Peek-a-boo

Last week, CNET Australia was invited to have a quick squiz at the next-generation Camry, which Toyota promises will be faster, more economical and have better handling than ever before.

Hiding under this sheet is a pre-production prototype built in Toyota's Melbourne factory.

Updated:Caption:Photo:Derek Fung/CNET
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Voila!

Players from the Essendon and Collingwood AFL teams pull back the covers on the soon-to-be Aussie-made, seventh-generation Camry.

Updated:Caption:Photo:Derek Fung/CNET
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Namely

As is currently the case, the entry-level Altise will be targeted towards fleets. A new multi-tiered Atara range is aimed at private buyers and user choosers. The car seen in this photo set is an Atara SX.

Updated:Caption:Photo:Derek Fung/CNET
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Same, same, but different

The new car is roughly the same size as the outgoing model.

Updated:Caption:Photo:Derek Fung/CNET
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More room

According to Toyota, interior space has been improved thanks to revised seating positions and other changes.

Updated:Caption:Photo:Derek Fung/CNET
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Nothing to see here

The new Camry's on sale in the US, but won't be in Australian showrooms until the end of November. Hence, the blacked out windows; Toyota Australia wants to keep local equipment specifications under wraps for now.

Updated:Caption:Photo:Derek Fung/CNET
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Sneak peek

Until then, here's a look at the interior of a US-spec Camry. Features available in the US include keyless entry and start, cruise control, Bluetooth hands-free, climate control, the new Entune entertainment and nav system and a stitched leather dashboard.

Updated:Caption:Photo:Derek Fung/CNET
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Fin

The fin you can just see on the wing mirror holder is said to improve air flow, and, therefore, aerodynamic efficiency.

Updated:Caption:Photo:Derek Fung/CNET
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Tail fin

Look closely, and there's another aerodynamic fin on the left edge of the tail-light cluster. There's also a reversing camera hiding under the number plate garnish.

Updated:Caption:Photo:Derek Fung/CNET
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Eye!

Is this a xenon headlight or just a regular project beam light?

Updated:Caption:Photo:Derek Fung/CNET
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New Camry, new engine

A 2.5-litre engine with roughly 133kW of power and 230Nm of torque will power the new Camry range.

Updated:Caption:Photo:Derek Fung/CNET
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Hybriding it up

A more economical, Atkinson-cycle version of the new engine will do service in the new Camry Hybrid that's set to launch in Q1 2012.

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Aurion

As with the current generation of the car, the Camry will be exclusively powered by a four-cylinder engine. V6 versions will wear the Aurion badge, and feature different front- and rear-end styling from the Asia/Russia/Japan version of the Camry. The screenshot above is the version of the Camry that will soon go on sale in Ukraine.

Updated:Caption:Photo:Toyota
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Sportier

According to Toyota, the Atara models will sport a, uhh, sportier look than other Camrys. They will also have a few extra kilowatts and/or Newton-metres.

Updated:Caption:Photo:Derek Fung/CNET
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Spoiled

Atara models also feature a boot lip spoiler.

Updated:Caption:Photo:Derek Fung/CNET
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Trivia

Did you know that Camry means crown in Japanese? Well, either way, hang on to your hats or crowns, because Atara translates to crown in Hebrew and means new in Japanese. For bonus points, you can remind your friends that the Crown was one of the first sedans produced by Toyota, and that modern versions of that car can be seen in taxi fleets across Hong Kong, Singapore and Japan.

Updated:Caption:Photo:Derek Fung/CNET
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Smokin'?

Toyota is claiming that the new Camry is the best-handling car to wear the badge to date. To that end, it's even drawing a longbow by linking its V8 Nascar racers to the new hybrid econo-sedan.

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