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Toyota Camry Turns Hybrid in New Zealand

Toyota New Zealand announced that within twelve months its popular mid-sized Camry sedan will be available with a hybrid petrol/electric engine.

The hybrid Camry is powered by a 2.4-litre four-cylinder petrol engine and an electric motor with combined output of approximately 140kW and fuel economy of around 7 litres/100km* according to preliminary figures.

Camry hybrid will be produced in Australia for local and export markets at Toyota Australia's Altona manufacturing plant in Melbourne.

Toyota New Zealand's General Manager of Sales and Operations, Steve Prangnell said the arrival of hybrid Camry will give Toyota New Zealand the unique advantage of producing and selling a hybrid mid-sized car in the sizeable medium four segment.

He said hybrid vehicles produce lower and cleaner emissions than standard engine technologies, improve fuel consumption and reduce the consumption of fossil fuels.

The hybrid Camry is a next-generation, fuel-efficient vehicle that is better for the environment and the pockets of New Zealand motorists, he said.

"Camry hybrid will offer more performance while using less fuel than a conventional petrol car; it will also emit less carbon dioxide and significantly less nitrous oxide than diesel vehicles emit."

Its petrol-electric Hybrid Synergy Drive (HSD) technology combines a four-cylinder petrol engine and a high-voltage motor, which are computer controlled to ensure they work together in the most energy-efficient way.

Hybrid Camry can operate for short distances on electric power only. Its petrol engine can propel the car and recharge the battery at the same time.

"It also provides automatic stop/start for the engine at traffic lights, reclaims energy while braking and uses energy stored in the hybrid battery to boost acceleration performance," he said.

Toyota's global vision is to sell one million or more hybrid vehicles annually as early as possible after 2010 and by the 2020s the company aims to employ hybrid technology across its model range.

Mr Prangnell said that Camry hybrid will be available within the first half of 2010.

(*estimate based on US figures)