Toyota’s chief engineer for the eighth-generation Camry program says he loves the idea of a proper performance-focused version, to capitalise on its much more dynamically-able new platform.
Japan-based Masato Katsumata, who has spent time working with Toyota Europe but now runs a team of a few thousand, and who spent his youth doing rallies and driving an AE86, told us this week that there might just be a market for such a previously unlikely offering.
Consider president Akio Toyoda – a racing driver himself – who has made it abundantly clear that every Toyota must drive with some degree of agility from now on. Or so he claims.
“Today only NASCAR is a high performance Camry,” he said, alluding to a car very much not designed for the road. Or even inspired by the road-going car.
“A sports Camry has not been suitable… but now people start to consider that, so now why not?”
When might this happen, we asked?
“The earlier the better! It’s my opinion,” Katsumata said.
“But it depends on customer demand. If no customer likes to buy a sporty Camry, then it doesn’t make sense as a business,” he said.
Hold your horses, guys. There’s nothing firmly on the agenda. The new SX model with its stiffer TNGA architecture, lower seats, wider stance, 224kW V6 engine, stiffer springs and eight-speed auto will have to suffice for now…
DRIVEN: 2018 Toyota Camry
Listen to the CarAdvice team discuss the 2018 Toyota Camry below, and catch more like this at caradvice.com/podcast.