6 Interesting Cars the 2018 Toyota Camry V6 Might Nuke in a Drag Race

Justin Pritchard
by Justin Pritchard

The new Toyota Camry, by all accounts, is the best Camry yet.

Gone are the days of beige and boring. It’s got sleek lines, unique styling touches, and grille that frightens small children. It’s also packing heat via Camry’s most-powerful-yet engine: a 3.5-liter V6 with 301 horsepower.

With that much jam and an 8-speed automatic handling shifting duty, you might say the new Camry rips pretty convincingly. According to various sources, V6-powered models like the sportified Camry XSE V6 will pull zero to 60 mph in well under 6 seconds en route to a quarter mile pass in the low fourteen-second range. Best of all, these figures will probably improve further once engine break-in is complete after a few thousand miles.

ALSO SEE: 2018 Toyota Camry Review

This level of performance was once the stuff of the fastest sports cars on the road. Today, it’s yours for the taking in a family sedan with tech, safety, and space to spare. Let’s look at a few interesting cars that the Toyota Camry V6 would probably nuke in a drag race.

Ford Focus ST

We love the Ford Focus ST because its comfy, frisky, fun, and only comes with a manual transmission, which is our favorite. But with zero to 60 mph arriving in about 6.2 seconds, and a quarter-mile pass of just under 15 seconds, Camry XSE drivers needn’t worry if this feisty little hot hatch gets all up in their business at a traffic light.

Subaru BRZ / Toyota 86

These brothers from different corporate mothers are athletic, balanced, and more mischievous than a box of kittens, though their light weight and fast-spinning flat-four engines are no match for the Camry’s mighty V6. In a good old-fashioned drag race, the Camry XSE hits 60 nearly a half-second quicker and passes the quarter-mile mark with a similar advantage. We figure that’s pretty stellar for a family sedan with room for the family and their stuff.

Nissan Maxima

OK, OK. It’s a tie, but this is an interesting comparison. The Toyota Camry XSE V6 virtually matches the acceleration of Nissan’s top-dog sedan, which also lays claim to being the original four-door sports car. Looks like Nissan might have to ramp up Maxima’s power output for the next-generation car if it wants to stay ahead of the pack.

Honda Prelude SH

Remember this car? Of course you do because you’re a champ. The Honda Prelude was a thrilling sports car in its day, and left us a good long while ago. Back then, Honda’s fast-revving sports coupe was capable of hitting 60 mph in about 7 seconds, and a quarter-mile pass in about 15.5. This was some serious speed for its day — and today, Camry XSE nukes its acceleration figures by a full second or better.

ALSO SEE: 2018 Toyota Camry Pros and Cons

1999 BMW M3 Convertible

Your annoying neighbor is pretend-rich and recently bought a 1999 BMW M3 Convertible. They think it’s the fastest thing on four wheels. Catch them at a traffic light, and you’ll prove them wrong: according to performance figures, the Camry XSE V6 gets to 60 mph nearly a second faster and has a half-second lead after a quarter-mile, too.

[Photo from Bring A Trailer]

Mazda RX-8

The Mazda RX-8 was a thrilling driver’s car with handling, balance, and braking for days. Thing is, its silky rotary engine wasn’t much for torque output — which is why it’s about a half second slower to 60 than the Camry XSE, and about half a second slower in the quarter mile, too.

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Justin Pritchard
Justin Pritchard

Justin Pritchard, an award-winning automotive journalist based in Sudbury, Ontario, is known for his comprehensive automotive reviews and discoveries. As a presenter, photographer, videographer, and technical writer, Justin shares his insights weekly through various Canadian television programs, print, and online publications. In 2023, Justin celebrated a significant milestone, airing the 600th episode of his TV program, AutoPilot. Currently, he contributes to autoTRADER.ca, Sharp Magazine, and MoneySense Magazine. His work as a technical writer, videographer, presenter, and producer has been recognized with numerous awards, including the 2019 AJAC Video Journalism Award and the 2018 AJAC Journalist of the Year. Justin holds a Bachelor of Commerce (Hons) from Laurentian University, which he earned in 2005. His career in automotive journalism began that same year at Auto123.com. Since then, he has written one of the largest collections of used car buyer guides on the internet. His passion for photography, nurtured from a young age, is evident in his work, capturing the scenic beauty of Northern Ontario. Living in a region with a particularly harsh winter climate has made Justin an expert on winter driving, winter tires, and extreme-weather safety. Justin’s significant achievements include: 2019 AJAC Video Journalism Award (Winner) 2019 AJAC Road Safety Journalism Award (Runner-Up) 2019 AJAC Automotive Writing (vehicle review topics) (Winner) 2019 AJAC Automotive Writing (technical topics) (Winner) 2018 AJAC Journalist of the Year You can follow Justin’s work on Instagram @mr2pritch and YouTube @JustinPritchard.

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  • Fuckyouthatsmyname Fuckyouthatsmyname on Feb 07, 2018

    So the most powerful car is the fastest? What a useless article. Reminds me of the stupid drag races to see "the difference between a fast car and a really fast car." by comparing a 1000 hp car to a sheep or something like that.