Posts Tagged ‘SEMA’

The Toyota Sleeper Camry is SEMA’s Most Memorable Car

Posted by Stephen On Tuesday, November 11th, 2014

2015 Toyota Camry Sleeper

Imagine this: you’re waiting around in the Central Hall at the SEMA show waiting for what you think will be a showing of a lightly modified 2015 Toyota Camry, like the one above. Suddenly, a loud rev cuts through the air, and a hydraulic pump lifts the conventional sedan’s body to reveal…

2015 Toyota Sleeper Camry Drag Car

Who could have guessed that the most extreme build Toyota has ever unveiled at SEMA would come in the body of a Toyota Camry? Believe it or not, that’s exactly what they did with their Toyota Sleeper Camry, a jaw-droppingly fast drag racer hidden under the body of a family sedan.

We’d already covered every other car that Toyota showcased at this year’s SEMA show, but there was one missing from the promised 15 concepts we were told to expect. This is that car, and Toyota held off unveiling it until the event was more than halfway over.

Toyota’s Motorsports Technical Center Director, Chuck Wade, described what they were going for with this secretive racer. “This Camry is the ultimate sleeper – it definitely has the element of surprise on its side and more than enough muscle to drop the hammer on any unsuspecting car that pulls up.”

Exactly how much muscle is the Sleeper Camry hiding?

According to Toyota, the drag car can travel a quarter of a mile from a dead stop in 9.80 seconds.


Underneath the shell of a normal 2015 Camry, Toyota’s Tech. Center built the car with the Tundra’s 5.7L V8 engine, transmission and rear axle, plus the truck’s electronics. Then, Toyota fitted the V8 with a TRD supercharger and a wet nitrous system, and topped the build off with rugged DOT 335/30/18 drag tires from Goodyear.

Even though it’s hard to tell from the picture, the Camry body that fits of the race car chassis is actually functional – you can open the front doors to get in and out of the sedan just like normal. However, the inside is completely stripped down other than a single bucket seat, driver controls and a gauge display.

All in all, this is definitely the car we’ll most remember from the 2014 SEMA event, and we’re glad to see that Toyota still has a sense of humor.

2014 Toyota Camry for Auction

2014 Toyota Camry Hybrid

Even though you’ll likely never get to drive Toyota’s Sleeper Camry, the regular Camry is still a great-looking car with a lot to offer most buyers.

Today’s auction find is a 2014 Toyota Camry Hybrid G Package in top-notch shape. This family-sized sedan runs on a hybrid powertrain (see the blue Toyota logo?) with a 2.5L Atkinson cycle engine that outputs about 154hp and 153 lb-ft of torque on its own. As you can see below, the exterior is clean and the interior is spacious and well-kept.

2014 Toyota Camry Hybrid interior

With less than 500 miles on the odometer, it’s not too surprising that this auction find has an overall S grade (literally shinsha, or “new car”) and A-grade interior. Keep reading below the auction sheet for a full rundown on this find.

2014 Toyota Camry Hybrid auction sheet

“Grade S, interior A, exterior A, first registered May 2014, Hybrid G Package model, original navigation system and TV, FAT, AAC, 495KM, power steering, power windows, original AWs, ABS, airbag, original navigation system, original TV, marks as per map”

Honda Shows Off Fit Performance Project at SEMA

Posted by Stephen On Friday, November 7th, 2014

The 2014 SEMA show is well underway and it’s been a great year so far. Honda in particular has had a great showing at the event, and their Fit hatchback won a SEMA Award in the “Hottest Sport Compact” category. As you continue reading, you’ll see why… They have an amazing portfolio of nine different customized Honda Fit hatchbacks, each with its own unique flair.

Tjin Edition 2015 Honda Fit

2015 Honda Fit Tjin Edition

We’ll start with the Tjin Edition Honda Fit (pictured above), which was voted fan favorite in Honda’s 2015 Fit Performance Project. This model was developed by Kylie Tjin’s design team, and features a wide variety of upgrades including the custom Axalta paintjob and a custom-fabricated wide-body kit.

