Toyota Scepter

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Toyota Scepter
1995–1996 Toyota Camry sedan (US)
Also calledHolden Apollo
Toyota Camry (XV10)
Toyota Vienta (Australia)
Production1991–1996 (Japan, United States)
1993–1997 (Australia)
AssemblyAltona, Victoria, Australia (1994–1997)
Georgetown, Kentucky
Port Melbourne, Victoria, Australia (1993–1994)
Tsutsumi, Japan
PredecessorToyota Camry (V20)
Toyota Cressida (Australia)
SuccessorToyota Camry (XV20)
Body style(s)2-door coupé
4-door sedan
5-door station wagon
LayoutFF layout
Engine(s)2.2 L 5S-FE I4
3.0 L 3VZ-FE V6
3.0 L 1MZ-FE V6
Transmission(s)5-speed E53 manual
4-speed A140E automatic
4-speed A541E automatic
4-speed A540E automatic
Wheelbase2619 mm (103.1 in)
LengthSedan: 4770 mm (187.8 in)
Station wagon: 4811 mm (189.4 in)
Width1770 mm (69.7 in)
HeightCoupé: 1394 mm (54.9 in)
Sedan: 1400 mm (55.1 in)
Station wagon: 1430 mm (56.3 in)
RelatedLexus ES/Toyota Windom
Toyota Avalon

The Toyota Scepter is a mid-size car produced by Toyota between 1991 and 1997. Outside of Japan, the Scepter is known as the third generation Toyota Camry.

Class re-classification

Toyota Scepter station wagon
1991–1994 Toyota Scepter sedan

In 1990, Toyota replaced the compact V20 Camry will an all-new V30 series exclusive to Japan. While marginally larger than the V20, the V30 had to comply with Japanese tax legislation. To meet the "number five" tax bracket, the Camry had to adhere to the 1,700 millimetre (66.9 in) width and 4,700 millimetre (185.0 in) length limit. Particularly in the United States, the narrower model would not generate enough sales. As a result, a "wide body" Scepter model was designed. This came to be known as the Camry XV10 in all markets outside of Japan. The smaller Camry varied in other area besides the size. Although the underpinnings, doors and fenders, and overall basic design cues were common between the two cars, the Camry sported harder, more angular front- and rear-end treatment, with the Scepter presenting a more curvaceous lines. This rounded silhouette was shared by many other Toyota's of similar vintage: the Corolla and Celica, along with the Avalon from the mid-1990s to name a few. This was a departure from the second generation Camry models which, although they had many more rounded panels than the first generation, were nevertheless generally slab-sided in shape.

The Scepter, in its international Camry form is regarded as the first Camry to break into the large car market, or what Toyota billed at the time as "world-sized". At the same time, the once subcompact Corolla was moved to the compact class, and the Camry moved to the mid-size class. This Scepter model marked the transition away from a smaller vehicle into a larger, more luxurious family car.

The Japanese market received a new V40 series Camry in 1994, but the Scepter lived on until 1996—skipping a generation before being replaced by the XV20 Camry globally. This new model ceased the era of separate Camrys—a global Camry—and a smaller Japanese domestic market version. In Japan, the smaller Vista took up the former V40 Camry role from 1998.


The Scepter, at its most basic level, shipped with a 2.2 litre 5S-FE four-cylinder engine, up from 2.0 litres in the V20 and V30 Camrys. This unit produces 97 kilowatts (130 hp) of power and 197 newton metres (145 ft·lbf) of torque.[1] Power and displacement increases were also received by the V6 engine. The 3.0 litre 3VZ-FE unit was rated at 138 kilowatts (185 hp) and 264 newton metres (195 ft·lbf).[1] An all-new aluminium 1MZ-FE V6 debuted in North American models from 1994, with other markets following. Power rose to 140 kilowatts (190 hp) and 275 newton metres (203 ft·lbf).[2][1]


