Ford is no longer the biggest manufacturer in the game of building life-sized Tonka trucks. Injecting a bit of fun into its SEMA booth, Toyota brought the Tonka 4Runner, a customized SUV that’s designed to play in the same sandbox as the Mighty Ford F-750 Tonka concept and the limited-production 2014 Tonka F-150 by the Tuscany Motor Company. The Tonka 4Runner is just begging to be played with, gotten dirty, and left out in the rain.
Built in conjunction with Funrise, who manufactures Tonka toys for Hasbro, the Tonka 4Runner is a high-riding, adventure-oriented off-roader. It’s the second collaboration with Funrise for Toyota, following the Tonka Tundra fire truck. The Tonka 4Runner is an extreme truck, with a dizzying ten-inch suspension lift, huge off-road tires and a roof tent in addition to familiar Tonka graphics. From a distance, it looks like you could just pick this one up and play with it. Although it’s inspired by toys, it’s also been designed to be a very functional expedition vehicle. The modifications to the suspension and body have been made to improve capability and versatility. There’s even a roof-mounted fuel can.
Licensing restrictions mean that production is unlikely, but as a functional, adult-sized toy, the Tonka 4Runner is a good inspirational vehicle.
Continue reading to learn more about the Toyota 4Runner Tonka.
Toyota really jumped on the Back to the Future bandwagon this year when the date that Marty McFly traveled to rolled around. Toyota saw it as an opportunity to promote its Mirai hydrogen fuel cell vehicle, highlighting it as futuristic technology despite its lack of flying capability. It all seemed a little forced, but a lot of people probably never heard about it, given the din of all the other Back to the Future things going on. So, Toyota is following it up with a Back to the Future-themed Mirai concept for the SEMA show in Las Vegas, and you have to hand it to Toyota, it really committed to the premise.
The car in the movie, a DeLorean DMC-12, is obviously a very different sort of vehicle than the Mirai, so the SEMA car has been heavily modified. It does seem like a lot of effort to go to for a car that never actually had anything to do with the movie in the first place, but it is pretty amusing to see, and you can forgive a lot for the sake of a well made joke.
Continue reading to learn more about the Toyota Mirai Back to the Future Concept.
Did a Toyota minivan really beat a Chevrolet Camaro in a hot lap race around the Willow Springs race track? Toyota claims that it happened, although it did say that it wasn’t a regular Sienna that humbled the mighty Chevy muscle car. It was the Sienna R-Tuned Concept, a fully customized Sienna that Toyota Technical Center, in collaboration with renowned performance shop DG-Spec, built specifically for the 2015 SEMA Auto Show.
Based on a stock Sienna SE "Swagger Wagon", the R-Tuned Concept falls under the category of unlikeliest cars to shame a 455-horsepower Camaro. But, was it really as surprising as some people are making it to be? The answer to that question can be found in the extensive work done by TTC and DG-Spec to turn this Sienna into an all-conquering minivan that’s oozing with swag.
The van has a racy exterior that highlights its new-found aggression on the track. It also has a stripped-down interior and enough performance modification to give its 3.5-liter V-6 engine the juice it needs to become more than just Toyota’s favorite people-hauler.
Continue reading to learn more about the Toyota Sienna R-Tuned Concept.
Toyota has brought five vehicles that have been customized by Toyota Racing Development (TRD) to SEMA this year in Las Vegas. All five vehicles represent Toyota’s most popular vehicles with a twist just for SEMA. One such vehicle is the Toyota Avalon – the automakers flagship, midsize sedan. This year the Avalon, like all of the other SEMA-edition vehicles, was built to fuel the imagination of consumers and industry professionals, while allowing Toyota to gain feedback on what people generally think of the modifications and accessories.
As a production model, the Avalon has always had a sporty exterior design, reasonable performance and has always carried the best technology Toyota has to offer. This year, Toyota’s midsize sedan comes to SEMA in XLE Touring trim, with exclusive modifications from TRD that include updates to the exterior, suspension, and even a few performance upgrades.
