Toyota Camry Beats Corvettes & Camaros at One Lap of America
Last week Toyota declared it would attempt to challenge our perception of the Camry, particular with regard to its speed, by bringing it and a few other cars to the 2018 Tire Rack One Lap of America. Now that we’ve seen the results, consider our perception successfully changed.
After eight days and 3,675 miles, three teams of Toyota engineers had collected an impressive number of trophies: first and second in the alternate fuel class, third in the economy class, and third in the mid-priced sedan class. That’s right: in a field of more than 70 cars compromised of several BMWs, Camaros, and Corvettes, the Camry finished on the podium.
Steven Byington, a stamping engineer for Toyota Motor Manufacturing Kentucky, was happy just to finish the race. “We push our cars to their limit all day on the track and then hope they hang together for another 6-10 hours of transit driving. You eat every meal at a fast food drive thru, you’re averaging 3 or 4 hours of sleep each night and you do it with a smile on your face because you have a passion for driving.”
The 2018 Toyota Camry, 2013 Avalon, and 2017 Prius were all represented at the One Lap of America event, and all finished further ahead than many vehicles typically perceived to be racier. In fact, it was the second time the Kentucky team stood on the podium, who has now attended the event four times.
“We’re really grateful to have had the opportunity to participate in this event,” said James Nichols, engineering assist manager at Toyota Motor Manufacturing Indiana. “It was a great experience for our team, and I think we did a lot to convince people that the Camry and the Prius are more than just commuter cars.”