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New Camry Hybrid provides luxury in a larger model with electric advantages

The Thaiger & The Nation

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New Camry Hybrid provides luxury in a larger model with electric advantages | The Thaiger

by Kingsley Wijayasinha – The Nation Weekend

The interest in electric cars is hotting up in Thailand but Thai manufacturers, so far, have been reluctant to take the FULL electric plunge.

In the meantime Toyota is hoping their new Camry Hybrid will draw a good number of customers thanks to its packaging overhaul. The hybrid is battery operated with a back-up petrol engine to boost performance and help recharge the batteries.

The 2.5 HV Premium hybrid, priced at 1.799 million baht, is the top Camry model in Thailand and brings to mind Lexus, Toyota’s luxury brand. And then there is also choice between the traditional petrol-engined 2.5-litre (1.539 million baht) and 2.0-litre (1.445 million baht) powerhouses.

The 2018 Camry boasts large body dimensions – 4,885 millimetres in length and 1,844mm in width. The wheelbase is 2,825mm (50mm longer than the previous model) and the car runs on 215/55 tires on 17-inch alloy wheels.

While the exterior design may appear provoking, with its unnaturally huge and aggressive front grill and muscular dimensions, the interior is furnished with high-quality genuine leather upholstery along with artificial leather, powered front seats with memory for the driver’s seat and steering positions.

The larger dimensions result in a larger cabin both front and rear, while the seats are comfortable too. The cabin is the total opposite of the previous model, which wasn’t so flashy. And that’s something you would expect from Toyota. But with the new Camry, the thinking has changed much – it just reminds me of the Lexus ES300 (which actually shares the same TNGA platform).

While the Lexus gets a Mark Levinson sound system, the Camry gets a JBL DVD with navigation system, eight-inch touch screen and nine speakers (including subwoofer), as well as T-Connect Telematics that connect easily. There is one USB port in front and two at the rear.

The driver gets a head-up display on the windshield and there’s a full package of smart safety systems including blind-spot monitor and rear cross-traffic alert, auto high beam and lane departure alert. There’s also a dynamic radar cruise control that slows down or speeds up depending on the vehicle in front.

New Camry Hybrid provides luxury in a larger model with electric advantages | News by The Thaiger New Camry Hybrid provides luxury in a larger model with electric advantages | News by The Thaiger New Camry Hybrid provides luxury in a larger model with electric advantages | News by The Thaiger New Camry Hybrid provides luxury in a larger model with electric advantages | News by The Thaiger

It’s a pity that Toyota hasn’t decided to offer a plug-in version of its hybrid products. The Camry gets into pure EV mode occasionally, for example after pressing the start button, but the nickel metal hydride battery’s capacity isn’t large enough to cover long distances.

Nevertheless, the fuel economy is pretty good since it’s a hybrid – Toyota claims it can achieve an average of 25km/litre in combined city and highway driving mode.

The efficient 2.5 gasoline engine in the Camry Hybrid pumps out 178 horsepower and 221Nm, while the electric motor is capable of producing another 88 horsepower and 202Nm (though the combined engine and motor output is limited to 211 horsepower). When that happens, the Camry was able to raise eyebrows with its powerful straight-line acceleration, and it gets even better when the sport button is pushed. The stepless E-CVT (Electronic Continuously Variable Transmission) is silky smooth and gives the Camry Hybrid a cultured performance.

Despite the powerful acceleration, the hybrid is 100 kilograms heavier than the 2.5-litre version, and the driver will easily feel the added weight during cornering. Make a normal U-turn and you can feel it’s a pretty heavy car.

On the other hand, the Camry 2.5G (which I also drove after the hybrid) has a better weight balance and cuts through corners easily. But even in sport mode, the power and response is incomparable to the hybrid when both the engine and motor is going full rev.

The steering isn’t too sharp, but offers decent precision and weight. The brakes, meanwhile, have and improved feel although it still takes some getting used to due to the energy regenerative system that turns deceleration forces into electric energy.

After a few days of driving both the Toyota Camry 2.5HV Hybrid and the 2.5G, it was the hybrid that offered a better and more complete package even with the higher pricing.

Toyota Camry 2.5 HV Premium specs

Engine: 4-cylinder DOHC 16-valve

Displacement: 2,487cc

Bore and stroke: 87x103mm

Compression ratio: 14.0:1

Max power: 178ps/5,700rpm

Max torque: 221Nm/3,600-5,200rpm

Motor Generator: Permanent Magnet Synchronous Motor

Hybrid Main Battery: Nickel Metal Hydride 

Capacity: 6.5 A/hr

Max power: 88ps

Max torque: 202Nm

Combined engine and motor max power: 211ps

Transmission: E-CVT (Electronically-controlled Continuously Variable Transmission)

Final drive ratio: 3.193

Average fuel economy: 25km/litre

Average CO2: 92g/km

Suspension (f/r): McPherson strut/double wishbone

Steering: powered rack-and-pinion

Turning circle: n/a

Brakes (f/r): vented disc/disc

Dimensions (mm)

