The first generation Toyota Camry was introduced in Japan in 1982. The new flagship model arrived to Europe and North America a year later.
In United States, Toyota Camry was introduced as a front-wheel drive vehicle available in either four-door sedan or five-door hatchback configuration. Toyota Camry replaced the rear-wheel drive Toyota Corona and became the most popular Toyota model in United States.
However, this upper medium size car made relatively little impact with European buyers. In the UK, Toyota Camry was available with the 1.8-litre engine. Early in 1984, 1.8-litre turbo diesel model was added to the UK line-up.
To gain more sales, Toyota GB decidec to move Toyota Camry further upmarket in terms of power and specification. Both 1.8-litre engines were dropped and replaced with 2.0-litre powerplants. Five-speed gearboxes were standard on both models, while the petrol engine could also be specified with a three-speed plus overdrive automatic transmission.
In November 1984, the UK range was further boosted with a new high-specification Executive grade. Mechanically identical to the petrol-powered Camry GLi, the extra equipment included headlamp washers and the same air conditioning system found in the grand touring Celica Supra.
The quality and value of this Toyota flagship was finally being recognised throughout the world. During 1985 alone, a total of 252,950 Camrys rolled off the production line in Japan, of which around half were destined for the rapidly expanding US market.