The 2018 Toyota Camry – Developed to Deliver a Total Driving Experience
With the full implementation of Toyota’s New Global Architecture (TNGA) in the 2018 Toyota Camry, the car’s designers and engineers had an opportunity to develop the eighth-generation model from scratch. So instead of resting on past laurels and taking the safe route of basing the new model on the same formula that has made past Camrys the best-selling mid-size sedan in the world, Chief Engineer, Masato Katsumata, had other plans. He wanted to redefine the genre and create something that would stir people’s souls, so he went about producing a sedan that not only embraced the Camry’s traditional core components of performance and intelligence, but also added one more element to the mix: Experience.
“‘Performance’ refers to the fundamentals of a car, which includes driving dynamics, spaciousness and fuel economy,” explained Katsumata. “‘Intelligence’ deals with the innovations and ingenuity that enables convenient and satisfying use of a car. In the past, the Camry received high marks in the area of performance and intelligence for what is called a practical value that can be expressed in numbers. But the new Camry has been completely reexamined precisely from the ground up, taking it to an even higher level. We are now adding ‘Experience’ to the mix, or in other words, an emotional value that cannot be expressed in numbers, essentially integrating the exhilaration felt in one’s heart when looking at and driving the car.”
A quick look at the specifications will reveal that the new Camry possesses all the attributes of a premium sports sedan, which includes a dashing exterior and interior design, a low center of gravity—where the passengers are positioned low on the body—a rigid body structure and responsive steering and suspension system, all well-balanced with the Camry’s traditional strong suits of a comfortable interior and a smooth and quiet ride quality.
2018 Toyota Camry Development
Even the Camry badging was given careful attention to signify this Camry is like none before it. The complex three-dimensional design mimics the intricate surfaces outside and the attention to detail inside.
Katsumata wanted to retain these basic values that contributed to the model’s past success so he turned to Project Chief Designer Akira Kubota to make sure that the passengers of the new Camry, despite its sporty demeanor, felt that they were in a comfortable sedan the moment they step inside. And it’s evident with one look that Kubota delivered…and then some. The new Camry’s cabin is a picture of efficiency and taste, defined by an elegant dashboard design and high-grade materials.
“We were successful in creating an interior where the driver would have a comfortable sense of enclosure while providing the passenger with a comfortable sense of openness that can be felt immediately. This is really achieved with the “S-curve” of the center cluster and center console. It keeps things within reach for the driver with a feeling of a cockpit. On the other hand, the passenger has a space that feels expansive with beautiful ornamentation. I wanted the front passenger to have an exciting experience, as much as the driver,” Kubota said.
To enhance the new Camry’s driving dynamics, Katsumata injected a hearty dose of excitement and emotion to its road-going manners. Thanks to the TNGA, which also includes a new Dynamic Force engine and Direct Shift-8AT (8-speed automatic transmission), the new Camry accelerates and corners like no other model before it. Credit here goes to Yoichi Mizuno, the Vehicle Performance Leader of the 2018 Toyota Camry.
“Stepping on the accelerator transmits traction directly onto the road surface. The car responds to the driver’s precise wishes, which means drivers feel comfortable because the car feels directly linked to their intentions. As a result, there is minimal disconnect between the driver… on your way to work, driving with your family, or when out driving recreationally, the new Camry is always at one with you, telling you to enjoy driving. We made the Camry so it would feel that way,” he said.
Katsumata insists that the new Camry was the result of everyone on his team, from the draft board to the assembly line, sharing the same vision and goals, which was to make the new model more exciting than ever before. He said: “Everyone on our development team was working toward the same goal in creating this car. I feel we have made a car that stirs the soul, by looking at it, touching its surfaces and riding in it. This is a car that people can drive for a very long time. Every time you step into the car a pleasant surprise awaits you, and you’ll look forward to your next drive.”
Staying Connected with Next-Generation Camry Technology
The all-new 2018 Toyota Camry takes advanced technology to a higher level with an array of new connected and safety advancements.
