Detroit Bureau on Twitter

Posts Tagged ‘toyota sema’

Toyota Designs RAV4 to Help Triathletes Shower Anywhere

Maker creates vehicle to help athletes perform at top levels.

by on Nov.04, 2013

Toyota is taking the LifeTime Fitness RAV4 to SEMA where it can show off the in-vehicle shower.

After spending hours pushing themselves to their physical limits, Toyota knew that the first thing professional triathletes would want to do is hop in their RAV4 and…take a shower.

Toyota-sponsored triathletes Sarah Haskins, Andy Potts, and Hunter Kemper designed a RAV4 with all of the “options” they felt would help them perform optimally during their events.

Subscribe Now!

The LifeTime Fitness RAV4 is one of the vehicles going on display Monday at the big SEMA aftermarket car products trade show in Las Vegas. The SUV was created by the Motorsports Technical Center in Torrance, Calif., with input from Haskins, Potts and Kemper. (more…)

Toyota Going Racing with B-Spec Yaris

SEMA show features an array of small racers.

by on Nov.03, 2011

Toyota will get into small car racing with this B-Spec Yaris, driven by X Games champ Jamie Bestwick.

The annual SEMA aftermarket show in Las Vegas has always put a premium on performance, but there’s a subtle shift to small cars, this year, as Toyota underscores with the Yaris B-Spec Club Racer it’s introducing amidst an array of customized pickups and SUVs.

The Japanese maker plans to start campaigning the hot hatch in the months ahead with Jamie Bestwick, a force to be reckoned with on the BMX circuit leading the charge.

News You Can Use!

Toyota officials admit they need to inject a little “emotion” into the brand if it’s to recover from a series of recent setbacks, so that means not only bolder styles and better dynamics in production vehicles like the new Camry but also a more prominent presence in various race circuits.  In particular, Toyota seems to be targeting some of the more youthful  series, such as the Baja 1000 — where Andy Bell will be driving a customized Tacoma pickup also unveiled at the SEMA show – as well as the new B-Spec series.

An inside look at the B-Spec Yaris.

“It looks awesome,” Bestwick said of the Yaris.  “I’ve got 50 pics of it myself, which I keep tweeting.”

The track-ready hatchback was customized by SportsCar Magazine and features a stripped-to-the-bare-metal interior with custom racing seat and SCCA circuit-sanctioned roll cage, as well as a fire suppression system.

Cusco’s Zero-3 suspension should help enhance the Yaris’ grip, along with the 15-inch Enkei wheels and Hoosier racing tires.

SportsCar Magazine has given a boost to the base 1.5-liter engine with an updated management system, a cat-back exhaust and other tricks.

Seven-time X Games champion Bestwick aiming to compete in the 2012 SCCA National Championship Runoffs, held at the famed Road America circuit in Elkhart Lake, Wisconsin.

Unlike some of the other compact and subcompact race cars on display at SEMA – such as Ford’s new Focus ST-R, Toyota officials say they have no plans to offer customers a B-Spec Yaris.  But considering the growing interest in reasonably affordable, turnkey cars they just might re-think that strategy, especially if Bestwick scores another victory at Road America.

(Ford will offer affordable, turnkey racer, the Focus ST-R, to pros, amateurs and track day enthusiasts. Click Here for more.)

Toyota “Puts the Past Behind Us”

Maker to emphasize “aggressive dynamics,” passionate styling, not just quality.

by on Nov.02, 2011

Toyota was forced to make major changes to the 2012 Camry's design when dealers gave the original look a thumbs-down.

It was definitely not the sort of reception Toyota executives were anticipating – but it was a clear eye-opener when they took a prototype of the all-new Camry sedan to show U.S. dealer during the spring of 2010.

“They were not thrilled,” admits Jim Lentz, Toyota’s top U.S. executive.  “They wanted an extra 10%,” especially when it came to what Lentz now admits was a dull exterior design.  “So, that’s what we gave them.”

The meeting led to some dramatic changes to what was launched, several months ago, as the 2012 Toyota Camry – the final production version of the sedan getting new front and rear fascias, rockers and tail lamps as well as some modest interior tweaks.

Stay in the Know!

But more importantly, the face-off with dealers has led Toyota to think differently about what it brings to market, says Lentz.  “Staying closer to our dealers (gets us) much closer to our customers,” he explains, adding that the message learned is that Toyota cannot simply market itself as a company producing high-quality cars anymore.