The “secret” formula for building America’s best-selling passenger car hides in plain sight. It’s called the Toyota Camry, and it’s held that position for the past 17 years. The eighth-generation Camry, which introduced the most dramatic redesign in the model’s history, enters 2020 with its first-ever TRD performance model while also adding standard Android Auto compatibility to its roster of connectivity features.
The first-ever Camry TRD combines a track-tuned chassis and a 301-hp V-6 engine with knockout design that seems to taunt more expensive sport sedans. The new model exemplifies TRD’s holistic approach to performance development, which it has applied to all types of competition vehicles for 40 years. As a result, the Camry TRD is as sophisticated and comfortable in its road manners as it is quick and agile.
The new TRD joins Camry’s six other grades, which include L, LE, XLE, SE, SE Nightshade Edition and XSE. The sportier SE and XSE grades wear noticeably different body detailing than the L, LE and premium XLE grades, highlighted by a sculpted rocker panel, 19-inch black machined-finish alloy wheels (on available on XSE), a subtle rear spoiler lip, aggressive front bumper, and rear bumper with a lower diffuser. The TRD takes the design even further with aerodynamic enhancements and unique trim.
TNGA: Building Now and for the Future
The new-generation Camry introduced a more emotional design with a lowered but still roomy cabin and gaze-stealing coupe-like profile. It was the first of the company’s new-generation vehicles to emerge from Toyota New Global Architecture (TNGA), which represents a completely new strategy to the way the company designs, engineers, and packages its vehicles. Much more than a new body structure, TNGA brings together new approaches to engineering, design, production, and materials.
TNGA retains all of Toyota’s traditional values of outstanding build quality and safety while injecting a fun driving experience that plays on all the senses. For the Camry, the mechanical manifestation of that process is the TNGA-K platform, along with the Dynamic Force 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine and Direct-Shift eight-speed automatic transmission (8AT).
Most critically, TNGA delivers on Toyota’s commitment to a high level of driver and passenger safety. Toyota Safety Sense-P is a suite of cutting-edge active safety systems and standard on every Camry model. These systems include:
• Pre-Collision System with Pedestrian Detection
• Dynamic Radar Cruise Control
• Lane Departure Alert with Steering Assist
• Automatic High Beams
• Blind Spot Monitor with Rear Cross Traffic Alert and Intelligent Clearance Sonar with Rear Cross Traffic Braking are also available.
Camry TRD: Track-Tuned, Everyday-Fun
The new-generation Camry design sent a strong message about the new athleticism that TNGA instilled into the model. The Camry TRD puts an exclamation point on that character with both its design and driving performance.
Many have seen the bold “TRD” graphics on off-road-capable Toyota SUVs and pickups, which reflect the company’s involvement with off-road racing. Toyota Racing Development, which is celebrating its 40th Anniversary, has long been deeply involved with all facets of Toyota car racing, as well. The performance developer’s technical prowess and engineering passion have driven Toyota to world championships in rallying and IMSA GTO and GTP road racing. Today, TRD delivers a winning combination in NASCAR and NHRA racing, among others.
The Camry TRD embodies TRD’s holistic approach to vehicle enhancement. It’s powered by Toyota’s direct-injected, 301 horsepower DOHC 3.5-liter V-6 teamed with the Direct-Shift eight-speed automatic transmission featuring sport mode and paddle shifters. A specially-tuned TRD cat-back dual exhaust system conveys a throatier idle and acceleration sound.
TRD engineers went through the Camry chassis to sharpen agility while preserving ride quality. “Track-tuned” means exactly that. The engineers developed this special Camry’s dynamic characteristics through extensive testing at Toyota Arizona Proving Ground, TMC Higashi-Fuji Proving Ground (Japan), and MotorSport Ranch (Texas).
