that Toyota is ready for F1!
Quite simply the greatest attribute of the Camry, apart from its large
cabin and comfort has to be its outstanding engine and transmission
package. Over the years Toyota has worked quite seriously on its engines
but the lack of a proper racing effort - read that as everything else
but F1 - meant that not many enthusiasts raved about their motors
as much as one would engines powering Hondas or BMWs. The engine in
the Camry is one such which is highly capable and bristling with high
The Camry for India comes powered by the all-aluminium BEAMS 2.4-litre
2AZ-FE engine which sports VVT-i (refer exclusive tech details elsewhere
in this feature) as also a large diameter long port intake manifold
which is tuned to delivering smooth performance all across the rev
range. Toyota’s VVT-i might not have similar awareness levels
among enthusiasts as does Honda’s VTEC system but you have to
drive the car as we did by putting it through the OVERDRIVE road test
grind to appreciate its brilliance and pedigree.
The engine features oversquare cylinder dimensions with bore and stroke
measuring 88.5 x 96.0mm making for a 2362cc displacement. The chain
driven double overhead cam engine also features a magnesium cylinder
head cover plus a plastic intake manifold which helps keep both weight
and friction to very low levels. In addition to that the 2362cc engine
also features a compact balancer shaft which makes this very large
four near vibe-free.
engine works on a 9.6:1 compression ratio and TKM engineers informed
us that they had tested the car in Indian conditions without a bother.
In India-spec the engine develops 149.87bhp (at 5600rpm) and 218Nm
of torque at 4000rpm. The engine performance curves reveal a very
linear torque spread with serious torque being made from as low as
3500rpm and stretching all the way to 6000rpm. One can now understand
why the Camry did its maximum speed in fifth gear in our test.
With internal friction kept to a bare minimum with innovative thought,
Toyota has gone on to mate the 2362cc engine with a five-speed manual
transmission. It does offer - in other markets - the option of the
Super-ECT four-speed automatic transmission but the five-speed manual
with its positive detente shifts brilliantly compliments the engine
performance. In certain markets, Toyota also offers an all-wheel drive
version of the Camry while in markets like the US and Japan there
is also the choice of a 3.0-litre V6 engine with matching five-speed
auto ‘box. If there is demand this sort of tranny could materialise
in India but presently the 2.4-litre engine with 5-speed manual is
a great bit of kit on a car of its class and performance.