Welcome to the Tire Rack One Lap of America.
For years the Toyota Camry has rightly earned a reputation for its excellent reliability and build quality. However, it's also viewed as one of the most boring cars on the market, for better or worse. Toyota decided it's had enough of the boring reputation with its best-selling family sedan, so some major engineering and handling changes were ordered for the latest generation model. The results speak for themselves, as Mazda has already made clear it's found a new benchmark.
But Toyota wanted to prove the new Camry's newfound attitude by entering three of them in the grueling 3,675-mile Tire Rack One Lap of America road rally. This annual event is considered the successor to the wonderfully insane Cannonball Run. The early 1970s were awesome. Though things have become slightly more tame, One Lap of America is still pretty hardcore as it takes eight days to complete (assuming the car actually does) while visiting seven road courses during the trek. These courses include the Autobahn Country Club in Illinois (where the rally kicks off), the Gateway Motorsports Park in St. Louis, High Plans Raceway in Denver, and ultimately concluding at the NCM Motorsports Park in Bowling Green, Kentucky.
The rally has just got underway (starting yesterday, May 5) and will wrap up on May 11. Toyota entered three Camry trim levels (XSE, SE and hybrid) to further prove the sedan's durability and performance isn't limited to a single high-end trim. The automaker has also taken this opportunity to prove its latest Prius isn't as plain vanilla as its predecessors and perception make it out to be by entering one in event as well.