Thicker underbody braces increase torsional rigidity, and unique coil springs lower the Camry by 0.6 inches for a reduced center of gravity and more aggressive stance. Camry’s chassis is further enhanced with stiffer coil springs and sway bars for increased roll stiffness of 44% in the front and 67% in the rear. A unique set of TRD shock absorbers, 19 x 8.5-inch matte- black alloy wheels, and Bridgestone Potenza 235/40R19 summer tires complete a chassis package that improves body control, handling agility, and steering precision.
The front brakes are larger with 12.9-inch diameter rotors and dual-piston calipers, compared to 12.0-inch rotors and single piston calipers on the Camry XSE grade. Brake performance is tuned to provide more direct feedback. (The 2020 Toyota Avalon TRD shares many of these modifications, as well.)
Bold TRD Look
Calty gave the Camry TRD functional aero elements, taking advantage of the new-generation model’s edgier design and the more aggressive stance of the TRD-modified chassis. The aerodynamic body kit, which includes a front splitter, side aero skirts, trunk lid spoiler, and rear diffuser, not only looks sinister but also improves high speed vehicle stability.
Camry TRD wears a gloss black front grille with a sport mesh insert and black exterior badging. Distinctive red pinstriping, red painted brake calipers, red TRD badging and polished stainless steel TRD exhaust tips complete the road-hungry look. The 2020 Camry TRD is available in solid Midnight Black Metallic, or in one of three two-tone schemes featuring Supersonic Red, (a Camry TRD exclusive color combination) Windchill Pearl or Celestial Silver with a Midnight Black Metallic roof.
The TRD treatment continues into the cabin, which is outfitted with Black Sport SofTex®-trimmed front seats with fabric inserts, red accents and red-stitched TRD embroidered headrests. The leather-wrapped steering wheel also has red stitching, and even the seatbelts are red. A shift knob with an embossed TRD logo, along with unique TRD floor and trunk mats, and a unique TRD meter with red-illuminated accents and multi-information display (MID) start-up animation complete the cabin upgrades.
TNGA-K Platform: Foundation for Agility and Ride Comfort
The underlying TNGA-K platform that gives the Camry TRD its heightened agility also forms the foundation for the impeccable handling and ride quality in other Camry grades. Extensive use of high-tensile-strength steel, along with innovative fastening methods including laser screw welding and advanced adhesives, give Camry its rock-solid feeling on the road.
Optimally tuned for the high-strength TNGA-K platform, MacPherson strut front suspension and multi-link rear suspension endow the new-generation Camry with a ride-handling balance befitting premium luxury vehicles. The front suspension tower brace embedded within the cowl body contributes to the Camry’s handling prowess and stability in corners. (SE and XSE grades have sport-tuned springs and shocks.)
A ring-shaped frame at the rear of the vehicle structure enhances rigidity. Additional braces added to the rear suspension increase the vehicle’s lateral rigidity. Camry long ago built a reputation for quietness in its class, and the new-generation model improves on that by incorporating noise, vibration and harshness (NVH) countermeasures previously found exclusively on luxury models.
More extensive sound absorbing insulation includes a hood insulator and upper and lower fender separator. The passenger compartment is further insulated from engine and road noise using foam or vibration-dampening materials throughout the vehicle, along with a thicker dash silencer mat across the entire firewall section. A special vibration-damping coating is applied over a wider area of the underfloor, and noise-proofing material encompasses more surface area under the headliner. Wind noise is greatly suppressed in the new-gen Camry, as well.
Colors: Warm, Cool or Hot
You don’t give a car a striking new design and then blunt it with dull colors. Camry’s palette of vibrant yet sophisticated hues includes Wind Chill Pearl, Ruby Flare Pearl, Brownstone, Galactic Aqua Mica, Super White, Celestial Silver Metallic, Predawn Gray Mica, Midnight Black Metallic, Blue Streak Metallic, and Supersonic Red. Camry XSE also offers a Midnight Black Metallic roof option paired with a choice of Blue Streak Metallic, Celestial Silver, or Wind Chill Pearl body colors.
Interior color choices, depending on exterior color, include Ash, Macadamia, or Black. The XSE and new TRD grades also offer an exclusive Cockpit Red interior that seems right out of a sports car.
