Posts Tagged ‘trd pro’

Here’s the 2015 Toyota RAV4 Rally Car

Posted by Stephen On Friday, May 8th, 2015

2015 Toyota RAV4 Rally Car

Toyota has an innovative new rally racer that they will bring to several rally competitions later this year. It’s a tuned up 2015 Toyota RAV4 LE, pictured here in full racing form.

The Japanese automaker unveiled their high-performance rally RAV4 this weekend at the Monster Energy Supercross Championship finale, which took place at the Sam Boyd Stadium in Las Vegas. Obviously, it’s not every day that you see a commercial crossover competing in pro-level races like the Idaho Rally or the Mt. Hood Rally. Toyota plans to bring their RAV4 to several of the races in the 2015 Rally America season in the 2WD-Open Class.

Ryan Millin & RAV4

The modified 2015 Toyota RAV4 LE will be driven by Ryan Millen – a seasoned Toyota racer in his own right. He recently won the 2014 Baja 1000 driving a Toyota Tundra TRD Pro series, and he has high hopes for the RAV4. “I’ve driven just about everything Toyota has to offer,” he said. “And I’ve been very impressed with the RAV4 is tight, compact body and smooth handling. I’m looking forward to putting it through the paces this season.”

What kind of modifications has Toyota made to transform their commercial RAV4 into a rally-ready machine?

One thing they did NOT change is the engine… The RAV4 rally car runs on the same stock powertrain in the normal RAV4 LE, which is a 2.5L inline four-cylinder engine. It outputs 176 hp and just 172 lb-ft of torque, and the engine is fitted to the LE’s stock transmission. So, how will the RAV4 hope to compete?

Ryan Millen & RAV4 profile

Millen’s crew stripped over 500 lbs off the small crossover to make it a much more agile vehicle. They added a roll cage and fitted the wheels with BFGoodrich all-terrain DOT 215/75R15 tires. They also upgraded the unpderpinnings with a front and rear TEIN suspension.

You may be asking why Toyota would care about getting their RAV4 crossover into the motorsports spotlight; we certainly were. Turns out, they’ve got something to prove. The press release makes it clear they’re tired of the RAV4 being known “only” for its immense practicality and superiority to its “more-cumbersome” SUV brethren. Now, they want everyone to know that the RAV4’s “lighter and leaner design” makes it the perfect car for anyone who regularly makes “desert, beach and other outdoor excursions.”

Okay, Toyota, we get it. The RAV4 is an off-road vehicle. Let’s see what it can do.

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”

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.

Lexus Spain Unveils Limited 25th Anniversary IS F-Sport

Posted by Stephen On Tuesday, May 27th, 2014

Apparently, this is the week of 25th anniversary celebrations. A couple days ago Mazda opened up preregistration for their 25th anniversary edition MX-5 Miata, a stunning red roadster that sold out in exactly 10 minutes. Now, just across the Atlantic Ocean, Lexus Spain has unveiled their 25th Anniversary Lexus IS F-Sport at the Madrid Auto Show.

Several of our astute readers may realize that Lexus’ 25th anniversary actually fell in January of this year, but Lexus Spain decided that they wanted a bigger stage on which to show off their special edition IS F-Sport. And so, they’ve waited until now to pull the curtains off this bad boy:

Lexus IS F-Sport 25th Anniversary

Let’s do a quick rundown of all the modifications to be seen on the 25th anniversary IS F Sport…

Starting up front, the hood and roof have both been wrapped in carbon fiber for a unique, high-contrast aesthetic. You can also see the addition of new front spoilers just beneath the fog lights. Moving towards the back of the car, this IS F-Sport also features new side skirts, a rear spoiler, and a totally upgraded backend with a new quad exhaust and diffuser. Oh, and did we mention the 19-inch, ten-spoke alloy wheels fitted with Bridgestone Potenza tires?