The aftermarket Tjin Edition hatch rides on 18-inch iForged wheels with hot pink brake calipers, and the interior has been made over with custom green and black Katzkin seat covers to match the exterior, along with a Sony sound system.

The only performance upgrade in the Tjin Fit is a new Bismoto Pulse Chamber. Which brings us nicely too…

Bisimoto 2015 Honda Fit Turbo

Bisimoto 2015 Honda Fit Turbo

As the name of this aftermarket package implies, the highlight of Bisimoto’s contribution is a custom turbocharger, which takes the Fit up to an incredible 480hp.

Bisimoto didn’t stop there, though. Their kit also includes custom springs, new gaskets, Deatschwerks 1000cc injectors, a new Action 2MS clutch, bigger brakes and plenty of other mechanical upgrades. Inside, you’ll find a mostly gutted race-ready cockpit complete with a heavy-duty Rogue Racing harness.

MAD Industries 2015 Honda Fit

MAD Industries 2015 Honda Fit with Grom

This is a nice follow-up to the first two builds we showcased because it has more performance upgrades then the Tjin Edition, but still has a clear focus on enhanced sports appeal.

Even if you don’t care for the charcoal black and plasma yellow color scheme both inside and out, there’s no denying that MAD Industries has given us a head-turner. We wish you could see this one on the road, because that’s the only way you’d truly appreciate the PIAA Plasma Yellow fog lamps or the golden window tints – pictures just don’t do it justice.

Perhaps what’s coolest of all about this kit is that MAD Industries modified the Fit to carry a matching Honda Grom motorcycle in the trunk, including built-in MACs Straps to keep the bike in place.

Want To See All Nine Honda Fits?

As you read at the beginning of this post, Honda brought nine enhanced 2015 Honda Fit hatchbacks to the SEMA show. The three listed above are our personal favorites, and we decided we’d rather write a lot about our favorites than a tiny amount about each one. That being said, you can still see each Honda Fit build below:

Kontrabands AML 2015 Honda Fit

Kontrabands AML 2015 Honda Fit

Spoon Sports 2015 Honda Fit

Spoon Sports 2015 Honda Fit

Kenny Vince 2015 Honda Fit

Kenny Vince 2015 Honda Fit

HPD B-Spec 2015 Honda Fit Race Car

HPD B-Spec 2015 Honda Fit Race Car

Bisimoto + Norman Reeves Honda Fit

Bisimoto + Norman Reeves Honda Fit

Honda Genuine Accessories also showcased a Fit with every available dealership accessory, but all you have to do is imagine a normal yellow Honda Fit to get the full effect, so we didn’t include it here.

If you want to read more about each individual hatchback in the Fit Performance Project, we recommend you head over to Honda’s #ProjectFit Tumblr page for a full rundown, start to finish, of each modification.

Japanese Car Auction Find – 2013 Toyota Sienna SE

Posted by Stephen On Friday, October 31st, 2014

Earlier this week we talked about the various concepts that Toyota will bring to the SEMA motor show next week. Among them were two different aftermarket variations of the Sienna minivan. So, we thought we’d check in our Integrity Exports auction database to see what kind of Sienna MPVs were up for sale.

Even though the Sienna is not sold in Japan, it turns out that some have been imported from the US in LHD format. I have no idea why Japanese people would go to this expense when there are perfectly good Toyota Estimas and Alphards in the local market. It just goes to show that there is a nice sub-niche of LHD US cars available at auction here. In fact, I found there are several really well-kept Siennas available, and this one first registered in 2013 in particular stood out as a spectacular auction find:

2013 Toyota Sienna SE front

Let’s start with the basics.