Length: 4,885

Width: 1,840

Height: 1,445

Wheelbase: 2,825

Track (f/r): n/a

Weight: 1,650kg

Wheels: 17-inch alloys 

Tyres: 215/55 R17

Fuel tank capacity: 50 litres

Price: Bt1.799 million

Distributor: Toyota Motor Thailand Co Ltd

New Camry Hybrid provides luxury in a larger model with electric advantages | News by The Thaiger New Camry Hybrid provides luxury in a larger model with electric advantages | News by The Thaiger



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Hot News

800 million baht of drugs seized in three recent busts

The Thaiger & The Nation

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800 million baht of drugs seized in three recent busts | The Thaiger

by Jessada Chantharak

Police have seized a total of eight million methamphetamine pills, 2,070 grams of crystal methamphetamine and 1,546 grams of cocaine with an estimated street value of 800 million baht from three recent drug busts.

Four suspects were arrested and a fifth was killed during arrest.

The report from the national police deputy commissioner Pol General Chalermkiat Srivorakan.

In the first case, police arrested three hill tribe men aged between 23-27

27 year old Boonsong Wusueku was killed in a gunfight with police during the arrests.

Eight million meth pills, three pick-up trucks, a pistol and five cell phones were seized in the March 16 bust in Chiang Rai province.

The three men had been charged with having illicit drugs in their possession with intent to sell.

In the second case police and customs officials arrested 47 year old Bamba Adama, from Ivory Coast, who allegedly smuggled 1,546 grams of cocaine in his stomach at the Suvarnabhumi Airport.

He has been charged with smuggling cocaine into Thailand and possessing cocaine with intent to sell.

In the third case, a 28 year old Thai man, Anucha Krinwongsa from Nan, was arrested on March 19 with 2,070 grams of crystal methamphetamine at Suvarnabhumi Airport.

His arrests followed a tip-off a day earlier about a batch of drugs to be smuggled out of the country via the airport.

Anucha was apprehended after officers found the “ice” hidden in his luggage. He was charged with drug possession with intent to sell and attempting to smuggle drugs out of the country.

800 million baht of drugs seized in three recent busts | News by The Thaiger

SOURCE: The Nation

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Election

Foreign Affairs denies attempts to extradite Thaksin from Hong Kong

The Thaiger

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Foreign Affairs denies attempts to extradite Thaksin from Hong Kong | The Thaiger

PHOTO: The happy couple and ‘dad’, in HK for tomorrow’s wedding

The director of the foreign affairs department of the public prosecutor’s office in Thailand says media reports that the Thai officials are trying to extradite former PM and fugitive Thaksin Shinawatra in Hong Kong, are wrong.

Daily News reports that Chatchachom Akkhapin says there was no truth in stories of efforts to extradite Thaksin from Hong Kong.

Thaksin is in Hong Kong from tomorrow (Friday) to attend the wedding of his youngest daughter Paetongtarn “Ing” Shinawatra to a commercial pilot.

Chatchachom says no contact had been made with Hong Kong authorities but he concedes that, even  though Thailand and Hong Kong have no formal extradition treaty, it would still be possible to request the return of a wanted fugitive if the evidence presented was sufficient.

In the first instance he says they would need to ascertain the address of Thaksin in Hong Kong and the public prosecutor’s office don’t know where Thaksin is staying.

The denial follows a post on “Thaksinlive” on Instagram earlier this week that indicated Thaksin would be in Hong Kong for “Ing’s” wedding on March 22.

Read The Thaiger’s report, that the Department has now denied, HERE.

SOURCE: Daily News

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Thailand

Thungyai wildlife chief could appeal for a heavier penalty for Premchai

The Thaiger

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Thungyai wildlife chief could appeal for a heavier penalty for Premchai | The Thaiger

Thungyai Naresuan Wildlife Sanctuary chief Wichien Chinnawong, hailed as a hero for standing up to Premchai and taking his case to court, says, while he respects the verdict of the Thong Pha Phume provincial court on Italian-Thai Development boss Premchai Karnasuta, he believes the billionaire deserved a heavier penalty.

A panel discussion organised by the Seub Nakhasathien Foundation and environment reporters’ club yesterday heard from the Wildlife Sanctuary chief in his first extended comments following the Wednesday verdict.

Mr. Wichien said he spoke to his immediate superior, Mr. Chaiwat Limlikitaksorn, director of the 10th Conservation Area Management Office, and says they both agreed that the verdicts and/or punishments should be appealed.

However, they say they want to study the full text of the court’s verdict first.

Thai PBS reports that the wildlife sanctuary chief, who arrested Premchai and his party, said that all big cats in Thailand’s wilderness have tremendous ecological value, much more than the two million baht compensation demanded by the court.

Premchai was found guilty of carrying weapons in public without a permit, being in possession of a grey pheasant carcass and abetting others in illegal hunting.  He was acquitted of the charges of illegal hunting and of being in possession of a panther carcass.

Mr. Kosonwat Inthuchanyong, deputy spokesman of the Office of the Attorney-General, said the public prosecutor in charge of the case would have to study the full text of the court’s verdict before deciding whether to appeal.

SOURCE: Thai PBS

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