Dream Build Contest Winner to be Revealed
The annual SEMA Show officially opened in Las Vegas this morning, but we’ll squeeze in one more preview—of Toyota’s new toys—before we start reporting from the event itself. Well, technically speaking, Autobytel already covered one of SEMA’s most highly anticipated reveals from the automaker, involving the all-new Scion FR-S sports car, so we’ll be focusing here on the Toyota division—with a quick look at the latest from Lexus, too.
As a reminder, the 2012 SEMA Show is one of the year’s biggest and most influential aftermarket events in America, drawing many of the world’s top automakers and performance-engineering shops, as well as insiders from throughout the industry. For more information on the event, visit the Specialty Equipment Market Association’s website at www.SEMA.org.
The production version of the Toyota Avalon received a fairly extensive makeover for the 2011 model year, with Toyota making a strong effort to transform the car from an old-school upscale sedan into something more relevant to today’s buyers. It’s an effort that continues at SEMA as well, thanks to some help from the team at DUB Magazine.
The DUB Avalon was reimagined from the ground up, starting with a set of low-profile Pirelli 245/30 tires and 22-inch TIS wheels with a matte-black finish. Then, in following a sophisticated, urban-informed design esthetic, DUB stripped off the Avalon’s chrome accents for a sleeker appearance, and relied on a Brilliant Black exterior finish, with tinted windows and taillights, for sinister blackout effect.
Naturally, the car’s black-on-black interior also gets a DUB-approved sound system, in this case a premium JBL setup with a trunkful of subwoofers and amps.
"DUB has proven here that the new Avalon makes a sharp urban ride," according to Keith Dahl, national manager for Toyota Engagement Marketing and Motorsports. "Their modifications give it an aggressive, yet classy look that might have been unexpected in the previous generation."
2012 SEMA Show: Toyota Sequoia Family Dragster
In the run-up to the SEMA Show, Toyota also had been running a motorsports-themed Facebook contest in which four of the automaker’s top drivers helped prepare customized “Dream Build” vehicles. Fans have been voting on their favorites over the past week or so, with the victor to be announced at SEMA and the winner’s charity of choice to receive a $50,000 donation from Toyota. (One lucky fan also will win a Toyota Racing Dream Trip for two.)
And while all four projects are certainly SEMA-fied, perhaps the most outlandish is the DragQuoia. Designed with by NHRA Top Fuel pilot Antron Brown, the DragQuoia is a Toyota Sequoia that has seen its weight reduced by more than 1,600 lbs. and its output increased to more than 650 horsepower—courtesy of a Toyota Racing Development (TRD) supercharger with a nitrous kit. Also leveraging quite a few chassis upgrades to handle all that power, the DragQuoia boasts a unique safety feature, too: A rear-mounted dragster-style parachute.
Yet the SEMA vehicle remains true to the production version’s family-friendly nature, with five individual racing seats, including one designed specifically for kids.
2012 SEMA Show: Toyota FJ-S Cruiser
Don’t let the minor name change here fool you: Although the automaker added just one letter to the Toyota FJ Cruiser for SEMA, TRD engineers also added plenty of hardware to create a Baja-capable off-roader that offers all the classic style of the production version. In fact, they even went so far as modifying the FJ’s already robust chassis and body structure with a unique “exoskeleton” for additional strength.
The new underbody upgrade also allowed TRD to improve on the vehicle’s suspension with Bilstein shock absorbers. Up front, the FJ-S gets 60-mm racing shocks and a 1.3-inch lift, while the rear setup relies on 50-mm units with remote reservoirs. Where the rubber meets the road—or leaves it—the show truck showcases 17-inch TRD beadlock-style wheels and BFG All-Terrain tires.
Further attention was then lavished on the FJ-S’ powerplant. The production FJ packs a 4.0-liter V6 that’s worth 260 hp and 271 lb.-ft. of torque, but a TRD Twin Vortex supercharger elevates its output to 345 horses and 340 lb.-ft. of twisting power, all routed through a five-speed manual transmission for enhanced driver control and a cat-back exhaust for an enhanced soundtrack.
2012 SEMA Show: Bassmaster Toyota Tundra
This year’s SEMA Show will feature a Toyota Tundra that’s stuffed to the gills with fishing-friendly accoutrements, including a pickup bed that’s been transformed into a Bass Pro Shop on wheels. Rods, reels, fishing tackle and even a refrigerator are in the mix here, as is a motorized setup designed to provide easy access to all that gear. Unsurprisingly, it’s the brainchild of elite Bassmaster Britt Myers—one of the country’s top professional anglers—who reeled in design feedback from the Toyota-sponsored pro fishing team of Kevin VanDam, Terry "Big Show" Scroggins, Mike Iaconelli and Gerald "G-Man" Swindle.
In addition to its bed-based storage system, other mods that help ensure the Ultimate Fishing Tundra is see-worthy include:
- Rear buckets seats instead of a rear bench
- A fiberglass entertainment console in the cabin, with built-in video monitors and subwoofers
- Front-door panels with more speakers and monitors
- A TRD Big Brake Kit
- 12 additional inches of ground clearance, courtesy of a lift kit from Bulletproof
- Suspension upgrades like Fox shocks and coil-over componentry
- A custom roof rack with LED accent lights and integrated fishing-rod storage
- TRD-sourced supercharger and exhaust systems
2012 SEMA Show: Lexus LS 460 F Sport by Five Axis
Toyota’s lux division is taking a slightly different tack with its 2012 SEMA Show strategy, as Lexus will bring out a fleet of vehicles that have already seen the light of day. Among them: The 416-hp Lexus IS F CCS-R that ran this year’s Pikes Peak International Hill Climb, the striking Lexus LF-CC hybrid concept coupe that debuted earlier this year at the Paris Motor Show, the V10-powered Lexus LFA supercar (in production but limited to 500 units globally), and the LFA Nürburgring Edition, which adds a host of performance upgrades to the LFA proper and will be limited to just 50 units worldwide.
Of course, that being said, Lexus will debut at least one new vehicle at this year’s SEMA event, after allowing the tuners at Five Axis to have their way with brand’s all-new flagship sedan. The result, the Lexus LS 460 F Sport, sports a stunning new appearance with a titanium/matte-silver exterior finish and pewter grey accents, complemented by a Five Axis aero conversion kit, AirRunner TC-5 air-suspension setup, huge 22-inch custom-alloy wheels, and Advan Sport tires from Yokohama.