Lexus IS F-Sport 25th Anniversary Rear

On top of all the exterior modifications, the 25th Anniversary Lexus IS F-Sport also gets a stiffened suspension, a Brembo brake kit, reinforced member braces and a new performance damper.

Inside, the limited edition IS F-Sport gets custom black and white leather, special 25th Anniversary badging and a red TRD start button.

Now, this is where things get a little interesting…

Even though Lexus Spain will only sell 25 units of their 25th anniversary sports car (fitting, right?), it turns out that the majority of the modifications are nothing more than a TRD bodykit. In fact, everything except for the custom leather interior and carbon fiber wrapping are standard with the Lexus IS TRD Pro mod, seen here. Even the upgraded mechanics are part of TRD’s tuning package!

The next obvious question is how much will it cost? Buying these modifications for yourself would run you around $12,500 if you went straight to the source, so it’s probably a safe bet that Lexus will sell the 25th Anniversary Lexus IS F-Sport for something like $15,000 above the normal price tag.

We have to admit that it’s a little bit odd for Lexus Spain to make a big hubbub about their 25th anniversary, and then in the end only add some carbon fiber wrapping to an otherwise already-available trim. Nonetheless, this new IS F-Sport looks great, even if we’d personally rather have one of the 25th Anniversary MX-5 Miatas that we saw yesterday.

Photos and news courtesy of Periodismo del Motor

Toyota Debuts New TRD Pro Series at 2014 Chicago Motor Show

Posted by Stephen On Saturday, February 8th, 2014

Toyota TRD Pro series

Last week we looked at teasers for Toyota’s new TRD Pro Series of off-road vehicles. This morning, with the grand opening of the 2014 Chicago Motor Show, we now have full specs for the entire TRD Pro Series.

As you continue reading, we will go through each of the three performance-tuned trucks and SUV to see what’s so special about these new upgraded vehicles.

First, though, let’s quickly go over why Toyota has chosen to unveil this TRD Pro Series at this particular time. As it happens, 2014 is the 35th anniversary of Toyota Racing Development, or TRD, so it’s an important year to give Toyota’s many loyal fans something special. Each and every vehicle listed here has received a plethora of enhancements and upgrades from the TRD team. It’ll be tough, but we’ll do our best to cover the most important upgrades for each vehicle.

2015 Toyota Tundra TRD Pro

Toyota Tundra TRD Pro

First up, we have the new and improved Toyota Tundra TRD Pro. This one gets new 18” black alloy wheels with Michelin ORP tires, along with 2” of additional wheel travel in the front and 1.25” in the rear. In fact, the entire front of the vehicle has been lifted 2” for additional off-road clearance. The shocks have also been made more resilient with overall less cavitation, while the springs have been loosened for “improved ride quality over harsh terrain”.

The Tundra TRD Pro also gets a new stainless steel dual exhaust system that Toyota says exhibits a manly “throaty rumble sound”. Design-wise, the exterior of the TRD Tundra gets a new front grille, new TRD Pro stamping around the bed and doors, and exclusive color-schemes of Black, Super White and Inferno Red (applies to the other TRDs too).

Inside, the Tundra gets a new shift knob and floor mats (again, this is included in all the vehicles listed below), along with a new seat color and red stitching unique to the Tundra TRD Pro.

2015 Toyota Tacoma TRD Pro

Toyota Tacoma TRD Pro

Toyota’s compact pickup gets new TRD-tuned springs and that same decreased spring rate we saw in the Tundra. But, instead of 18” wheels it gets 16” black beadlock-style wheels, and BFGoodrich All-Terrain tires. However, the Taco TRD Pro only gets 1” of additional wheel travel in the front, but 1.5” in the back, while the front of the vehicle still gets an overall 2” lift. The TRD Tacoma also gets a 1/8” thick stamped silver skid plate, and a TRD Cat Back Exhaust system.

The Tacoma also gets the same TRD Pro badging throughout, both interior and exterior. However, unlike the Tundra, the Taco gets a nice little hoodscoop to go with its revised grille and bumper.

