The all-new 2018 Toyota Camry’s new 2.5-liter four-cylinder base engine generates 203 horsepower in the entry-level model, 206 horsepower in the 2018 Camry XSE.
This means the eighth-generation Camry offers the most standard horsepower of any car in America’s midsize segment, at least for the time being.
We know not yet what the 2018 Honda Accord will bring. Honda released some engine details last Friday, including information that reveals the death of the Accord’s V6 and future reliance on the 1.5-liter turbo from the Civic and CR-V — as well as the 2.0-liter turbo from the Civic Type R. But we don’t know how much power Honda, notoriously not a participant in any horsepower war, will allow the Accord’s basic 1.5T to produce.
Meanwhile, the Camry’s upgrade engine continues to be a 3.5-liter V6, and Toyota’s gone and done the right thing with that powerplant, too. Moar powah.
For 2018, the Camry’s 2.5-liter inline-four base motor is a direct-injection unit that produces peak power at a lofty 6,600 rpm. Torque peaks at 186 lb-ft at 5,000 rpm in the XSE; or at 184 lb-ft in lesser trims. Fuel economy figures are embargoed until June 21.
As for the 2018 Camry’s 301-horsepower 3.5-liter V6, only the Ford Fusion Sport’s 2.7-liter EcoBoost V6 (325 horsepower) produces more power in America’s midsize category.
Again, the upcoming Honda Accord’s 2.0T produces 306 horsepower in the Civic Type R, but it remains to be seen whether Honda will allow the Accord to punch that hard.
Both of the 2018 Camry’s engines will be linked to an eight-speed automatic transmission. The Camry Hybrid will continue to send power to the front wheels via a continuously variable transmission.
As for the 2018 Camry’s rivals, the entry-level four-cylinder engines in the 2017 editions of Chevrolet Malibu, Ford Fusion, Honda Accord, Hyundai Sonata, Kia Optima, Mazda 6, Nissan Altima, Subaru Legacy, and Volkswagen Passat range between 160 and 185 horsepower, averaging 177.
Upgrades in the Malibu, Fusion, Accord, Sonata, Optima, Altima, Legacy, and Passat — turbocharged four-cylinders and sixes in the Accord, Altima, Legacy, and Passat — range from 245 to 280, averaging 259 horsepower.
The 2017 Toyota Camry’s 2.5-liter four-cylinder produced 178 horsepower; the V6 268.
Horsepower is by no means the only upgrade that will affect performance, or the feeling thereof. Riding on a new TNGA platform, the Camry’s occupants will also sit substantially lower.
The 2018 Toyota Camry, America’s best-selling car in 15 consecutive years, arrives at a time when Americans are turning away from passenger cars, and midsize sedans in particular. Toyota is attempting to counteract the drift by making the Camry even more obviously a car.
More power in a lower four-door body? That’s certainly no RAV4.