while the manual reaches the same mark in 7.6 seconds. Top speed is 210kph for the automatic and 226kph for the manual. Inside, double red thread stitching on black upholstery denote the sporting aspirations. One sits low on the generous front semi-bucket seats. Those in the rear, however, will find legroom more suitable for smaller people.
Other features include HID headlights, a rear wheel drive system with Torsen limited slip differential, electric power steering, seven airbags, anti-lock braking system, traction control, stability control with sport mode, cruise control, Alcantara leather seats and 215/45 R17 tyres. In our brief drive on Sepang International Circuit’s south track, the 86, to our delight glides around sharp turns and twisty stretches with much confidence.
The steering, while powered electrically, is sharp and a gives good feedback on how the front tyres are behaving on the road. In the hands of experienced drivers, the 86 can be transformed into a drift car by switching off its traction control system. Though not turbocharged, the 86 is fast off the blocks with power coming in smoothly. Toyota has even a equipped it with a “sound generator” that channels the induction note from the engine into the cabin to heighten the driving experience. On the road with insurance prices are RM249,000 for the automatic and RM243,000 for the manual.