Skip to main content

What Car Has a 301 hp V6 and Outsells Every Cadillac and Buick Car? 2018 Toyota Camry

The Toyota Camry V6 is an unexpected hot seller in its small niche.

Join us...    

Up-powered sedans are a slow moving vehicle segment, unless you look closely. The trick seems to be to start with a car that is already hugely popular. According to our Toyota contacts, the V6 Camry sells at a rate of about 5% to 7% of the total Camry sales number each month. With Camry being the top-selling car in America 19 out of the past 20 years, the Camry is a uniquely qualified car in which to drop a strong motor. Doing the math, we come up with between 1,400 and 2,000 Camry V6 cars sold each month, and likely zero going to any fleets or rental car agencies. These are all cars parked in owners' driveways.

That number of cars may seem low, so we added the Cadillac and Buick comparisons just for some perspective. Both Cadillac and Buick make front-wheel drive cars with optional V6 engines and they occupy the same physical size and price points. We are not picking on those brands, just highlighting that the Camry, very quietly, has a rarely-talked about option package that is outselling some brand's cars. Like most sedans, GM's are in a slump and neither Buick nor Cadillac now has a car selling at a rate of over 1,000 units per month. Another car that sells at about the same pace as the Camry V6 is the Tesla Model S sedan. Maybe you've heard of it.

We are only comparing American cars here. Why? The Kentucky-built Camry has been ranked the Most American-Made car by six times.

The all-new 2018 Toyota Camry shown above now has a new V6 engine called the D4S by Toyota internally. It is rated at 301 hp, has an 8-speed Direct Shift transmission with Sequential Shift mode. We drove it today and it was real-world quick, but also very smooth. There is no sports car harshness, but the sport-tuned suspension is lively and will allow an owner to put those 301 ponies to good use. We didn't feel any torque steer in normal driving, but we will try harder to find it in a longer test.

One last fact; As far as we can tell, the last Toyota with more than 300 hp was the 1998 Toyota Supra Turbo. It had 320 hp.

Join us...    


Mark Day (not verified)    August 30, 2017 - 6:30PM

First batch of 2018 Camry's that I checked were all from Japan and all 4-cylinder. No V6s have been available in my area (Florida). I'll be curious to see if the V6s are Kentucky made. To boost sales Toyota should offer AWD in the Camry V6 – no torque steer for sure and no slip-and-slide in the snow, wet, or sand.

John Goreham    August 30, 2017 - 9:45PM

In reply to by Mark Day (not verified)

Mark, you might find this interesting. At the media launch, a journalist asked, "Any hope of AWD for Camry this generation?" The surprising reply was (paraphrasing), "The Toyota New Global Architecture that underpins the Camry is not limited to front wheel drive vehicles only." Draw your own conclusions!