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by Matt Brogan

Toyota’s most fuel-efficient locally-built sedan, the Camry Hybrid, will take place in an unlikely event early next month when it joins competitors at Australia’s premier tarmac rally, Targa Tasmania.

Organisers say Camry Hybrid’s eco-friendly credentials are a perfect fit with their future goals of reducing the event’s CO2 emissions to assist in reducing global warming.

“At Targa Tasmania we recognise the contemporary emphasis on low CO2 emissions,” said Event Director, Mark Perry.

“In fact, we have a mandate to become carbon neutral by 2011; only one of the reasons why we’ve introduced a Hybrid Category for competitors.”

The Camry Hybrid is the first and only vehicle of its kind to enter this year’s event, though organisers hope it will be the first of many.

The car will be driven by previous Targa Tasmania competitor, Peter Whittaker who chose a unique decorative scheme for the car – signatures of nearly 2000 employees of Toyota Australia’s Altona, Victoria manufacturing plant. Along with the names of those who helped build the car, the race vehicle will collect the autographs of Tasmanian Toyota employees along the race route.

Mr Whittaker says hybrid or not, the car is expected to be competitive in the fast-paced, six-day event.

“While we do not expect to be slow during the event, we are, in effect, on an economy run,” explains Mr Whittaker.

“So while we will demonstrate the good handling and performance of the car, we will be focusing on using as little biodegradable fuel as possible across the six days of Targa.”

The Camry Hybrid entered in the race will feature the same 2.4-litre petrol engine and electric motor combination as found in the road-going version.

The 2010 Targa Tasmania will be held from April 27 to May 2.

We will update this article with images of the Camry Hybrid entered in the race as soon as they become available.

  • Matt

    Sorry but I actually laughed a bit when I read the title.

    Having Hybrids is a good idea though. I think there were a few Teslas’ last year too.


    Well done Toyota. The Toyota Supra HV-R hybrid won last year’s Tokachi 24-hour enduro in Japan, starting from pole position.

  • Tom

    Doesn’t that completely miss the point of a fuel efficient car. I mean Targa Tasmania is not some enduro event like Le Mans 24 hr where fuel efficiency will give you a strategic edge, its a stop – start rally where you get refuelled at each stage.

    Unless Targa Tasmania actually changes the rules to make fuel efficiency advantageous then this will remain a symbolic and useless endeavour. If you really want to save the environment, don’t race the thing.

    • ABMPSV

      Yes you are right 24H race is OK rally…it is only advertising!

  • Troppa

    Why bother.

    • G


  • rentakeyboard

    This will result in a huge cheer down at the nursing home!


  • Valet Dabess

    see why don’t they put that body kit on all the camry’s, all the other ones look ugly

  • http://www.caradvice.com Macs for me

    It might get recalled before it starts…

  • toxic_horse

    “we will demonstrate the good handling and performance of the car”

  • Shak

    I saw another article about this mishap, and they staed that the Hybrid wont race in production, form rather as a silhouette, much like NASCAR. I dont know why they said that seeing as Targa is mostly all production cars.

  • Karl

    They’re only hope is if the throttle gets stuck.

  • Simon

    I can see Toyota’s propaganda machine cranking up already:
    “Camry wins Targa Tasmania’s Hybrid category”.
    I think I feel sick………

    • The Other Brad

      Heh reminds me of the Darwin to Adelaide green race last year. Pretty much every car had their own category from memory.

  • http://Audi Robj

    Life on the mild side, GO WHITEGOODS>>

  • MD-88

    So, of those who have commented….. hands up who’s driven the vehicle?

    I’ve got one and absolutely love it. I don’t hug trees, I don’t use enviro friendly shopping bags, I use aerosols and I am not a vegetarian. I also prefer V8’s over turbo powered vehicles. But, and I am dead serious, the Hybrid Camry is an exceptional motor vehicle in every regard. For a big lump of a car (1,610kg) my first tank got me 925km at an average of 6.8l/100km (Two thirds city driving, one third highway). And, despite the weight gain, it is no slouch.

    So I say throw some firmer suspension goodies into it, add a roll cage, bolt on some gnarly race rims and race in what is one of the best open road races in the country.

    Peter Whittaker says the car will be competetive, let’s see if he is right.

    And finally, whoopty doo if Toyota use a “win” for PR purposes….. I’m sure they aren’t the only manufacturer who would be guilty of same over the years.

    • G


      Did you forget to take your medication again??

    • ABMPSV

      Good info thanks. I do not like people if they go nasty and do not preciate other readers view!!