Does a car needs to be warmed up in cold weather

I have a '97 Camry with 228k miles. When I start it after it has been sitting for a few hours, the RPM goes up to 1800 and then in about 2-3 minutes comes down to 800-900. It takes longer if its very cold.

Does it hurt the engine if I start driving before the RPM comes down?

We had several posts on this. No, as soon as you start the engine, belt yourself in you are basically ready to go. I suggest running the engine 20-30 seconds to let the oil circulate properly to the valve gear. Take it easy until the temp gage moves up.

Not if you drive it gently, but it’s even better if you wait the 2 minutes.

The RPM behavior is normal in cold weather. And you may start driving right away, or at least after you take a few seconds to fumble with the seat belt and to adjust the music. This does not harm the engine.