1983–1986: First Generation (V10)
Launched late in the 1983 model year, the Camry served as a replacement for the Corona. That compact sedan, along with its smaller sibling, the Corolla, had helped Toyota become the top-selling import brand in the United States in the mid-1970s. Toyota used a new name, Camry—derived from the Japanese word kanmuri, meaning “crown”—to differentiate this new front-wheel-drive four-door sedan from the rear-wheel-drive model it replaced. The company considered its newest creation its first true entry into the compact-car segment, positioning the Camry against vehicles such as the Chevrolet Citation, Ford Tempo, Chrysler’s K-cars, and, of course, the Honda Accord. That last model would go on to become the Camry’s closest rival.