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Toyota has begun final quality assurance testing of its Australian-built Hybrid Camry, prior to its launch next year.

The testing involves early build cars and follows the recent official start of pilot production at the company's manufacturing facility at Altona, in Melbourne.

Victorian Premier John Brumby and Federal Industry Minister Senator Kim Carr pressed the start button to begin the pilot program.

Volume production is due to begin in December.

Toyota engineers will have up to 20 vehicles available for comprehensive quality-assurance driving in the next three months.

Initial testing will occur at the Australian Automobile Research Centre near Anglesea, Victoria, where Toyota has a purpose-built ride and handling course.

Long-distance on-road endurance evaluation begins in the middle of September and will roll on through to the start of volume production.

The three-month comprehensive trial is in the hands of Toyota's Quality Control Division.

"Hybrid technology has integrated most effectively into Toyota's locally manufactured Camry production," said Phil King, operation manager for Toyota's locally manufactured models.

Development and tuning of the Hybrid Camry's steering and brakes have occurred under the supervision of Toyota Technical Center Australia (TTC-Au), a Melbourne-based subsidiary of Toyota Motor Corporation (TMC), Japan.

"TTC-Au engineers have given brakes and steering a solid and direct feel in response to specific Australian requirements," Mr King said.

"Locally built Camry and Aurion have created a benchmark, and initial indications are that Hybrid Camry has already met that standard."

TTC-Au development has been in progress for more than a year - and has required comprehensive testing across Australia.

Mr King said final tuning of suspension, brakes and handling response in the next three months had set goals which would further enhance the benchmark.

"The Hybrid Camry program has been unusual because it is starting from a well-established base with current Camry," Mr King said.

"The previously established parameters - particularly for suppressing noise, vibration and harshness - have made targets far easier to reach with the new model."

The hybrid drivetrain, with a motor generator added to the front and the hybrid battery in the rear, have created exceptional front-rear balance, according to engineers.

"The hybrid system in itself has not created an issue," Mr King said.

"Its integration has been seamless and its driving response has been outstanding.

"Field evaluation is suggesting the combination of four-cylinder petrol engine and powerful electric motor is providing six-cylinder-like performance with far greater economy."


For further information, please contact:
Mike Breen
Ph: 0418 447 064

Toyota's emphasis on quality, durability and reliability comes to the fore during local testing of the first Australian-built hybrid car, Hybrid Camry.
Toyota's emphasis on quality, durability and reliability comes to the fore during local testing of the first Australian-built hybrid car, Hybrid Camry.