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Motoring: Toyota Camry - 1982

The name Camry was first delegated to a compact four-door sedan model in Japan, known as the Celica Camry. A liftback version of this vehicle was sold in limited numbers in Australia as the Toyota Corona Liftback. Having spanned multiple generations since 1982, the stand-alone medium-sized car that now carries that name has grown to become Toyota's second "world car" after the Corolla.

The name Camry is an Anglicized phonetic transcription of the Japanese word kanmuri, meaning "crown". This follows Toyota's naming tradition of using the crown name for primary models starting with the Toyota Crown (1955), continuing with the Toyota Corona (1957) and Corolla (1966); the Latin words for "crown" and "small crown", respectively. Maintaining this theme was the Toyota Tiara (1960) named after the "tiara" form of crown. The rebadged Camry variant for Japan, the Toyota Scepter (1991) took its name from "scepter", a royal accessory to a crown.

When Camry became an independent model line in 1982 with the V10 series, Toyota made it available as a five-door liftback in addition to the sedan body style - both powered by gasoline and diesel inline-four engines. In Australia, the Camry was limited to a single-grade GLi liftback variant between April 1983 and April 1987, and sold as an upmarket alternative to the locally produced Corona T140. The sole powertrain offered was the gasoline 2.0-liter 2S-EL engine with 77 kW (103 hp) coupled with the five-speed manual or four-speed automatic transmission. Optional extras included powering steering, air conditioning, electric moonroof, power doors and windows, plus an upgraded stereo. At this point, it was positioned above the Corona.

Toyota Australia released the second generation Camry in April 1987. Local manufacture of the V20 had began earlier in February at its recently acquired Australian Motor Industries facility at Port Melbourne, Victoria as a replacement for the Corona T140 and the Camry before it. Four-cylinder engine production and panel-stamping was undertaken at Toyota's Altona, Victoria plant, all part of a model localization and factory upgrades investment totalling A$115 million. In fact, it was the first Camry made outside of Japan, and is notable for being the most localized Toyota Australia product thus far with a lead time of less than six months, the shortest yet between start of Japanese and Australian manufacture.

The badge engineered Holden Apollo retailed in Australia alongside the facelifted Camry from August 1989. This model sharing occurred due to the United Australian Automobile Industries (UAAI) joint venture between Toyota Australia and General Motors-Holden's starting in 1987 that resulted in model sharing between both automakers from August 1989. Known as the JK series, the Apollo differentiated itself by way of a redesigned grille, rehashed tail lamps and other minor trim items. This badge engineering scheme was the result of the Button car plan, introduced in May 1984 to rationalise and make the Australian automotive industry more competitive on a global scale by means of reducing import tariffs. Offered in sedan and wagon guises, Apollo replaced the Camira.

Automotive tax regulations in Japan dictated the retention of a narrower body as utilized in previous Camry generations. However, overseas demand for a larger Camry resulted in the development of what was the wide-body XV10 sedan and station wagon that arrived in 1991. It was marketed as the wide-body Camry in Australia, which didn't make a lot of sense to Australian consumers as it did not have the appearance of being wider than other cars of its class, and they were not aware of the existence of a narrower bodied Camry in its home country. In Australia, the V6 engine Camry was badged "Camry Vienta" when launched in 1993, later becoming the Toyota Vienta in 1995. The next wide-body model, the XV30, came in 2001 which looked very similar to previous model, having hat appeared to be only a few consmetic chnges. With the XV40 of 2006, the Camry-derived Aurion become the donor model for the more conservative Camry sold. The subsequent and current XV50 sold since 2011 has resulted in even more markets adopting the alternative body panels.

1982 Toyota Corona Liftback, the first car to use the Camry name, but only in Japan

1986 Toyota Camry Liftback

1992 Toyota Camry

2005 Toyota Camry

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