Toyota unveils at the New York auto show a refreshed version of its Camry midsize sedan that it says goes beyond a typical midcycle change.

Toyota designers and engineers re-imagined nearly every exterior surface of the car,” the No.1 Japanese automaker says in a statement, adding some 2,000 parts on the Camry are new for ’15.

The Camry, the No.1-selling model in its segment as well as the top-selling car in the U.S., is competing with ever-stronger entrants, including an all-new generation of Hyundai’s Sonata sedan also debuting at the show today.

Through March, Camry sales were down 6.5% vs. year-ago in the U.S., with the car having been outsold in January and February by Nissan’s Altima, WardsAuto data shows.

The Camry’s refresh addresses deficits of the current-generation model, which debuted in fall 2011 for ’12, such as design and interior materials, as well as other areas.

“Customers today love the durability, quality and value that the Camry represents, but they are looking for a little more style, comfort and performance,” Bob Carter, senior vice president-automotive operations for Toyota Motor Sales U.S.A. says in a statement.

The appearance of the car is “more expressive and athletic” than before, the automaker claims, noting a pronounced body line now begins at the front fender and runs through the doors to the rear-quarter panel.

The front bumper cover is fully changed and more “aggressive” and the trapezoidal grille wider. The face of the Camry now “expresses a lower center of gravity,” Toyota says.

Headlamps are refashioned, with turn-signal indicators and LED daytime running lights integrated into their design. LED low and high-beams will be available on select grades of the car.

Taillamps are said to “sweep into tapered sheetmetal” while a trim piece spans the space between them on the trunklid, upping the sedan’s athletic quotient.

The automaker claims the Camry now has the most upscale interior in its segment with plentiful amounts of pliable materials, although it doesn’t detail in a pre-show release whether it has swapped out some of the currently hard-plastic pieces on the instrument panel in favor of ones covered in soft-touch skin.

Premium cloth, real leather and faux suede with high-contrast French stitching are the available seating materials.

The center console tray is larger and has an optional wireless charging system for certain brands of smartphone, the latter a claimed segment-first feature.

A new 4.2-in. (11-cm) screen is placed between the gauges on SE, XLE and XSE grades of the car. The latter is a sport-luxury grade new for ’15.

Cabin noise levels are reduced via better window and door seals, as well as the addition of 30% more insulating material in the carpet; redesigned side mirrors better direct airflow.

Ride and handling improvements include more spot welds on door-opening flanges; electric-power steering retuned for a more direct, on-center feel; and a 2-stage brake booster for better braking feel.

The car’s powertrains go unchanged for ’15. The current Camry offers 2.5L 4-cyl. and 3.5L V-6 gasoline engines with 6-speed automatic transmissions, as well as a 2.5L Atkinson Cycle 4-cyl./105-kW (141-hp) AC permanent-magnet AC motor hybrid combination mated to a continuously variable transmission.

The XSE trim level further builds on the sporty SE grade, which was new for ’12 and now represents 45% of all Camry sales. The XSE will get the same mesh grille as the SE but add 18-in. model-specific wheels and shock absorbers, as well as higher-rate coil springs and specialized EPS tuning.

Another new grade for ’15 is the SE Hybrid, which Toyota says “delivers an eco-fun driving experience.” Improved ride quality and a sharper steering feel come from an enhanced front stabilizer bar, absorber valve structure and control-arm-bushing parts.

The ’15 Camry goes on sale in the U.S. this fall. Toyota does not provide pricing information. The ’14 Camry ranges from $22,425 from an L grade to $28,625 for a Hybrid XLE model, not including $810 destination and handling fee.

cschweinsberg@wardsauto.com