By on September 23, 2014


As Ford prepares to stake its future on an aluminum F-150, Toyota is looking to do the same for at least a single part on its best-selling vehicle.

Automotive News reports the automaker will begin stamping aluminum hoods for the Camry in 2018, introducing the metal to its customers in North America with the hood and liftgate of the Lexus RX 350 in 2015. The move is part of an overall plan “to use aluminum on future vehicles for hood, closures and parts for lightweighting,” according to representative Jana Hartline, who adds the automaker will “increase usage of mix metals and resin materials to enhance lightweighting efforts.”

The plan will be enacted through a joint venture between its trading company, Toyota Tsusho Corp., and Kobe Steel, with Toyota being one of the JV’s first clients. The venture aims to produce 100,000 tons of aluminum sheet annually, and plans to build its operation near producer Wise Alloys of Muscle Shoals, Ala. to help tackle constraints resulting from the increased popularity — a result of tightening CAFE regulations — of the metal.

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46 Comments on “Toyota Camry To Have Aluminum Hoods By 2018...”

  • avatar

    SO, they will save, what, 5-10lbs per hood – if that? Perhaps I’m being a bit short sighted, but this doesn’t strike me as much of a leap.

  • avatar

    Wow an aluminum hood ! Such innovation and it will take Toyota 4 years to put it into production.

  • avatar

    “…and resin materials…” Saturns?

  • avatar

    So they are doing with the 2018 Camry what Ford did with the 1992 Crown Victoria? Such innovation.

  • avatar

    I’m sure there’s folks here that remember,the early GM Diesel. Somwwhere around 1981 they took a reworked Olds Rocket 350,and created a Diesel engine.

    The results?….Not pretty.

    However, if I remember right…The American Diesel equipped Pontiac, did have an aluminum hood.

  • avatar
    schmitt trigger

    I believe the silver lining (or aluminum lining?) in this story is that a new manufacturing facility will be built here in the US.

    By a foreign company, nonetheless.

  • avatar

    Good to hear. Sure, my RX8 has an Alu hood, as have many other cars in the past but the innovation is that they will be doing this on a scale and for a cost that allows them to use it on one of the best selling family cars in the US.

  • avatar

    The ‘big deal’ about this is scale. Many FWD G/K-body cars had aluminum hoods, too.

  • avatar

    God, what a hideous front clip!

    Seeing cartoon-meanie faces like that in my rvm make me slow down and giggle.

    Toyota is just being Toyota with the aluminum thing; conservative, incremental and wise.

    • 0 avatar

      Its weird how Toyotas so conservative, and yet they’re throwing these “Monster Face” things on their family sedans.

      I thought that one of the Camrys highlights was its inoffensive, “timeless” styling.

      • 0 avatar

        Agree… bad enough they inflicted Lexus with those gaping maws but when they start effing with their bread & butter lines… wakarimasen, ne?

        Honda’s styling changes I understand, but Toyota.. WTF? But at least their mechanical risk-taking seems to adhere to their old conservative core, government subsidized forays into FCVs notwithstanding.

        • 0 avatar

          The whole “gaping maw” fad seems to have started with Audi, its a simple cheap way to “unify” the upper and lower grille to a more impressionable shape up front.

          Unfortunately when this became popular it got skewed into really ugly directions, and theres nothing fancy about it when you got people spraying black on their Scion XBs as a low budget mod.

          I think that Toyota went this route after getting sick of journalists saying that their cars are aesthetically “boring”, I think I’ll take boring over ugly.

          • 0 avatar

            A car can look nice without going overboard or becoming boring, we just seemed to forget that fact along the way.

            I never was or never will be a Toyota driver, but I have to admit the 2003-2006 (?) Camry, for example, was actually not all that bad looking and wasn’t too boring either. Perfect balance. I guess someone decided that they had to make the car aggressive or “cute” in a hideous baby kind of way with puggy front ends and bulbous rear ends.

            To be fair, Toyota isn’t the only manufacturer that is making some strange looking cars, though they are pretty high on the list. Hyundai, Kia, Nissan, and I’ll even say Jeep (with the new Cherokee)–as well as several others–are guilty of this.

          • 0 avatar

            At Pentastar:

            Agreed with your first statement, some of my personally favorite cars use a lot of subtle details to create a great shape.

            Thing is, companies know that the vast majority of internet users are EXTREMELY opinionated, and if they build a wild-looking car they’ll basically get free advertising as we spread our opinions everywhere.

            Its all about attention and making an impression, its no different that strutting the red carpet in the nude.

            That is true that most carmakers are guilty of the same thing, needlessly wild aesthetics that don’t age well. Even though I’m not a big VW guy I will give them credit for sticking to their modest styling.

          • 0 avatar

            “I’m not a big VW guy I will give them credit for sticking to their modest styling.”

            Amen! I’m too scaredy cat to say it over on the Phaeton post, but I love the conservative ’90s look of the VW sedans.

  • avatar

    Aluminum hood. So what?

    My 1976 Dodge Dart Lite had some aluminum components and an extremely low differential gearing which made going anywhere fast a long afternoon ride, but it was at least sporty-looking and you felt good along the way!

    Oh well, at least it’s something…

  • avatar

    Huh, GM hybrid SUVs had aluminum panels on them pre-BK. The SS has aluminum body panels since release.

    How is this news that by 2018 Toyota will have caught up to 2008.

  • avatar

    After all the work Toyota corporate put into developing new tech for carbon fiber with the LFA: why not go all in, upgrade to carbon fiber and skip aluminum?

    Especially considering the timeline (3 model years?!), I would hope they could find production processes that would use the economy of scale to make it happen.

  • avatar

    Toyota should have kept this a secret, either don’t do and no one will care, but to make a point to tell people about it… 10-30 years after others have done it is a little embarrassing.

  • avatar

    The Miata had an aluminum hood and trunk lid since its inception in 1989.
    29 years later, Toyota follows suit. That’s just a little on the conservative side of conservative.
    There should be plenty of aluminum available for them, though, from the crushers… just send it to the Toyota factory instead of to China.

  • avatar

    I bet these Camrys will hold up well, hail vulnerable aluminum hoods, styling thats already dated, no front bumpers…

  • avatar

    “Lightweighting”? What an insult to the English language. Oh, and f**k CAFE.

  • avatar

    I must say, Toyota did a good job on the ’15 Camry. Overall it’s a less awkward, more sleek and compact-looking design. My only main gripes are the huge maw on the sporty trim level above (the XLE looks much nicer with Avalon-esque horizontal slats), the somewhat dull rear end treatment, and, of course, the somewhat horrifying DLO FAIL, suggesting C-pillar windowlets where none exist.

  • avatar

    Very daring. 400,000 aluminum hoods a year. What will they think of next? Oh what a feeling. Wow, better put out a press release.

    My old Subaru has one with a nice hood scoop cutout in the middle to save even more weight.

  • avatar

    Aluminum hoods are great. My car has an aluminum hood and trunk as well as a sprinkling of composite structure pieces (2006 Infiniti), it saves a little weight, and moves the CG a little lower. Add a carbon fiber roof and life gets a bit better – but that probably won’t happen on a Camry for a while.

    People are afraid of Aluminum body panels, but many companies have been doing it for 20 years at this point. My Audi A8 was all aluminum and that was in the mid 90’s.

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