At first glance, the 2015 Avalon doesn’t look too extreme. But, that doesn’t mean we won’t be surprised once we get a full look at this machine in the metal. If you remember correctly, back in 2013, the TRD had its hand in modifying the 2012 Avalon for SEMA, and it did a fine job. So, did TRD and Toyota do as good of a job on this model? Read on to find out for yourself.
Continue reading to learn more about the Toyota TRD Avalon SEMA Edition.
Meet the Toyota Sienna UUV, or Ultimate Utility Vehicle. This might just be the ultimate Swagger Wagon and it came directly from Toyota. Yep, ‘Yota engineers merged a Sienna minivan body with the ladder frame underpinnings of a Tacoma pickup truck to make this beastly family hauler.
Sadly Toyota is keeping the UUV’s specs mostly under wraps until its official debut at the 2015 SEMA show in November, though that doesn’t stop us from speculating. Visually, the UUV is wearing a steel bumper fitted with off-road lighting and a winch, while the smoked headlights match the flat-black wrap that covers the Sienna’s body. Off-road LED light bars front and rear light the way and flat fender extensions keep the body safe from flying debris.
Those fender extensions and the lack of a visible track system mean engineers have reworked the rear door’s opening style. Perhaps it opens suicide-style like the modified front doors.
The UUV rides atop a Tacoma frame and utilizes a lifted suspension with remote reservoir shock absorbers and a long-arm rear suspension kit. Massive 305/55-series Nitto Trail Grappler M/T tires are mounted on blacked-out 20-inch wheels to complete the look. It’s highly likely the UUV is powered by the same 4.0-liter, longitudinally mounted V-6 that comes in the Tacoma. Then again, it could be the new 3.5-liter V-6 destined for the 2016 Taco.
Until the SEMA show, the UUV will be touring the country as part of Toyota’s “Ever-Better Expedition.” Toyota says the expedition’s purpose is to “get out to feel and learn from the road.”
While that mission statement leaves more questions than answers, the automaker further explains saying the trip will include some of its most popular vehicles on a 110-day transcontinental journey that puts engineers on the road to experience their products first-hand for an extended time and to connect with customers. The engineers will also be gathering insights and inspiration for future vehicles. Stops include New York City, Daytona Beach, Route 66, ice roads in Alaska, and Pike’s Peak.
Continue reading to read more about the Toyota Ultimate Utility Vehicle (UUV).
Trucks, food, and parties are a fantastic combination that most often goes together in stadium parking lots outside sporting events. Tailgating has almost become a sport in and of itself and Texas chef Tim Love has created the ultimate tailgating machine. Built in time to party at one of the largest rivalries in college football, the Tundra and Tim Love cooked it up for 50 select fans outside Neyland Stadium in Knoxville, TN before the showdown between the Tennessee Volunteers and Alabama Crimson Tide.
For those tailgating, the truck was the main event. Commissioned by Love himself and built by Divine One Customs, the truck features a host of upgrades that make it the perfect party spot. A specialized table rolls out from the truck bed and holds a Solaire 27-inch grill with infrared burners, two cutting boards, a chilled cooler for storage, stainless steel ingredient containers, and two taps for beer and wine.
What’s more, the Tundra’s camper shell hides two 24-inch and one 40-inch flat screen TVs, a PlayStation4, and an Apple TV. A Rockford Fosgate audio system provides sound for all the festivities. The camper shell is lifted with four vertical actuators that raise the entire package upward, revealing the goods. The side windows swing open for viewing the TVs.
Mechanical updates include a 2.4-inch front leveling kit and a two-inch rear lift, 33-inch Toyo tires, 22-inch wheels, fender flairs, step bars, a front light bar with LED lights, a roof rack with spare tire, and custom paint work finished with Love’s “eat, drink & live well” slogan.
