History of the Toyota Solara – Toyota Nation Forum : Toyota Car and Truck Forums

28 Aug 2014 | Author: | Comments Off on History of the Toyota Solara – Toyota Nation Forum : Toyota Car and Truck Forums

History of the Toyota Solara



1999 – Introduced during CY 1998

1999 – Best Car in Vehicle Satisfaction, Sporty Car AutoPacific, Inc.

1999 – Among Best Buys Consumer’s Digest

1999 – Total Quality Award Strategic Vision, Inc.

2000 – Best Buy Consumer’s Digest

2000 – Introduced all-new Camry Solara convertible

2002- Front and rear fascias are updated, along with other interior minor refinements. A new four-cylinder engine is available.

2004 All-new second-generation Camry Solara is introduced.


The 1999 model year brought the introduction of the all-new Camry Solara sport coupe. It became Toyota’s newest entry in the sport specialty segment.

Solara was aimed at consumers entering their peak earning years, who are nostalgic for the sports cars of their youth, but need more room and comfort than a sports car can provide.

Camry Solara became the first Toyota Division vehicle to take full advantage of Toyota’s North American engineering, styling and manufacturing facilities. It was jointly engineered by Toyota Motor Corporation in Japan and the Toyota Technical Center in Ann Arbor, Michigan. It was styled at Toyota’s CALTY Design Center in Newport Beach, Calif. and built exclusively at Toyota’s award-winning production facility in Cambridge, Ontario, Canada.

For 2000, the Solara was powered by either a four-cylinder or V6 engine, equipped with either five-speed manual or four-speed electronically controlled transmissions. Solara rode on four-wheel independent MacPherson strut suspension including front and rear stabilizer bars with anti-vibration sub-frames and gas-filled shocks.

Solara offered an Upgrade Package that included 16-inch alloy wheels and tires, a perforated leather-wrapped steering wheel, a tighter, more controlled level of suspension tune, and a rear spoiler. The package was offered on the SE model with the V6 engine.

On the inside, all Solaras were equipped with an assortment of high-level feature content such as power windows, doors and locks, cruise control, fog lamps and dual-illuminated vanity mirrors. On the outside, Solara was available in ten exterior colors and all colors were complimented by coordinating interiors in either Ivory or Charcoal. Standard safety features included a driver- and front-passenger airbag Supplemental Restraint System (SRS), driver- and front-passenger seatbelt pre-tensioners and force limiters, three-point seatbelts in all seating positions and four-wheel Anti-Lock brakes.

For 2000, the Camry Solara added a convertible to its lineup.

The 2001 Camry Solara carried over with no new changes. The Solara Convertible was unchanged as well, with the exception of one new exterior color, Indigo Ink.

For 2002 the Camry Solara received slight cosmetic changes. It received more aggressive front bumpers and headlight assemblies. The rear had new attractive taillights.

The Solara received an all-new 2.4-liter four-cylinder that generated 157 horsepower.

The 2003 Camry Solara coupe and convertible were both unchanged.

The 2004 Camry Solara has been completely redesigned and was introduced in August, 2003. Camry Solara production was shifted from Cambridge, Ontario Canada to Toyota Motor Manufacturing Kentucky (TMMK) in Georgetown.

The 2004 model is distinguished by a sleek, new exterior design, a roomier, more luxurious interior, enhanced safety technology and a higher level of sporty performance.

Solara is now available in three distinctive model grades: SE, highlighted by sporty metallic-finish interior trim, SE Sport with an aggressive body kit and a unique interior, and the SLE with greater content and a woodgrain-style interior trim.

The new SE Sport grade combines an exclusive body styling kit with suspension and interior enhancements to give this model a sharply defined performance image and feel.

As before, Solara offers both four-cylinder and V6 engines. However, the 2004 model gets a significant performance boost thanks to a new 3.3-liter VVT-i V6 engine that is available in all models. The all-aluminum V6 produces 225 horsepower at 5,600 RPM and 240 lb.-ft. of torque at 3,600 RPM, compared to 198 horsepower and 212 lb.-ft. of torque from the previous 3.0-liter V6.

The V6 is teamed exclusively to a new five-speed sequential automatic transmission.

What does it mean?

Coined name portraying the radiance of the sun.

Where is it built?

Camry Solara’s are built exclusively at Toyota Motor Manufacturing, Kentucky (TMMK) in Georgetown, Kentucky.

**NOTE: All chronology dates are model year, unless noted otherwise. CY refers to Calendar Year.**

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