With all major automotive manufacturers opting for turbocharged 4-cylinder gasoline engines in today’s fuel efficient, well connected cars, the ground-up redesigned 2018 Toyota Camry comes to market with 3 engine options, none of them turbocharged, and what may soon be the only V6 available to the mainstream economy mid size sedan buyer.
2018 Toyota Camry presents a very impressive 3.5 Liter V6
In speaking with Toyota engineering, they didn’t have to turn to turbocharging to achieve the engine power and fuel efficiency required to elevate 2018 Camry to the pinnacle of the near-premium midsize sedan segment. Instead, Toyota found a measurable increase in horsepower and torque output by pairing a redesigned non turbocharged 3.5 Liter V6 with a new for 2018 direct shift 8 speed automatic transmission.
2018 Toyota Camry presents best in class fuel efficient 4-cylinder, hybrid option
For the fuel conservative, 2018 Toyota Camry also comes to market with a high output, fuel efficient, 4-cylinder gasoline engine, and a gasoline/electric hybrid option. Yet, for our readers that embrace the exhaust tone of 6 cylinders, Camry’s 24 valve DOHC 3.5 Liter V6 option produces 301 horsepower @ 6600 rpm, and 267 lb-ft torque @ 4700 rpm, while achieving an 8% gain in combined fuel efficiency (22 city/33 highway/26 combined) over the 2017 Camry -- through an exquisite combination of direct fuel injected, variable timing, cylinder management engineering wizardry.2018 Toyota Camry 8-speed transmission brings new found sport to the mark
Running in concert with Toyota’s direct shift, intelligent, gear locking 8 speed automatic transmission, on-tap V6 pedal power is impressive, throttle lag non existent, torque steer negligible, and engine to transmission interaction, in one word, seamless.
Toyota engineering’s Direct Shift (8AT) 8-speed electronically controlled automatic transmission with intelligence, (ECT-1) features a sequential shift mode, provides “gear lock-up” through gears 2 through 8 -- effectively reducing torque inverter power loss, while enabling manual-transmission-like precision shifting, (it works) now standard equipment on all gasoline models. Toyota further enables instant-on torque and exceptional throttle response by lowering gear ratio at lower speeds for optimum torque, and higher gearing for lower RPM running speeds for greater fuel efficiency at highway speeds.
Like a kid in a candy shop, I couldn’t resist taking 2018 Toyota Camry XSE V6 to the Limit
Here’s the thing. Unless you’re sitting on a drag strip behind the wheel of an extreme performance supercar, media drive and ride events tend to be relatively drive-mild. On a rain free Tuesday Oregon afternoon in June, I experienced some comprehensive drivetime behind the wheel of every 2018 Toyota Camry trim offering, including the impressive Camry hybrid. For 2018, Toyota brings trim-level recognition to a sensory captivating Camry lineup.
Camry is redesigned from the pavement up, and proves to be very drive-capable in every aspect in what Toyota fully anticipates to be the best seller in an automotive market dominated by crossovers and SUVs. For 2018, buyers discover a wider, lower, perhaps more sinister looking Camry. Taking a design cue or two from Lexus -- most evident in the grill and side profile of this reworked midsize sedan, body language is transitioned into the interior of Camry, with arguably the best looking dash/cabin design in the segment.
Frankly, sporting 4- chrome tipped exhaust, custom alloy black-out wheels, low profile tires, redesigned grill works and headlights, NASCAR inspired ground effects, a two-tone paint option, and red leather seating, 2018 Toyota Camry XSE V6 is the bad-boy of the Camry lineup -- love it!
The re-do doesn’t stop there: Sliding into the driver’s seat, I was just a bit blown away by how break-in comfortable Camry’s redesigned seating is. Power adjusted, heated, and moderately bolstered for adequate body-holding seat comfort, front to rear, 2018 Toyota Camry fits this 6’ 5 inch car nut.
On first drive, Camry proves to be side-sway stable and rough-road smoothing. Thanks to a suspension reinvention for 2018, Toyota Camry joins Honda Accord with the integration of a redesigned double wishbone rear suspension, a measurable improvement over past offerings, making 2018 Camry a very smooth, stable, comfortable, quiet drive and ride experience.
All 2018 Camry 4 door sedan offerings: From the entry-level 4-cylinder “L” trim to the state-of-the hybrid art Camry hybrid, initially impress with exceptional standard feature value, good looks, and top of segment fuel efficiency,. Yet, there’s just something about that V6 engine exhaust tone and torque band that drives this gearhead back to his garage mechanic, street and track racing years.
This is not the Camry of yesteryear: Toyota’s injected more than just a bit of visual brand recognition in this latest “bread and butter” mid size sedan offering -- they’ve effectively reinvented an American icon.
2018 Toyota Camry XSE V6: Exhilarating motorsport without the turbo
Along with American Honda Motors, Toyota effectively reinvents a much underappreciated car segment. Sitting behind the wheel of a white pearl on red leather 2018 Camry XSE V6, Toyota’s intent is evident throughout. From the redesigned dash layout, to one of the most comfortable leather covered, power adjusted heated seats in the segment, this is a “ driver’s” Camry. I couldn’t help myself.
I dropped the accelerator to the well carpeted floor -- and broke traction in the resort’s parking lot, experiencing performance and sport not generally associated with Camry. Drifting through an S-curve and transitioning back to the staging area, I passed Toyota’s NASCAR Camry, and was reminded once again of Toyota’s proud racing heritage.
Later that evening I would catch an acknowledging grin from a Toyota engineer: “ we heard you out there!” We both knew what Toyota had intended, they’d just come to market with a dual purpose Camry sport sedan, and done so without compromise as to quality, value, and MSRP price point. ($23,495 to $34,400 + setup, documentation, sales tax, etc) *Hybrid option available.
2018 Toyota Camry a bit of a mind bender
It’s a bit of a mind bender. 2018 Toyota Camry comes to the segment with a very compelling new look, a greatly improved interior layout, great seating ergonomics, a new double-wishbone rear suspension, great personal electronic connectivity, and an active safety suite standard throughout the lineup.
Toyota’s goal through the latest advent of the best selling Camry is to broaden the demographic appeal of the 4-door sedan, while preserving individuality of model choice through subtle body design cue, grill, and wheel design. I believe they’ve succeeded with the effective reinvention of this manufactured in Georgetown Ky, American auto icon. 2018 Toyota Camry drives way beyond bread and butter midsize “just a car” segment compromise. It provokes excitement in the onlooker, just as the maker intended it to do. For Torque News readers considering the purchase of a midsize 5 passenger, 4 door sedan, I recommend taking 2018 Toyota Camry out for a spin, Empressive!