As we already said, this is a 2013 Toyota Sienna minivan with an immaculate white exterior. There are only a handful of minor blemishes across the entire body of the MPV, and it has an overall rating of 4.5. Inside, you’ll find a quiet, spacious A-grade cabin that can seat up to eight passengers comfortably. The interior has a lovely black-and-white color scheme to match the outside paint job, and you’ll find white-stitched black leather seating in this particular model.

As you’ll see on the auction sheet, this is a Toyota Sienna SE trim, which is a new package made available for the third generation model introduced in 2010. From the outside, the SE trim level offers revised bodywork for a sportier design, new clear tail lamps and unique 19-inch alloy wheels. You’ll also enjoy a firmer suspension paired with more responsive steering for an all-around more vigorous ride.

2013 Toyota Sienna SE rear

Believe it or not, the SE trim was originally deemed “too sporty” by many of Toyota’s chief executives, and Chief Engineer Kazuo Mori had to overcome substantial opposition to get the trim in the lineup. We’d say it was worth the effort!

Under the hood, you’ll find that this 2013 Toyota Sienna runs on the same engine that originally earned the minivan its on-road acclaim in 2003. However, the low-friction 3.5L V6 engine (code 2GR-FE) has been tuned up since the last generation, and Toyota has incorporated additional technologies to get even more economy out of the powertrain. Chief among them is Toyota’s own Electric Power Steering system, which replaced the previous generation’s hydraulic system.

2013 Toyota Sienna SE Interior

The auction sheet details all the basic amenities you’ll find in this 2013 Sienna. Automatic air conditioning, a sunroof, automatic wipers, power steering and power windows are all included. But, the auction sheet won’t tell you about the recliner-style Lounge Seating in the second row. Or about Toyota’s Smart Key keyless entry system with push-button ignition. Or the new Entune Display Navigation system which was first introduced for the 2012MY.

And we haven’t even mentioned the 180 degree panoramic backup camera, pre-collision braking, or the automatic highbeam dimmer!

All in all, this is a great Japanese car auction find with a boatload of features at a very reasonable starting price. If it’s not your cup of tea, you can find great deals just like this one inside our easy-to-use Integrity Exports auction database. Or, you can keep reading below the auction sheet for a full translation of this particular find:

2013 Toyota Sienna SE auction sheet

Here is the translation:

“Interior A, first registered August 2013, SE Preferred Package model, dashboard AT, AAC, no service book, odometer reading in miles, sunroof, original alloy wheels, power steering, power windows, airbag, power sliding doors on both sides, keyless entry, power assisted back gate, 19 inch alloy wheels, original reversing rearview camera, Carraozzeria navigation system and TV, cruise control, half-leather seats, curtain SRS, roof rails, area of scratches inside, minor scratches and minor dents, front windshield has stone scratches, other marks as per map”

Toyota Bringing 15 New Concepts to the 2014 SEMA Show

Posted by Stephen On Wednesday, October 29th, 2014

The Specialty Equipment Market Association’s (SEMA) annual motor show is always a great place for automakers to show off their latest and greatest aftermarket innovations. With the show opening doors later next week, automakers have begun building hype for the new cars they’ll showcase at the event.

Toyota in particular looks to make a big impact at this year’s SEMA show. If you’ve been following Toyota’s newsroom for the past 24 hours, then you’ve been under a constant assault of press about all the new cars and concepts that Toyota plans to bring to the show. And remember, these new concepts come in addition to the Scion iM Concept that we’ll see towards the end of next month in LA.

We have a lot of concepts to get through, so let’s get to it!

2015 TRD Pro Trucks for Baja 1000 Race

2015 TRD Tacoma

Toyota will bring their trio of specially augmented TRD Pro trucks to the motor show, which will be competing (sort of) in the 47th Tecate SCORE Baja 1000, which is a notoriously treacherous 1,000 mile-long desert race. We have the TRD Tacoma pictured above, and the TRD 4Runner pictured below.