Click past the jump for a video and to read more about the Toyota Tundra Tim Love Edition.
This is the coolest Camry you will ever see, hands down. From the outside, the inconspicuous four-door sedan looks just as normal as the next Camry in the parking lot. However, this one has a hidden secret. It rocks a supercharged 5.7-liter V-8 shot with wet nitrous, a six-speed automatic transmission, and the rear axle borrowed from a Toyota Tundra, all nestled within a tube frame chassis.
The only real identifier of this Camry’s high-horsepower potential is the massive 335-series Hoosier drag slicks perched under the rear end. Otherwise, the car somehow looks completely stock. Even the wheels are the standard fair. While the car hasn’t made a run yet, the Toyota engineers expect to see the quarter-mile pass by in 9.80 seconds.
“This Camry is the ultimate sleeper,” says Chuck Wade, Motorsports Technical Center Director. “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,” The Motorsports Technical Center is where all the magic took place over some 11 weeks under the watchful eye of Steve Appelbaum. “This is the most extreme build we’ve ever unveiled at SEMA,” he says.
Click past the jump to read more about the Toyota Camry Sleeper.
The Toyota Sienna will be well-represented at the 2014 SEMA Auto Show. Who saw that coming, right? But stranger things have happened, especially when it comes to SEMA. So prepare yourselves for two improbably cool Sienna mini-vans, one of which is the Sienna DUB Edition.
The Sienna DUB Edition comes by way of DUB Magazine to the world’s biggest aftermarket auto show. I’m not here to compare the two DUB creations because they’re two different models. But it’s hard not to compare the Sienna DUB Edition with the Sienna:Remix.
The two models are essentially similar in a lot of ways, not the least of which is they’re proclivity to make our ears bleed with their massive audio systems. But the Sienna:Remix has completely dedicated itself to being a audio box, leaving out a host of the Sienna’s core features, including the rear seats. Last I checked, those are still pretty important.
By contrast, the Sienna DUB Edition offers a more realistic setup. For one, the seats are still there and the interior’s actually dressed up quite impressively. DUB Magazine also spent time working on the Sienna’s exterior looks, adding plenty of new details, including a wide-body kit and a lowered suspension, turning the normally mundane minivan into a sporty and aggressive people hauler. Oh, and the DUB Edition audio system is pretty sweet, too. It’s not as hardcore as the one in the Sienna:Remix, but it still comes with a generous amount of high-end audio technology.
Click past the jump to read more about the Toyota Sienna DUB Edition.
The Toyota Yaris is the smallest car in Toyota’s American lineup, but that didn’t stop it from getting an extensive mid-cycle refresh, complete with an aggressive new look and a redesigned interior that belies its small-car status. The arrival of the 2015 Yaris earned the car a lot of positive press, including from aftermarket publication DUB Magazine, who promptly picked the Yaris as one of its two showcase models at the 2014 SEMA Auto Show.
I’ve seen the Yaris up close and I can attest to its attractive appearance. It’s a far departure from the previous version, which admittedly looks bug-eyed compared to its meaner, present-day mug. Like its past SEMA works, DUB Magazine wasted little time giving the Yaris a dramatic makeover, highlighted by an aggressive profile, a racing interior, and a massive audio system that can make your ears bleed.
Through it all, the Yaris carries all the upgrades with aplomb. You wouldn’t have been able to say that with past versions of Toyota’s little-car-that-could, but the new Yaris is brimming with a high level of confidence that’s beginning to earn a reputation as an aftermarket favorite.
Click past the jump to read more about the Toyota Yaris DUB Edition.
With the Baja 1000 quickly approaching and Toyota preparing to race a Tundra TRD Pro in the Full Size Stock class, the automaker needed a few support vehicles to assist the team. That’s where off-road truck builder N-Fab came in and helped modify three vehicles for the event; a Tundra TRD, a Tacoma TRD, and this 4Runner TRD. All three chase trucks will be following the competing Tundra over the treacherous, 1,000-mile race, assisting with extra fuel, supplies, and replacement drivers and navigators.
