It is a product of the Toyota company and has rather more “sporty image” than the Camry sedan. The Toyota Camry Solara, commonly known as the Toyota Solara, was manufactured to get the attention of more “sport-minded” drivers than the lovers of Toyota Camry sedan. A mid-size coupe/convertible, the Camry Solara aspires to blend “sporty” style. However, all models of the Camry Solara only feature the “Solara” portion of the name on exterior emblems, and the “Camry” portion of the name is rarely used when referring to the car in general.
The “Camry Coupé” was the 2-door version of the Toyota Camry before the Camry Solara came to limelight. It was added to the third generation Camry lineup in 1994 to compete with competitors like the Honda Accord and other vehicles. In 1999, the Toyota company launched the Camry Solara as part of its efforts to compete with other similar coupes [a car with a fixed roof, two doors, two or four seats, and usually a sloping back].
Unlike the competing Honda Accord sedan and the Accord Coupe which are updated at the same time, the Solara’s development lags behind of that of the Camry sedan by a couple years. Instead of mirroring the now-fourth generation Camry’s appearance, the Solara had its own unique design with a swooped roofline, heavily creased sides, and unique front and rear fascia. The second generation, based on the 2002 Camry sedan, debuted in 2004.
With the advent of the Camry sedan’s seventh generation, there were no plans to update the Camry Solara to that platform. The sales of the Solara plummeted considerably, as it inherited the unexciting handling from its Camry parent. Compared to the new iteration of the sedan, the Solara remained underpowered due to lack of a major update in the works. The Solara coupe was discontinued after the 2008 model year, though it was rumored that the coupe would be revived in 2010 albeit on a different platform.
The Solara convertible, which accounts for the majority of sales, continued to be produced. Then, in June 2009, Toyota announced that the convertible would be discontinued. The first generation/Mark V remained in limelight from 1999 to 2003, a minor model update (2002–2003) was also launched, while second generation debuted during 2004–2009.
The standard engine on the Camry Solara coupe was a 2.4-liter four-cylinder rated at 157 horsepower and 158 pound-feet of torque, mated to either a five-speed manual or a five-speed automatic. Optional on coupes and standard on convertibles was a 3.3-liter V6 rated at 210 horses and 220 lb-ft of torque.
A new model of the Solara with a modern technology features package is expected to be presented in 2012.
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