Striking Yet Comfortable Cabin
The Camry’s interior is a fusion of functionality, futuristic styling, and impeccable craftsmanship to look and feel more like a luxury sedan. The dash design gives the driver a sporty cockpit-type feel while treating both the driver and the front passenger to more expansive outward visibility. A key visual element of this driver-focused design concept is a sweeping yet elegant character line that flows down from the instrument cluster and bisects the center console waterfall.
Surfaces throughout the cabin employ soft-touch premium materials. Using an approach typically seen in home furnishings, the design employs a mix of tones and hues throughout the space rather than following a strict color profile.
Long-distance seat comfort, long a Camry hallmark, is at its best in the new-generation model. Exquisite stitching on the front- and rear-seat surfaces is one example of the high level of craftsmanship found throughout the vehicle. Ventilated front seats are now available on the XLE grades (part of the Driver Assist Package).
More Information, Easier to Access
The Camry relays information to the driver via three available displays. A 7- or 8-inch central touch-screen display combining audio, navigation and climate control is seamlessly integrated into the center console in a modern, flush-surface design. Customizable features and smart phone-like touch screen icons ensure familiar and convenient operation.
For even greater functionality, Camry also offers an available 7-inch multi-information display within the instrument cluster. An available 10-inch color Head-Up Display (HUD) projects vital information, including speed and turn-by-turn navigation directions, onto the lower portion of the windshield.
High Power with Class-Leading MPG
The 2020 Camry offers a choice of three powertrains: 2.5-liter Dynamic Force four-cylinder, 3.5-liter V-6 and next-generation Toyota Hybrid System (THS II).
The Dynamic Force 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine is a strong but smooth operator, yielding an impressive 203 hp at 6,600 rpm and 184 lb.-ft. of peak torque at 5,000 rpm (206 hp and 186 lb.-ft. for XSE grade). The four-cylinder L grade achieves an EPA-estimated 29 mpg city/41 highway/34 combined. (Fun fact: the 1983 Camry, the first in the U.S., had a 92-hp 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine and four-speed automatic transmission and has a manufacturer-estimated 23 mpg city/29 highway/26 combined fuel economy.)
The Camry’s four-cylinder engine uses a very high compression ratio (13:1) and Toyota’s innovative D-4S fuel injection, which employs both direct injection and additional port injectors. The engine is chock-full of Toyota’s most advanced technologies, including Dual VVT-i with VVT-iE (Variable Valve Timing intelligent system by Electric motor) and laser-clad valve seats. A variable cooling system, variable oil pump and a cooled exhaust gas recirculation (EGR) system all contribute to the engine’s high thermal efficiency and outstanding fuel economy.
Genuine V-6 Performance at a High Level
The 2020 Toyota Camry is one of the few midsize sedans to still offer a V-6 engine, and this one is a gem. The 24-valve DOHC 3.5-liter engine is equipped with the D-4S direct injection system, along with a specially-developed VVT-iW (Variable Valve Timing-intelligent Wide) variable valve timing system for the intake, with VVT-i on the exhaust. The VVT-iW system can switch the engine to the Atkinson cycle, which reduces pumping losses by delayed closing of the intake valves. The bottom line: it goes fast but sips gas.
The power output is exceptional, with 301 horsepower at 6,600 rpm and 267 lb.-ft. of peak torque at 4,700 rpm. Yet, the 3.5-liter V-6 engine comes with exemplary fuel efficiency with a manufacturer-estimated rating of 22 city/33 highway/26 mpg combined (XLE grade).
Eight Gears, No Waiting
Both the 2.5-liter 4-cylinder Dynamic Force Engine and the 3.5-liter V-6 are equipped with the Direct Shift 8-speed automatic transmission that delivers satisfyingly crisp-yet-smooth, quick-shifting to deliver a remarkable blend of performance and refinement. Close mid-range ratios improve passing performance.
