Here’s Hoping the 2024 Toyota Camry Looks as Wild as These Renders
The current Toyota Camry is coming due for replacement, not coincidentally soon after its crosstown rival the Honda Accord received a major redesign for 2023. Normally, news of an impending new Camry might elicit yawns, or sheer indifference. After all, amongst midsize sedans, a typically stuffy, practical bunch, the Toyota has long been the safe, boring choice. Well, it has been, until recently—today’s Camry is easily the most adventurously styled, sportily tuned of the breed, a trend we think will continue into the next-generation Camry due for 2024 or 2025.
For an idea of what to expect from the next Camry, let’s take a look at the segment it’ll be shaped by. Sedans (and cars, generally) are losing ground to trucks and SUVs, fast. Numerous mainstays of the midsize sedan space have faded from the marketplace, from Ford’s Fusion to the Mazda 6, and more are set to expire soon. But look at those sedans that have held on, the Hyundai Sonata, Kia K5 (neé Optima), Nissan Altima, and the Honda Accord.
These four-doors have pivoted to louder, more shouty styling and adopted sportier meins in a bid to keep buyers’ attention. After all, one must assume anyone still buying a car instead of an SUV or truck is doing so because, at least in part, they want something carlike and fun to drive. Styling that’s low, wide, and un-SUV helps signal their desires to others. In this crucible of form and performance crushing the kind of staid function midsize sedans once thrived on, prepare for the Camry to get wilder. Here’s what to expect:
Setting aside the pressures sedans face to stand out more, there are pressures within Toyota that could push the Camry into newly expressive territory. President and CEO Akio Toyoda is on a performance kick of late, personally ushering hot products such as the GR86 and GR Supra sports cars, as well as the turbocharged GR Corolla rally rocket, into existence. His influence can be felt across the Toyota car lineup, which has steadily pivoted toward sportier styling and better chassis tuning. You’ll notice a lot more SE and XSE variants of new Toyotas that previously lacked any sporting pretense, including on the new Prius and the Corolla hybrid families. More traditional, conservative L, LE, and XLE trims still exist, too, but even those are visually amped up by Toyota standards.
In fact, the Prius is a decent harbinger of things to come for the Camry. That hybrid has long been strange and unappealing to look at, but have you seen the latest one? It’s certifiably unhinged for a Prius, futuristic and (yes) attractive. To arrive at our design rendering for the 2024 Camry, we injected a fair amount of Prius inspiration, notably in the C-shaped LED headlight surrounds, lower-bumper intakes, and the rakish profile. We fed imagery of the Prius into an AI image generator, along with photos of the current Camry and new Crown sedan, then worked off what was spat out.
And that is how we arrived at the low-slung, aggressive sedan pictured here. There are the Prius-like details in the face, for sure, but that long wheelbase, hunched roofline, and clean flank surfacing is what really brings the drama. To boost the visuals that much more, we applied a subtle body kit similar to that offered on today’s Camry TRD model, with blacked-out trim and red pinstriping for good measure.
Things get slightly less realistic in back, if you can believe it, as those deep faux bumper intakes; wide taillights modeled after the GR86 sports car’s units; and license plate nacelle perched above a diffuser would have jarring practical implications. For example, the next Camry may be spicier, but it still needs a realistic trunk opening. And does a Camry need a ducktail spoiler? Couldn’t hurt! But where are the tailpipes…
Speaking of tailpipes, we hid them. Why? Because that’s what Toyota does on its hybrids, for the most part. No cannons poking from the bumper here—rather, the undecorated exhaust tips point down at the ground from behind the bumper. Just as Honda shifted the new Accord’s lineup to be nearly entirely hybridized (only the two cheapest trim levels feature traditional gas-only power), we suspect Toyota will go nearly entirely hybrid for the new Camry.
This won’t mean slowness, necessarily. We fully anticipate Toyota could deliver versions of the 2024 Camry with performance to back up the wilder look, given its new-generation hybrid turbo engines recently introduced on the 2023 Lexus RX F Sport 500h and new Toyota Crown sedan. Combining a turbo 2.4-liter I-4 with a six-speed automatic transmission and an electric motor, as well as another electric motor powering the rear axle, this setup is good for between 340 and 366 hp—both figures are well ahead of the 301 hp produced by the 3.5-liter V-6 Toyota offers as the Camry’s up-level option today.
The hybridized 2.5-liter I-4 that serves as the current Camry hybrid’s powertrain (with a respectable 208 hp) would likely carry over as the new model’s entry-level setup. As for a gas-only Camry? It’s possible, but likely in the context of a performance-focused GR (that’s Gazoo Racing) variant like the GR Corolla. Toyota has been hinting at a GR Camry, and we think it’s waiting on a new Camry generation to introduce one. The turbocharged I-3 and adjustable all-wheel-drive system from the GR Corolla seems like a stretch on the one-size up Camry (it’s already stretched from its original home, the subcompact overseas Yaris hatchback), so perhaps a boosted version of the turbo 2.4-liter I-4 from the aforementioned hybrid would work.
Toyota’s TNGA platform will continue to serve as the Camry’s basis, albeit with near certain dimensional increases. In fact, more size might be required if Toyota pursues flashier styling, if only to offset a low roof and other sacrifices to form over function. As before, the Camry will offer front- and all-wheel drive options, even on the hybrids.
Since introducing the current Camry for 2018, Toyota’s in-car tech suite has taken several big steps forward. The latest Toyota Audio Multimedia interface and attendant touchscreens feature wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto and stripped-down (yet still not entirely intuitive) menus. It’s available in 8.0- and 12.3-inch sizes, both of which we suspect would be offered on a new Camry, with the smaller screens servicing cheaper models and the 12.3-inch unit adorning pricier ones.
Also look for the latest Toyota Safety Sense 3.0 active safety features to make the cut as standard equipment, upgrading over the current Camry’s TSS 2.5+ feature set. In addition to the automated emergency braking with pedestrian detection, lane-departure warning, lane-keep assist, auto high beams, and adaptive cruise control already included with TSS 2.5+, the 3.0 version adds “Proactive Driving Assist”—which Toyota amusingly refers to as “PDA” and is a setup that automatically “provides gentle braking into curves or gentle braking and/or steering to help support driving tasks, such as distance control between your vehicle and a preceding vehicle, pedestrian, or bicyclist.”
When to Expect It
Given the current-generation Camry first appeared in 2017 as a 2018-model-year product, it’s due for a major redesign, something Toyota tends to mete out every five to six years for its higher-profile products. Don’t be surprised to see the new Camry appear later this year before going on sale next year as a 2024 model—though it could also land early next year as a ’25. Will it be as wild-looking and sporty as our rendering? Wait and see.
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