Sporty looks of the Toyota Atara R work nicely, though there’s no change to engine performance

Sporty looks of the Toyota Atara R work nicely, though there’s no change to engine performance

While we hear endless stories of doom and gloom about Ford and Holden’s positions in the Australian automotive industry, the other local maker, Toyota, just keeps on selling about one in every five new vehicles sold downunder.

It’s probably the overwhelming desire of the general media to ignore good news which means we don’t hear of Toyota a lot. But the good news is that the Japanese company is steadily using its clever marketing to not only sell well in Australia, and is carefully eyeing the decrease in the value of the Australian dollar as a way to increase exports. The Middle East in particular buys a large number of Australian-made Toyotas.

On the home front, Toyota has just released a special-edition Camry Atara R in a plan to grab a few thousands more sales and keep the Altona, Melbourne assembly lines moving along.

Toyota Camry Atara R uses performance, comfort, safety and styling features borrowed from the more expensive Atara models and fits them to the Camry Altise on which the Atara R is based.

Atara R has front sports bumper and grille, side skirts, 17-inch alloy wheels and front foglamps. Not to forget special-edition Atara R badges.

It’s not all show and no go, the dual exhaust diffuser, lifts the Camry’s maximum power by two kilowatts as well as giving a sportier note.

Inside, Atara R has a premium three-spoke steering wheel with audio controls, a 6.1-inch screen display, and a reversing camera with fixed guidelines.

Toyota tells us the extra gear adds $3000 in value. Camry Atara R special edition is priced at $31,820, plus on-road costs.

Toyota Camry Atara R special edition is offered in Diamond White, Silver Pearl, Graphite, Eclipse Black, Wildfire, Magnetic Bronze and Reflex Blue, all shades that suit the sporty nature of the body.

About Ewan Kennedy

Ewan Kennedy, a long-time car enthusiast, was Technical Research Librarian with the NRMA from 1970 until 1985. He worked part-time as a freelance motoring journalist from 1977 until 1985, when he took a full-time position as Technical Editor with Modern Motor magazine. Late in 1987 he left to set up a full-time business as a freelance motoring journalist. Ewan is an associate member of the Society of Automotive Engineers - International. An economy driving expert, he set the Guinness World Record for the greatest distance travelled in a standard road vehicle on a single fuel fill. He lists his hobbies as stage acting, travelling, boating and reading.
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