Despite more and more people flocking to crossovers and SUVs, Toyota is well aware there are still many people out there who would prefer to buy the once traditional sedan. Yes, year to date sales of the Camry are down by 1.6% to 285,058 while those of the Avalon have dropped by 16% to 24,208, but despite the decrease, Toyota still has a solid customer base for these two sedans.
Some of these people likely want the extra grip provided by an all-wheel-drive system without having to buy an SUV such as the RAV4 or the Highlander. For these people, two of the company’s sedans are getting an all-paw system, although sadly it won’t be called All-Trac as it was the case with the all-wheel-drive Camry sold from 1988 until 1991.
Gallery: 2020 Toyota Camry and 2021 Avalon with all-wheel drive
Available for the 2020MY Camry and 2021MY Avalon, the Dynamic Torque Control AWD system developed in-house is derived from the RAV4 and is available exclusively on the U.S.-spec cars. Depending on situation, the hardware will be able to send up to 50% of the engine’s torque to the rear axle, and when AWD is not needed, the electromagnetic controlled coupling disengages the propeller shaft from the differential to cut fuel consumption.
AWD can be had only with the 2.5-liter four-cylinder gasoline engine hooked up to an eight-speed automatic transmission. The engine is rated at 202 horsepower for the Camry LE, XLE, and SE, while the Camry XSE and Avalon XLE and Limited versions get 205 hp and a pair of exhaust tips.
Toyota says the AWD system has been engineered to re-engage instantly whenever it’s necessary and won’t make the sedans less practical than their FWD counterparts as trunk room and passenger space is the same. Of course, the extra hardware has had an impact on weight as an all-wheel-drive Camry is 165 pounds (75 kilograms) heavier than its front-wheel-drive sibling, while the Avalon weighs just about as much as the V6-powered model.
You’ll be able to get the Camry AWD from early spring 2020 and the Avalon from next fall.