N-Fab started with a standard, four-wheel-drive 4Runner and swapped out its grille for a 4Runner TRD Pro grille. The wheels get the same treatment, with the matte-black, six-spoke TRD Pro units replacing the standard wheels. The story continues with the suspension. TRD Pro coil-over shocks keep the terrain under submission and aftermarket BFGoodrich All-Terrain tires hold the whole thing off the ground.
Behind that updated grille is a 30-inch light bar while a 40-inch unit is mounted on the roof rack. An ARB shade tent rides up top as well, giving crew members a respite from the extreme desert sun. A cooler inside the 4Runner offers a few cold drinks. The rear of the roof rack is also decked out with two, 10-inch light bars colored in amber and clear.
In case the going gets extremely tough, a Smittybilt XRC winch hides behind the front bumper, rated to pull 9,500 pounds. Rock rails with removable steps help protect the 4Runner’s rocker panels.
The 4Runner’s interior gets updated with TRD-embroidered headrests, a carbon-fiber trim kit, an RCI case radio, and a Lowrance five-inch GPS system mounted atop the center stack.
Click past the jump to read more about the Toyota 4Runner TRD.
Back in the 2010 SEMA Auto Show, the Toyota Sienna made a surprise appearance at the world’s biggest aftermarket show as the Swagger Wagon Supreme. Fast forward to 2014, and the Sienna is returning to SEMA in a number of different configurations, one of which is the one-off Sienna:Remix.
This audio house on wheels was jointly developed by SiriusXM and West Coast Customs, two establishments with out-of-the-box creativity, joining forces in an attempt to turn the Sienna into a certified party wagon.
Toyota even found a way to integrate the Sienna:Remix to its old "Swagger Wagon" campaign, showcasing this new project as the latest example of
how "fun" can still come from unlikely places like, say, a minivan.
In some ways, you can think of the Sienna:Remix as the Swagger Wagon Supreme’s spiritual successor, a lineage of two heavily customized Sienna minivans that were created to imbibe the van’s identity as a fun and spunky vehicle with limitless aftermarket potential.
The proof is in the pictures, ladies and gentlemen. The Sienna Remix is unlike any Sienna you’ve ever seen outside of the Swagger Wagon Supreme.
Click past the jump to read more about the Toyota Sienna:Remix.
Toyota will have its hands full at the 2014 SEMA Auto Show. But don’t tell that to the company because it’s probably enjoying all the attention it’s getting. Its lineup of trucks is dotted with interesting projects, one of which is the Tacoma TRD chase vehicle that’s doing double-duty in the coming weeks. First up, it’ll be at SEMA, proudly showing off all of its customization details in front of the world’s biggest gathering of auto aftermarket-heads. Immediately after SEMA, the Tacoma TRD will be part of a collection of Toyotas that will head south to Ensenada, Mexico to be part of the 47th Tecate SCORE Baja 1000.
If you’re familiar with the Baja 1000, you know that it’s not one of the most glamorous races in the world, nor is it for the faint of heart. That’s a big reason why Toyota and TRD went to great lengths to customize this particular Tacoma, allowing it to serve its purpose as a support vehicle for another SEMA attendee, the Tundra TRD Pro Desert Race Truck.
Since it’s going to be spending most of its time in the desert, the Tacoma TRD was fully customized to handle the rigors of off-road racing. It’s not going to compete in the race, but it’s better to be prepared for it anyway, right?
It may not end up being as glamorous as the Tundra TRD Pro Desert Race Truck itself, but the Tacoma TRD is still a wonderful creation that illustrate the pickup’s impressive versatility. Whether it’s being used as an off-road partner or it’s being custom-fitted to become a full-fledged support vehicle, the Tacoma TRD has the chops to be successful in whatever environment it finds itself in.
Click past the jump to read more about Toyota Tacoma TRD.