There are many ways to describe the Toyota Camry: "comfortable," "economical," "affordable," "reliable" and "dull as a bucket of mayonnaise" would all be accurate. It's this last one that the Japanese brand is seeking to change. While we aren't expecting it to suddenly sprout a high-revving V8, a rear-drive layout or razor-sharp handling, a report from Bloomberg suggests we should at least expect a more evocative design from one of the best-selling cars in the country.
The next Camry update, due for 2015, should have a "more emotional, more impactful design," says Kevin Hunter, head of Toyota's US design studio. That's according to Bloomberg, who caught up with the styling boss at this week's Detroit Auto Show. "Camry's taken some hits on styling, but it's still selling well. But we need to create better design for Camry in the future."
Hunter is right – the world of the midsize family sedan is no longer a realm of dreary designs. Cars like the Ford Fusion and Kia Optima both feature a design presence that allows them to stand out on the road, while new competitors like the Chrysler 200 and upcoming Hyundai Sonata should make for strong competitors. It isn't just pressure from other manufacturers that is convincing Toyota to build a more stylish Camry, though. It's a direct order from the man in charge, Akio Toyoda.
Toyoda wants to see waku-doki in his company's designs – heart-racing qualities
Toyoda wants to see waku-doki in his company's designs – a Japanese phrase that's short for heart-racing qualities, and the first two recipients of Toyoda's directive are set to be the Camry and Prius, arguably the marque's two most important models. "I would not go so far as saying we could be adventurous, but at least more aggressive," Kazuo Ohara, Toyota's US sales boss, said of the next Camry. Ohara admits today's design is probably a bit too conservative.
Following reports that 2014 would be a big year for the Camry, we're starting to wonder what to expect from a model that is due for a mid-cycle refresh. Ohara wouldn't give Bloomberg specifics, but did indicate that a more "emotional" exterior was in the cards, as well as better interior packaging and materials.