2020 Toyota Camry and 2021 Avalon Will Feature Optional All-Wheel Drive – Guess When They Arrive

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Toyota launches the 2020 Camry & 2021 Avalon sedans with all-wheel drive – Here’s how Toyota they built them when you can get one.

Toyota has just announced that it is adding the all-wheel drive system found in the top-selling RAV4 crossover to its 2020 Camry sedan and 2021 Avalon sedan. There are many interesting facts around this new feature for America’s leading midsized sedan and popular Avalon large sedan. One we find refreshing is that Toyota is perhaps the first automaker in history not to try to pretend that AWD is an amazing performance upgrade. Rather, Toyota actually printed in its press release, “Customers can expect the Camry and Avalon AWD to provide similar ride and handling characteristics as the FWD models, plus of course the added traction capability. The suspension tuning, wheels, and tires differentiating the Camry and Avalon model grades carry over to the new AWD models.” No nonsense about “torque vectoring” your way around an Audi S4 in an ice-covered turn on the Autobahn. In fact, Toyota even admits, “Neither the new-generation Camry nor Avalon was originally planned to have an AWD version.” The company goes on to point out that AWD is not even needed on the highway. This kind of honesty in a new product announcement is almost unsettling.

Toyota Camry AWD and Avalon AD – How They Were Made

To create the new 2020 Camry AWD and 2021 Avalon AWD, Toyota had the crossover team pass the plans for the RAV4 over the cubicle wall. You think we are joking, but we are not. Toyota’s Camry and Avalon team¬†morphed the upper body structure of the Camry and Avalon with the engine, transmission, transfer case and rear differential from the RAV4 crossover. The team even stole the RAV4’s multi-link rear suspension and made some modifications to make it work with the sedans. To transfer the torque from the engine to the rear differential, the team adopted a modified version of the propeller shaft from the Highlander. Toyota isn’t reinventing the wheel here. Instead, it is using proven technology that it has already amortized across its entire product portfolio to add a useful feature many Camry and Avalon buyers in snowy areas will be thrilled to have.

Platform Sharing Is All The Rage

This adaptation of the RAV4’s drivetrain to the Camry and Avalon is possible because they all share the same basic platform and parts. Toyota calls it the¬†Toyota New Global Architecture (TNGA). Automakers have for decades been engineering their product lines to all fit on the same or similar production lines, using many shared components. Toyota is quite open about this platform and parts sharing. This gives some automotive press members fits who think that cars should still be built one custom piece at a time like a 1600s musket. One respected publication even called a vehicle that shares its platform and major components with other models “Frankenstein’s Monster.” We think it makes good sense, and the amazing products we have to choose from on the market today at prices (after inflation adjustment) below what similar-sized vehicles cost in the past are proof of that.

When Can You Get One – You’re Going To Laugh

Toyota says that its new 2020 Camry with all-wheel drive will be available as soon as it stops snowing this winter. Seriously. The AWD Camry arrives in the early spring of 2020. The Avalon follows six months later. We wish we could have been in the conference room when the timeline was announced.

In addition to catching up with Subaru and Nissan who both have all-wheel drive sedans in the Camry segment now, the company is also catching up with regard to infotainment. Android Auto and Apple CarPlay, along with Alexa are now all available in your Camry.