Toyota Releases US-Exclusive AWD Camry and Avalon

As the sales go up for family cars and SUVs, automakers are slowly abandoning the sedan segment. But Toyota hasn’t been one to follow suit, and they are once again defying odds by releasing new versions of the Camry and the Avalon.

Toyota took advantage of slick, icy roads by releasing new all wheel drive variants for both of the vehicles. The 2020 Camry AWD is the first AWD Camry since 1991, and the first ever Avalon with AWD. The Toyota-developed Dynamic Torque Control AWD system will be available as a standalone option for the Camry LE, XLE, SE and XSE grades and on Avalon XLE and Limited grades.

In recent years, the demand for vehicles with AWD has increased significantly, possibly due to the rising popularity of SUVs and crossovers. However, for sedan customers outside of the luxury segment have had relatively few AWD choices. Now, Toyota gives them two more with Camry, America's best selling midsize sedan for 17 years, and Toyota's flagship sedan, Avalon.

It should be noted, however, that the Camry AWD and Avalon AWD are only available in the U.S. The cars will be assembled exclusively at Toyota Motor Manufacturing Kentucky.

Both the Camry AWD and Avalon AWD are equipped with a 2.5- liter DOHC 4 cylinder engine mated with an 8 speed Direct-Shift automatic transmission. Most of the Camry AWD variants produce about 202 hp, while the Camry XSE AWD and both Avalon AWD grades have 205 hp.

As per Toyota’s statement:

To many car buyers, "all-wheel drive" may mean one thing, but there are many different AWD technologies on the market. Toyota found an ideal type of AWD for Camry and Avalon in its new-generation RAV4 compact SUV introduced for 2019. The Dynamic Torque Control AWD system provides effective traction for inclement and slippery weather while minimizing AWD's typical drag on fuel economy. Admittedly, the system name is a mouthful; Camry and Avalon models equipped with it will carry a simple "AWD" badge on their trunk lids.

The Camry and Avalon AWD system can direct up to 50 percent of engine torque to the rear wheels, in response to acceleration from a start or slippage at the front wheels.

Notably, when AWD isn't needed, such as on long highway stretches, the electromagnetic controlled coupling on the front of the rear drive axle can disengage the propeller shaft from the differential to prioritize fuel efficiency. The AWD is designed to re-engage in an instant when needed. AWD operation is transparent to the driver and passengers.

On that note, the Camry and Avalon AWD models match their FWD counterparts in critical passenger space, trunk room, ride comfort, cabin quietness and vehicle agility.


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