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.