North America

For the North American market, Camrys were produced in Georgetown, Kentucky by Toyota Motor Manufacturing Kentucky.[3] Introduced in 1991 as a 1992 model year, automatic transmission became the only option on all but the base and sport model Camrys, whereas previously, a manual transmission was available on the majority of trim levels. In addition to the DX and LE trims, 1992 saw the addition of an XLE luxury trim and the SE sport trim.[4] The SE model differs from the LE and XLE in appearance with the addition of a standard V6 engine, alloy wheels, a rear spoiler, and black side mirrors as well as the sports suspension from the Lexus ES300.[5] The range-topping XLE was equipped with leather upholstery along with an electric sunroof and power adjustable driver's seat. The station wagon body styles were offered in a new seven-seat guise, compared to five in the regular wagon and sedan. These station wagon models were made exclusively in the United States, with the factories in Japan and Australia only fabricating sedan models. As a result wagons in right-hand drive configurations were exported to these markets. The case for sedans was different, in 1992, only 75 percent of the Camry sedans sold in the United States were manufactured locally.[6] This generation of Camry was featured on Car and Driver magazine's Ten Best list for 1992 and 1993.

1992–1994 Toyota Camry LE wagon (US)

Notable differences between the North American Camry and the Scepter are sparse. While the North American market received a revised V6 engine (1MZ-FE) in 1994, the Scepter used the same 3VZ-FE V6 over the entire model cycle. The scepter headlamps were a wraparound design (1992–1994 models), utilizing a dual-filament bulb along with integrated fog lights. The 1992–1994 model taillamps did not include red reflectors or sidemarkers unlike the North American camry. The Toyota Scepter also included an updated climate control unit with an LCD display in some models. Other differences include the "SCEPTER" trunk garnish and fender marker lights.

1994 Toyota Camry coupé (US)

Toyota released a coupé version of the Camry in 1993, for the 1994 model year with styling very similar to the four-door version, stimulating modest sales.[7] This vehicle would be dropped for the next generation, although it would later be replaced by the Camry Solara.[8] Also in this year, the 3VZ-FE V6 departed in favour of the new aluminium 1MZ-FE V6.[2] This new engine coincided with the standard fitment of dual front air bags, whereas the 1991 to 1993 Camrys only has driver's air bag.[9] The Camry was given a facelift in 1994 for the 1995 model year. Minor exterior changes included a revised front fascia with different turn signals and more rounded headlamps.[10] Additionally, the rear fascia was updated, now with body-coloured plastic between the tail lamps where the model name "CAMRY" was printed. This was instead of the red plastic on higher trim levels and black plastic on lower trim levels of the 1991 to 1994 models. The tail lamps themselves were also slightly different. Another change, this time mechanical came in 1996; the 2.2 litre engine was detuned slightly to 93 kilowatts (125 hp) to meet stricter state emissions standards.[2][1]

Both the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) and the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) published crash information for the Camry. The Camry was tested for only frontal (NHTSA) and frontal offset (IIHS) crashes. NHTSA gave the 1994–1996 Camry four stars for the driver and three stars for the passenger.[11] The IIHS scored the same car "acceptable" overall, with three out of six categories listed as "acceptable" and the other three listed as "good".[12]


1995–1997 Toyota Vienta (VCV10R) CSi sedan (Australia).

The range of Camrys in Australia consisted of both four-cylinder and V6 sedans and station wagons. These were built at Toyota's Altona, Victoria facility from February 1993. The four-cylinder Camrys consisted of the Executive, CSi and Ultima sedan models with the sole availability of automatic transmission. The V6 range was the same but was known as the Camry Vienta. Like the four-cylinder variant, Camry Vientas were available exclusively in automatic guise. These V6 models can be distinguished by a colour coded front grille. In 1993, a new sedan model called the Touring Series was launched which was fitted with sports suspension.[13] In April 1994, the range was revised slightly, where the Executive model was renamed CSi and the previous CSi was renamed the CSX.[14][15]