2015 Toyota 4Runner TRD Pro

Toyota 4Runner TRD Pro

Just like the littlest bear in the tale of Goldilocks, the Toyota 4Runner TRD Pro is juuuuuuust right. It’s got new 17” black alloy wheels, 1 inch of extra wheel travel on both front and back, and a 1” higher ride overall. It still gets the same shock treatment as the others though – it’s got the upgraded remote reservoirs of the Tacoma and Tundra TRDs that allow for improved heat management and cavitation control (in other words, it rides smoother over the kind of rocky terrain seen in the image above).

Unlike the Taco and the Tundra, the TRD Pro 4Runner keeps the same exhaust system as the original. However, it makes up for it with perhaps the best new grille of the bunch… Just look at how aggressive that front clip is. What a beauty!

Of course, it also gets the same TRD-badged shifter and floor mats, and all the TRD badging around the exterior too. It also shares the Tacoma’s hoodscoop for that little bit of extra edge.

All in all, Toyota has done an excellent job of making each off-road vehicle in the TRD Pro Series feel substantially more rugged without taking away from the overall thrust of each vehicle.

Stay tuned tomorrow for more coverage of the 2014 Chicago Auto Show!

Toyota News: TRD Pro Series Headed to Chicago, CR Reviews New Highlander

Posted by Stephen On Tuesday, February 4th, 2014

All’s quiet on the Western front as automakers prepare for the 2014 Chicago Auto Show next week. Our latest preview is that of the Toyota TRD Pro series, which is planned to debut in Chicago next week. But, since we don’t honestly know too much about the new series, we’re also going to quickly brush over the latest Consumer Reports review of the 2014 Toyota Highlander.

Sounds like fun, doesn’t it? Let’s dive right in.

Toyota TRD Pro Series

This video is how we found out about the upcoming TRD Pro series. As you can see, it’s a lot of ‘goofy’ and not a lot of ‘revealing’. Then, for the past week or so, Toyota has been posting little snippets of the new TRD Pros on their Facebook page to build hype for the upcoming debut. Pictures such as the one seen below:


But let’s back up a minute – what exactly is the TRD Pro Series?

From what we can tell so far, you can think of it sort of like what NISMO is to Nissan, except exclusively for Toyota’s trucks and SUVs. This Thursday, they’ll debut TRD Pro versions of their Tundra and Tacoma pickups, as well as their 4Runner SUV. The upgraded versions are looking to be beefier, sturdier and all around manlier.

What’s the point?

Simple – to stay (or become, as the case may be) competitive with the latest and greatest of the mighty American pickups. That means they’re targeting the F-series and the Ford Raptor, the upcoming Chevy Reaper, and of course the Dodge Ram.

Unfortunately, Toyota has kept a tight wrap on actual specifications, so the only information we have is what you can glean from the above images and video. Let us know if you pick up on anything intriguing via the comments at the bottom of this article.

Consumer Reports is Unimpressed By 2014 Toyota Highlander

Oddly enough, in the same week as Toyota has been doing all this hype-building, Consumer Reports did them the favor of confirming a need for improved off-road vehicles. Not that the Highlander actually sees that much off-road action, but it’s an SUV; that’s close enough for us.

So, what exactly did Consumer Reports dislike about Toyota’s new family-friendly SUV?

Basically, it came down to this: there’s nothing inherently wrong with the SUV, but the reviewer expected more attention to fuel economy. He was, however, pleasantly surprised by the interior of the Highlander, being well-pleased with its “minivan-like” utility.

Ultimately, his closing remarks said it best:

“All in all, the Highlander remains easygoing, pleasant and unexciting… In other words, it’s a Toyota.” Uh oh. Akio Toyoda’s been very clear that he wants to be brand building, not “bland building”. Back to the drawing board.

You can check out the full review below:

Tune in this coming Thursday, February 6th, to see whether or not the TRD Pro Series can bring some flair to the Japanese brand’s SUV lineup. Until then, thanks for reading!