Data Communication Module (DCM)
Toyota kicks off its new connected framework with the all-new Camry. The framework is built with Entune™ 3.0 and will feature new innovations in connectivity. The DCM keeps an internet connection via a service provider to maintain a connection to the Toyota Smart Center, which can provide notifications and updates seamlessly to the vehicle. Such updates can include map and route navigation that display key points of interest and developments on the road to keep the driver informed.
Through the internet connection, the Camry can act as a hub and host up to five Wi-Fi enabled devices giving passengers connectivity on the go.
DCM-equipped Entune™3.0 systems come with increased peace of mind through the available Safety Connect. With the push of a button, the system is designed to connect to a live operator who can assist with navigation and/or an emergency situation.
Entune™3.0 Remote Connect
Controlled via a smartphone app, the available Entune™3.0 Remote Connect allows a suite of features for the owner to access. Remote start and remote stop allow the driver to warm up the vehicle on a cold day or shut it down if left running from outside the car. Lock and unlock functions as well as custom parameters can be set for guest drivers such as the valet function to provide a push notification if the vehicle exceeds a set speed.
2018 Camry Connectivity
A feature within the Entune™ 3.0 suite, Service Connect monitors vehicle conditions and statistics for remote diagnostic updates on everything from fuel level and mileage to maintenance alerts and more. The results of the diagnostic check can be sent to the owner and local Toyota dealership for a quick and effortless resolution.
JBL® with Clari-Fi
The sound system of the Camry has been significantly upgraded, thanks to the collaboration with noted audio provider, JBL. Models equipped with the available Entune™ 3.0 Audio Plus with JBL® with Clari-Fi – or the Entune™3.0 Premium Audio with JBL® with Clari-Fi package – includes a power amplifier and nine-speaker system allowing passengers to enjoy high fidelity and a studio-like experience.
The nine-speaker configuration is arranged to balance a full range of high/mid/low tones to suit any musical taste. A unique feature is the addition of JBL’s “Clari-Fi” software which scans compressed media-such as MP3s, YouTube, streaming media, and identifies data missing due to the format compression. The software then analyzes the data and restores the missing elements to produce crisper, wider and more dynamic sounds that are faithful to the original recording.
Voice Recognition/Mobile Assistant
Toyota continues to advance connectivity options and solutions. With the revamped Voice Recognition software equipped on the all-new Camry, the system has been optimized to better understand commands and inquiries in a more natural setting. Voice Recognition will utilize Toyota’s server databases to better assist the user by accessing previous requests within the server. This gives the system flexibility to fill in the gaps from asking suggestions for a great restaurant to an address based on partial information.
If a smartphone is connected via Bluetooth (iOS or Android), users can access their smartphone assistant with the telephone switch on the steering wheel. The same commands and functions are available as with the stand-alone smartphone to ease connectivity on the go. Intelligent Clearance Sonar (ICS)
As with every past model of the Toyota Camry, this one is no different in that it features advanced safety equipped to help make the driving experience safe. For the all-new Camry is Toyota’s available Intelligent Clearance Sonar (ICS), which helps to greatly reduce the chance of collision with adjacent vehicles or objects at low speed, such as when navigating inside a parking lot or pulling into a parking space.
The system employs eight sensors located at both the front/front corners and rear/rear corners of the vehicle that extend the detection distance as well as the detection range, sounding an audible alarm to alert the driver as the vehicle moves closer towards the object. It will automatically apply the brakes if the distance is further reduced without intervention by the driver.
Rear Cross Traffic Braking (RCTB)
The new available Rear Cross Traffic Braking is an additional function of Intelligent Clearance Sonar (ICS). When reversing the vehicle, RCTB utilizes quasi-millimeter wave radar (same as the Blind Spot Monitor) to detect approaching vehicles. If the sensors detect a possibility of a collision, the brake control is activated, helping to reduce the amount of collision damage.
Bird’s Eye View Monitor
The available Bird’s Eye View Monitor makes use of four high-resolution cameras mounted on the front, sides and rear of the vehicle to help give the driver a bird’s-eye view of the near-vehicle environment, assisting the driver when parking or making tight maneuvers. Additionally, vehicles equipped with the Pedestrian Detection Function are designed to detect a pedestrian who is stationary or approaching behind the car, alerting the driver to their presence through an audible alert and a notification on the display.