The transmission’s torque converter offers a wider range of lock-up compared to the previous 6-speed automatic transmission for a more direct driving feel while contributing to enhanced fuel efficiency. Control logic optimizes precise matching of engine torque on downshifts for smoother transitions.
Toyota Hybrid System
The 2020 Camry Hybrid gets right down to business with a manufacturer-estimated mpg of 51 city/53 highway/52 combined on the LE grade. (XLE and SE Hybrid are rated at 44 mpg city/47 highway/46 combined.) The big jump in fuel economy over the previous-generation Camry Hybrid owes to the more efficient Toyota Hybrid System (THS II), which, like the other Camry powertrains, is also engineered to provide spirited performance and driving enjoyment.
The THS II system combines the output of the 2.5-liter Dynamic Force four-cylinder engine and an electric motor, while using that motor and a second motor (MG2) for hybrid battery charging.
In the Hybrid, the gas engine has an even higher 14:1 compression ratio and is tuned to produce 176 hp and 163 lb.-ft. of torque. The hybrid system, however, gives the Camry Hybrid performance similar to the four-cylinder gas version. Sequential Shiftmatic technology allows the driver to “shift” the electronically controlled continuously variable transmission. It mimics a quick-shifting six-speed automatic transmission via paddle shifters (on SE grade) or with the console-mounted shift lever.
The TNGA-K platform’s packaging allows the hybrid battery pack to be installed beneath the rear seat, rather than in the trunk area, as it was in the previous-generation Camry Hybrid. That enables a larger trunk while the battery’s position contributes to a lower center of gravity. As on the Toyota Prius, the power control unit (PCU) is lighter and more compact than in the previous Camry Hybrid, as a result of integrating microcontrollers and using a power stack structure. This construction allows the unit to be packaged directly above the transaxle, thereby lowering the vehicle’s overall center of mass and allowing a lower hood height.
Higher Tech Hybrid
The 2020 Camry Hybrid is equipped with a Lithium-ion (Li-ion) battery pack on all grades. Along with the traditional Camry Hybrid NORMAL, ECO and EV drive system modes, a SPORT mode allows for an increase in power from the hybrid system for improved acceleration response relative to pedal input.
The clever Auto Glide Control (AGC) feature helps to enhance fuel efficiency by calculating efficient coasting logic. AGC can be activated only when the vehicle is being operated in the ECO drive mode. When activated, AGC limits the loss of vehicle speed through engine braking, acting more like a neutral gear to allow longer coasting. An AGC indicator light illuminates on the multi-information display when AGC is in operation to alert the driver of reduced engine braking.
Camry drivers and passengers will enjoy enhanced connectivity and entertainment through the Toyota Audio multimedia systems. The base system uses a 7-in. touch screen display and for 2020 adds Android AutoTM to join Apple CarPlay® and Amazon Alexa® compatibility. The full-featured system includes AM/FM, SiriusXM® with 3-month All-Access trial, Siri® Eyes Free, hands-free phone capability, plus advanced voice recognition and music streaming via Bluetooth wireless technology.
Higher grades have Toyota Audio Plus with 8-in. touch screen display and add HD Radio, CD player and Connected Services. The latter include Safety Connect and Service connect (3-year trial), along with Remote Connect (6-month trial). In addition, WiFi Connect (6-month trial), powered by Verizon, allows up to five mobile devices to connect using 4G LTE.
Audio Plus is also offered with JBL® 800-watt, 9-speaker premium audio, which includes a subwoofer along with Clari-Fi® technology that restores fidelity to compressed digital music formats. The JBL system is also part of the top-of-line Premium Audio with Dynamic Navigation, which provides over-the-air updates and includes a 3-year trial.
Remote Connect provides remote start and door unlock capability, vehicle status notifications, a guest driver monitor and vehicle finder. Available Service Connect can provide up-to-date vehicle information on fuel level, maintenance alerts, and more.
The L grade comes standard with one USB media port and one USB charge port, while all other grades come standard with two USB charge ports in addition to the one USB media port.