In July 1995, the facelifted model was launched in Australia, although this differed to the update applied to the North American variants.[16] The update also marked the beginning of the exporting of left-hand drive Camrys to the Middle East.[17] Unlike before, the V6 models were simply known as the Vienta—losing the Camry identity altogether.[18] The availability of manual transmission on the CSi and Touring Series sedan variants coincided with the update, while the Grande superseded the Ultima. An integrated alarm and immobiliser and upgraded audio system were implemented across the board, along with new upholstery trims for the interior. This included optional leather and wood grain on the Grande.[19] Towards the end of the model run, special edition Getaway (October 1996) and Intrigue (April 1997) sedan models were launched.[20]

United Kingdom

In the United Kingdom, the Camry range was more limited, compared with Japan, Australia and the United States. It was launched in October 1991. It consisted of the 2.2 GL and 3.0 V6 GX models in sedan and station wagon form. The GX version had automatic transmission only. Other changes to the line-up included:

  • From October 1993, the base GL model was rebadged 2.2i 16v, this version got a new 16-valve 2.2 L engine.
  • From June 1994, a new 3.0 V6 model was available. Like the GX, it had an automatic transmission only but was more basic.

Notes and references

  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 Power figures measured in accordance with the SAE standard, as quoted for the North American models.
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 "1992-1996 Toyota Camry Full Review". HowStuffWorks. Publications International. Retrieved on 2008-04-20. 
  3. Levin, Doron (1992-03-25). "Company News; Car Sales Fell in Mid-March; Trucks Rose". The New York Times. The New York Times Company. Retrieved on 2008-04-19. 
  4. "How the Toyota Camry works". HowStuffWorks. Publications International. Retrieved on 2008-04-19. 
  5. Russ, Bill (1993). "1994 Toyota Camry SE V-6 Coupe". The Auto Channel. Gorilla Nation. Retrieved on 2008-04-20. 
  6. DiPietro, John (2003-01-20). "Toyota Camry". Edmunds. Retrieved on 2008-04-20. 
  7. "1992-96 Toyota Camry". VMR International. 2000. Retrieved on 2008-04-20. 
  8. McHugh, Bob. "1997-2001 Toyota Camry". CanadianDriver. Retrieved on 2008-04-20. 
  9. McHugh, Bob. "1992-96 Toyota Camry". CanadianDriver. Retrieved on 2008-04-20. 
  10. "1995 Toyota Camry Review". Auto Mall USA. Retrieved on 2008-04-19. 
  11. "1994 Toyota Camry 4-dr". National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. Retrieved on 2008-04-19. 
  12. "Toyota Camry: 1994-96 models". Insurance Institute for Highway Safety. 2005-09-02. Retrieved on 2008-04-19. 
  13. "Car review - Toyota Camry Vienta Touring sedan". GoAuto. John Mellor. Retrieved on 2008-04-18. 
  14. "Toyota Camry 1993 Feb". Red Book. Automotive Data Services. Retrieved on 2008-05-01. 
  15. "Toyota Camry 1994 Apr". Red Book. Automotive Data Services. Retrieved on 2008-05-04. 
  16. "Toyota Camry 1995 Jul". Red Book. Automotive Data Services. Retrieved on 2008-05-07. 
  17. "Toyota Exports 100,000th Camry To Saudi Arabia". AutoWeb. Web Publications. 2001-05-05. Retrieved on 2007-03-13. 
  18. "NRMA Used Car Review - Toyota Camry (1993-1997)". NRMA. August 2002. Retrieved on 2008-05-08. 
  19. "NRMA Car Review - Toyota Camry Vienta". NRMA. September 1995. Retrieved on 2008-04-29. 
  20. "Car review - Toyota Camry CSi sedan". GoAuto. John Mellor. Retrieved on 2008-05-02.