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2020 Toyota Camry gets winterized: Brand adds all-wheel drive after 27 years

Dalvin Brown, USA TODAY
Toyota introduces new Camry and Avalon.

The new 2020 Camry is getting all-wheel-drive so you won't need an SUV or crossover to take on harsh winter weather.

The Japanese car manufacturer announced on Wednesday that the upcoming versions of its most popular vehicle, the Camry, and its larger Avalon sedan will have a system called Dynamic Torque Control.

The feature is derived from the RAV4 compact crossover, and it improves traction on gravel, rain or snow, Toyota said. 

The AWD-capable Camry hits the market in spring 2020, and the Avalon will trail behind in the fall as a 2021 model. Both cars house a 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine and an eight-speed automatic transmission. 

The latest driving system could be a game changer for consumers in cold climates who favor smaller cars over SUVs but want to get a better grip on the road. 

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"In recent years, market demand for AWD passenger vehicles has increased significantly, due in no small part to the rising popularity of SUVs and crossovers," Toyota said in a statement. "Midsize sedan customers outside the luxury category, however, have had relatively few AWD choices."

For the past 27 years, the Camry was solely available with front-wheel drive. The automaker killed off its All-Trac AWD sedans in 1991. Since that model was dropped, motorists and sellers have sent letters, emails and online comments asking Toyota to bring back the feature.

The new version of the all-weather driving system can direct up to 50% of available engine torque to the rear wheels as a response to slippery driving conditions, Camry said. When added traction isn't needed, the system will rely on the front-wheel drive. 

Follow Dalvin Brown on Twitter: @Dalvin_Brown

This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Toyota Camry gets winterized: All-wheel drive coming to popular car