2015 TRD 4Runner

We say the TRD Pro trucks will “sort of” compete in the Baja 1000 because technically these will be chase trucks, which means they’ll follow the primary race car – the Tundra TRD Pro Desert Race Truck – and help make repairs/support the driver when needed. Still, it’s a grueling task that the TRD Pro Tacoma, 4Runner and Tundra will face together next year.

New Toyota FT-1 Concept

2015 Toyota FT-1 Concept

We’ve already seen the first Toyota FT-1 Concept make its rounds through most of the major auto shows throughout the year. So, Toyota’s brining a fresh iteration of the sports car to the SEMA event. Whereas previous versions have been depicted in a bold black and red, the SEMA car will come in a subtler and classier graphite and saddle color palette. Not much more to say about this one, but it sure looks cool.

DUB Edition Sienna & Yaris

2015 Toyota Yaris DUB Edition

In collaboration with DUB Magazine, Toyota will bring a specially augmented wide-body Yaris and Sienna to the SEMA event next month.

2015 Toyota Sienna DUB Edition

Noteworthy modifications to the DUB Editions include, obviously, the wide fender flares that make the cars appear so much stockier. You’ll also find a lowered suspension, TRD Big Brakes, a custom paintjob outside, and lux carbon fiber accents with all-around better materials for the interiors. You’ll also find a booming DUB audio package, which includes 12 speakers and six amps in the Yaris, and half that for the DUB Sienna.

Mobile DJ Sienna:Remix

2015 Toyota Sienna Remix

As a fitting follow-up to the DUB Edition show cars, Toyota will also partner with West Coast Customs and SiriusXM to bring the well-named DJ Sienna to the SEMA show. As you can see, the car gets its name from the enormous sound system strapped to its roof. Housed in the system are four booming 12” subwoofers and 24 coaxial speakers with five amps and a bunch of other cool technology. There’s even a built-in DJ booth inside the Sienna:Remix with a direct plug-in system.

In other words, this really is a mobile DJ station… Made from a Sienna minivan. Who knew?

See all of these concepts and more at the 2014 SEMA Show which will open from November 4th to 7th next week.

SEMA Lexus Hints At New Brand Direction

Posted by Stephen On Wednesday, October 31st, 2012

While there can be no doubt that many of the current Lexus models have superlative performance, the question still remains as to whether or not Toyota is really very serious about positioning Lexus as a sporty, high performance brand. Over the last few model years, the major changes made to their vehicles have focused on peripheral aspects rather than building a strong brand identity to lust after.

Simply adding more LEDs and F Sport body kits is no really going to cut it. If you want a comparison, just take a look at Jaguar. British gentlemen’s clob fuddy duddy has given way to cutting edge chic. Lexus, on the other hand, seems frozen in time.

GS350 F Sport – The Turing Point?

This model could be a great starting point if Toyota and Lexus are serious about really turning the brand into a first class sporting brand. Let’s see what they have done for the SEMA show with the 2013 GS350.

First up there is the forced induction system. Who knows what the output is, but it sounds exciting. It also sports coil covers, a Wald body kit, 20-inch Vossen wheels, red Brembo brakes and a freer flowing exhaust setup.

The forced induction is a cool twist as no standard Lexus models have ever had a turbo or super-charger. Is this to gauge the reaction of the buying public? After all, most of the other brands in the same class have already been doing this for a while. Take BMW and Audi for example. The entire BMW 5-series uses turbo charging. The Audi A6 goes both ways, using both superchargers and turbos.

Adding forced induction to the GS350 F Sport would really spice it up. After all, 0 to 60 in 5.5 seconds is already pretty quick, but still not quite enough to be best in class. Add then the other question is whether Lexus might be thinking of using smaller turbocharged engines in the future to keep power up and emissions down. Again, this is an approach being taken by other manufacturers, so it wouldn’t be surprising if Lexus went that route also.

But at the end of the day it all boils down to character and style. Have this in bucket loads, and perceived value goes through the roof. Have only a thin veneer, and you will be left behind.