Toyota will debut Special Edition versions of the Camry and Corolla at the Chicago Auto Show next week, with both limited edition models featuring a sportier look both inside and out.
One year after its major refresh, the Toyota Camry gets a Special Edition model for the 2016 model year, which brings a more dynamic appearance. Based on the Camry SE, the limited production 2016 Camry Special Edition’s exterior gets unique 18-inch alloy wheels with gloss black painted accents, smoked taillights, unique badge and two colors - Blizzard Pearl and new Blue Streak Metallic.
Inside, the limited edition model features high contrast blue stitching on the seats, shift boot, and dash, sport appearance seats trimmed with black SofTex bolsters and blue patterned inserts, sport meter cluster with blue details and white background as well as floor mats with logo.
Other standard features include a power tilt/slide moonroof, Entune Audio Plus system, Smart Key System with pushbutton start and Qi wireless charging. Camry Special Edition models are powered by the 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine mated to a six-speed automatic transmission.
As for the Toyota Corolla Special Edition, it gets similar styling features to the Camry, as well as an improved driving experience thanks to the addition of steering wheel paddle shifters, rear disc brakes and Sport Driving Mode.
Based on the sporty Corolla S Plus grade, the 2016 Corolla Special Edition features unique 17-inch alloy wheels with gloss black finish, Special Edition badging, and three colors - exclusive Absolutely Red, Black Sand Pearl and Super White.
The Corolla Special Edition features a black interior with red contrast stitching, red accents on the dash and door trim and Special Edition floor mats with logo. Standard equipment also includes a Smart Key System with pushbutton start, while optional features include Entune Premium Audio with Navigation and App Suite, as well as power tilt/slide moonroof.
The Camry Special Edition will be produced in a “limited” run of about 12,000 units from August 2015 to January 2016, while the Corolla Special Edition will see 8,000 units being built between August and December 2015.
The concept of the "Special Edition" Camry is certainly not new. Toyota has done them before (yes, using that name) with nice two-tone paint schemes and (sometimes) a spoiler....but, admittedly, not quite up to this current level of sport-orientation in the trim and equipment.
Here's a 3Gen version:
And a 4Gen version:
Having said that, though, I still don't see a huge market for this latest Special Edition. Most Camry buyers are generally not interested in this sort of trim or sport-orientation. They usually want just basic, refined, reliable, comfortable transportation in a mid-size sedan....which is why the Camry and Accord have dominated the mid-size family sedan market for so many years.
Of course, I've sometimes been wrong before in sales-predictions. I didn't think that the small Buick Encore CUV or the poorly-done 1Gen 2001 Cadillac CTS (as opposed to the far better 2Gen) would sell, either...but both actually did. But Toyota is purposely going to limit the Special Edition production to 12,000 units. Time will tell if they are correct.
The SE seems to sell better here in L.A. than the LE model. Adding splashier models and special editions makes great sense. The days of people wanting plain, boring, appliance-like transportation in this class are long gone. The standard and bar has been changed, and now people want to look good too while driving their family sedans. Competition started this all, with cars like the last generation Sonata/Optima, current Ford Fusion, Honda Accord Sport, and the last and current generation Camry SE.
auto, air, tilt wheel, and more...