Posts Tagged ‘tundra’

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.

2014 Toyota Tundra Heavily Influenced By Ford F-Series

Posted by Stephen On Friday, February 8th, 2013

The first time we heard about Toyota’s new Tundra was a few weeks ago as a preview for the 2013 Chicago Auto Show. At the time, we didn’t know very much about it. We didn’t know how extensive the changes would be, and we certainly didn’t know whether they would be enough for Toyota to seriously compete with the American-made pickups.

Well, the Chicago Auto Show is here and today we caught our first glimpse of the new 2014 Tundra, which goes on sale in the US later this year. As you continue reading, we are going to cover what this new version brings to the table, and speculate about whether it will be able to compete.

Is That a Ford F-Series? No Wait – It’s the New Toyota Tundra!

2014 Toyota Tundra Pickup Truck

Toyota says that “the redesigned Tundra continues to be a truck with true American roots.” I have to agree – those roots are clearer than ever in the redesigned Japanese pickup. In fact, I’d argue that they’re a little TOO clear.

First, it’s important to remember that the Tundra is designed and manufactured in America, and Toyota has an entire team in the States dedicated to perfecting this truck. Even though Toyota would have you believe otherwise (the press release outlined the many awards the Tundra has received), the Tundra is not performing to expectations. As of 2012, one Tundra sold for every 6.5 Ford F-Series trucks… Pretty abysmal numbers.

After six years of “listening to its customers” and developing the “2014 American-born Tundra”, it seems that the best Toyota could come up with is their own version of the Ford F-series. The “new exterior design” is clearly influenced by the F-Series, and the “all-new interior” is almost exactly copied. Carscoop posted a side-by-side comparison of the two interiors, and the similarity is undeniable.

What’s New for the 2014 Toyota Tundra?

Besides an attempt to conform to the best-selling pickup truck in America, what else is new with the 2014 Toyota Tundra? Unfortunately, not all that much when you really get down to it.

There are several exterior tweaks, but they are aesthetic in nature, not functional. You will notice a new integrated spoiler, a larger front fascia with a more angular grille, squared off wheel-wells and fenders, and an “all-new bed design [that] helps carry the chiseled character lines all the way down the profile”. Both the front and rear bumpers have been cut into 3 separate pieces to minimize replacement costs.

As far as the interior, Toyota says that their design team put significant effort into “styling differentiation between grades and improving the availability of features most important to truck buyers. The all-new interior variations are thematic and cater to a specific customer with a specific budget.”

In other words, each of the four different trim packages is supposed to have a different “feel” to it. On the whole, though, the improvements boil down to new seats with better materials, a backup camera on all trim packages, bluetooth integration and blindspot monitoring. Oh, and a dashboard configuration borrowed from the F-Series.

The powertrain options for the 2014 Toyota Tundra are exactly the same as those in the outgoing model. The base trim package features a 4.0L 270hp V6, but a 4.6L 310hp V8 and 5.7L 381hp V8 are also available.

Many of you will remember back to the original Tundra preview when I said that Toyota should NOT simply tweak the aesthetics of their “American-born” pickup truck and call it a new model. Unfortunately, that’s exactly what they’ve done. Worse, the new Tundra clearly copies the Ford F-series, so much so that any American customer would have to be completely ignorant not to see the resemblance.

Steve Jobs (and Picasso) would tell you that good artists copy and great artists steal… Improving an existing idea is the path to success, but replicating it exactly is how you become forgotten. The 2014 Toyota Tundra is a copy of the F-Series, not an improvement on it, so I can only anticipate that this new Tundra will continue floundering among its more original American competitors.

Source: Autoblog

Toyota Tundra Redesign Coming to the Chicago Auto Show

Posted by Stephen On Saturday, January 26th, 2013

Even though the Detroit Auto Show technically still has two more days until doors are closed, we’re already starting to see previews for the next big automotive event of 2013 – the Chicago Auto Show. It probably won’t have quite the fanfare of the always-impressive Detroit Auto Show, but it will definitely have the numbers. Toyota alone plans to occupy a massive 45K square-foot booth in order to display near 50 new and current Japanese cars in their lineup, including the newly-revealed Furia Corolla.

Today we learned what another of those 50 vehicles would be. In a 3-sentence-long statement that barely qualifies as a press release, Toyota quickly covered their plans to unveil the 2014 Toyota Tundra at the Auto Show next month. In fact, since the press release (more like a Tweet, surely?) doesn’t even break 100 words, you can find it displayed in full below:

“Redesigned 2014 Toyota Tundra Full-Size Pickup Truck to Make World Debut at 2013 Chicago Auto Show”

TORRANCE, California, January 24, 2013 – Toyota will stage the world debut of the new 2014 Tundra full-size pickup truck at a press conference at the 2013 Chicago Auto Show.

The press conference will be held on Thursday, Feb. 7, at 9:00 a.m. (CST) in the Grand Ballroom at McCormick Place. The reveal of the redesigned Tundra will be broadcast live via Livestream at:

But we can exclusively reveal the 2014 Toyota Tundra ahead of time in our own web special.

2014 Toyota Tundra

See? That has to be one of the shortest press releases ever published, right? Regardless, it amazes me that even after the Lexus IS and the Furia Concept, Toyota is still keeping gas in the tank.

For those of you keeping track, the last time we saw a reboot for the Toyota Tundra would have been all the way back in 2007. So, the full-size Japanese pickup is certainly due for a generational overhaul. The completely redesigned Toyota Tundra promises to be a sight worth seeing, and a competitive Japanese presence in the full-size pickup segment would certainly be a pleasant surprise.

Of course, “redesigned” doesn’t necessarily equal “new model”, so let’s hope that’s actually what it is. It would be a massive letdown to see a Tundra that’s simply been updated with a new trim package or something. The current Tundra is too dull; it just doesn’t have what it takes to compete with the bigger-is-better American automakers. To be fair, there isn’t a single Japanese manufacturer that specializes in pickups the way Dodge or Ford does, so perhaps expecting real competition is unreasonable.

Either way, we’ll find out for sure when Toyota pulls the veil off the 2014 Toyota Tundra in a couple weeks. When the time finally comes we will assuredly have the coverage you need to stay in the loop, so make sure you plan to stay tuned throughout press portion of the Chicago Auto Show.

Also, for our international readers – Don’t worry! Even though Toyota is planning to deliberately showcase their American presence at the Chicago Auto Show, there are still several vehicles you’ll want to look out for such as the futuristic Toyota Fun-Vii Concept, and a very slick looking Lexus LF-LC blue concept.