A 350 km/h Land Cruiser, 86 cup car, monster Tacoma, racy Prius, weird Corolla, and "extreme" minivan round out this year’s offerings.
When it comes to big automakers like Toyota, SEMA can often be a smorgasbord of weird and wonderful stuff. This year, for example, Toyota is displaying 30 vehicles, some of which honour the past, while others point to the future or just show how crazy the tuners can get.
Six “extreme builds” are featured this year, and four are entered into SEMA’s Battle Of The Builders competition. Let’s take a look at each, below. Make sure you click the images to launch individual galleries of each car, and scroll all the way down for videos of the SEMA creations, too.
Twin-Turbo Land Speed Cruiser
First of all, the thought of driving a 350-kilometre-per-hour (200-mile-per-hour) Land Cruiser is terrifying. That thing can barely handle 80 mph, let alone 200-plus. Nevertheless, a pair of Garrett turbos are slapped onto the 5.7-litre V8 for a huge bump in power, and “every single thing inside this build has been touched,” according to Toyota. It’d have to be – to get the Land Crusher up to speed-record spec, it takes a lot of aero and stability improvements. Super scary, but hell, I’d give it a whirl on the Bonneville salt flats. The Toyota Land Cruiser isn't sold in Canada. Although we get an SUV that's almost identical and shares the same platform, the Lexus LX. - Ed.
Not extreme, Xtreme. Toyota took its milquetoast four-door Corolla and turned it into... this. First, it’s a coupe, though those front doors don’t look super functional. It’s also two-tone, with a red-and-gray contrast, not to mention red wheels. Toyota also says this Corolla has a turbo engine and six-speed manual transmission, which sounds pretty neat, but we don’t have any more details on that front. Xtreme!
Not Xtreme, Extreme. The family-friendly Toyota Sienna gets its WRC on here, with its pulling-at-my-Subaru-heart-strings blue-and-gold paint job. The wide exterior, huge TRD brakes, performance wheels, ground effects, revised front fascia, and dual exhaust all look purposeful and mean, but there’s only so much hotness you can add to the minivan shape. Thankfully, the real cool stuff is found inside, with a Learjet interior, iPad controls for the whole vehicle, and an air ride system.
Okay, this one’s super rad, and it’s real. Meet the Toyota Motorsport Germany 86 Cup Series car, the first spec racer built for a one-make overseas motorsport series, making its debut in North America for the first time. Think of as Toyota’s competitor to Mazda’s MX-5 Cup car. I love the red-and-white livery, and the huge wing out back. This is one time where all those aero add-ons aren’t just for show.
Now, back to your typical SEMA ridiculousness. The Prius is one of Toyota’s most popular vehicles – and one of its best-known nameplates – so of course, even the hybrid hatch gets some love here in Las Vegas. I’ve always really liked the idea of a performance package in the shape of a Prius, and this car’s got some track validity to it. According to Toyota, this Prius G actually pulled 0.99 Gs on the skid pad at Willow Springs International Raceway, which is Corvette territory. That’s pretty cool.
Tacoma TRD Pro Race Truck
Another race car... er, truck! This one’s the Tacoma, based on the very cool TRD Pro model that I recently got to drive in Hawaii. This truck will race in the MINT 400 – also known as “The Great American Off-Road Race.” Toyota says this rugged Taco largely uses stock Tacoma parts, though the truck is obviously modified for desert racing.