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Arguably Toyota’s soon-to-be most important car in the Australian market, the Hybrid Camry is on its way and just a few minutes ago Toyota Australia released the first picture of the car’s interior.

Although the single picture is just of the instrument panel, we can clearly see the focus and purpose of hybrid Camry is on fuel economy.  The locally built Camry will be the first hybrid to be built in Australia and Toyota hopes it will become a favourite with government and private fleets as well as attracting new customers to hybrids.

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Using the same technology as the Prius, the Camry is capable of running on all electric power during certain conditions. From the picture above you can see a luminous green “ready” symbol which in this instance indicates that the although the ignition has been switched on the petrol engine remains off.

So whilst the car is standing still or travelling at low speeds the electric engine can do all the work, hence using no fuel and emitting zero emissions.

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Toyota says the image release of the Hybrid Camry coincides with with the start of the second and final stage of pilot production for the car.

If all goes to plan, full-scale production will begin in December this year with the first Hybrid Camrys expected in Toyota dealerships from February 2010.

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Hybrid Camry will be powered by the 2.4-litre four-cylinder petrol engine found in current Camrys with the addition of an electric motor generator which gets its power from a hybrid battery that stores electrical energy.

The Big T can already claim to sell Australia’s most fuel-efficient locally produced car with the normal Camry using 8.8 litres of unleaded to travel 100km. The Hybrid variant is expected to do at least 20 per cent better, meaning fuel economy figures of around 7 litres per 100km or better.

“It will save motorists hundreds of dollars a year in fuel – and the more you drive, the more you’ll save on fuel.” Toyota Australia’s senior executive director sales and marketing David Buttner said

As the car undergoes its final stages of quality and assurance testing, we’d like to know what you think of Australia’s first locally built hybrid? Will the Camry become a favourite with taxis, government and private fleets as well as everyday car buyers?

Would you buy a Hybrid Camry? Why or why not?




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