We'll lead off with the CamRally Camry, developed by NASCAR driver Parker Kligerman, Kyle Busch Motorsports and Mooresville, NC shop Detroit Speed, Inc. for the Dream Build Challenge, because it appeals to us gearheads (sure, call us one-sided). It was totally transformed into a rally vehicle, and it has to be the most badass Camry we can remember seeing. The sedan is always a bit flaccid-looking in stock form, but the CamRally's wide body and other exterior upgrades and the turbocharger make us forget about that, as do its stripped, painted interior and Sparco race seat.
We're not going to judge a vehicle based on its name, because the 'Let's Go Moto' Tundra, a creation spurred by Joe Gibbs Racing Motocross (JGRMX) teammates Josh Grant and Justin Brayton for the Dream Build Challenge, is a great addition to any dirt biker's arsenal - and we could see ourselves towing a track car behind it with a set of tools, tires and other equipment stored in the bed. JGRMX's shop and N-Fab handled the build.
The other two Dream Build Challenge vehicles are the Oakley Ultimate Dream Ski 4Runner, created by freestyle skier Simon Dumont and Herbst Smith Fabrication, and the Crusher Corolla, developed by pro BMX rider Drew Bezanson, Skull Candy and Motorsports Technical Center.
Head here to vote for your favorite Dream Build Challenge vehicle. Voting is open until November 4. The next morning, Top Gear USA host Rutledge Wood will announce the winner at the SEMA show in Las Vegas, at 10:00 AM local time. Check out the press releases below for more details on each of Toyota's SEMA 2013 vehicles, where you'll also find a video highlighting the Dream Build Challenge vehicles.
NASCAR driver Parker Kligerman, Kyle Busch Motorsports Build Functional Rally Car
TORRANCE, Calif. (Oct. 31, 2013) – NASCAR driver Parker Kligerman is no stranger to speed and powerful vehicles. But sometimes leaving the track brings a little extra thrill. Kligerman and Kyle Busch Motorsports plunged into the rally racing world to transform the 2013 Camry SE into the "CamRally" for the Toyota Dream Build Challenge.
The exterior of the Camry turns heads with the vintage Toyota Racing color combination of red, orange and yellow. Working with Mooresville, N.C. shop Detroit Speed, Inc., the rest of the modifications create a real, road-ready rally car. Racing seats, turbos, racing windows, a roll cage, powerful brakes and heat protection add functionality and safety to the car for rough terrain. Fog lights and an aerodynamic package enhance the ability of the car when it hits the road. There's also a special CamRally logo with Kligerman's racing number 77.
"This Camry may look like a work of art, but we put some real muscle and functionality throughout the entire vehicle," Kligerman said. "In rally racing, we're not just protecting against a wall, but from trees too. Detroit Speed did an amazing job and after working with them I can see why they are the defending champs. With the help of their many partners, they were able to put all the bells and whistles on this car and they left just enough room in the trunk for us to bring the trophy from the Toyota Dream Build Challenge back to Kyle Busch Motorsports for the second straight year."
Kligerman is one of stock car racings' most promising young drivers, having burst into the top levels of NASCAR with no previous racing family ties. Last year included his first career NASCAR victory at Talladega (Ala.) Superspeedway, two pole awards and a fifth place finish in the final NASCAR Camping World Truck Series driver's point standings.
The Toyota Dream Build Challenge gave five Team Toyota athletes and their big-name partners seven weeks to create the ultimate vehicles of their choice. Fans will select the victor by voting once per day at www.ToyotaDreamBuild.comuntil Nov. 4. Top Gear host and racing personality Rutledge Wood will announce the winner at the SEMA Show in Las Vegas on Nov. 5 at 10 a.m. local time. Fans will be able to tune in live to watch the entire press conference at www.livestream.com/Toyota and see the winner announced in real time.
The other three competitors are freestyle skier Simon Dumont with partner Oakley who created a 4Runner ready for snowy mountains; BMX rider Drew Bezanson with partner Skullcandy and a music-themed Corolla; and supercross stars Justin Brayton and Josh Grant with partner Joe Gibbs Racing Motocross with the ultimate Tundra for their sport.
'Let's Go Moto' Tundra Brings the Heat at SEMA
Joe Gibbs Racing Motocross, Josh Grant and Justin Brayton Unleash Imaginations for Toyota Dream Build Challenge
TORRANCE, Calif. (Oct. 31, 2013) – Two top-notch motocross athletes and the Toyota Tundra came together to create one ultimate desert sports machine for the Toyota Dream Build Challenge. Joe Gibbs Racing Motocross (JGRMX) teammates Josh Grant and Justin Brayton combined their vehicle wish lists for a hot competition day, with help from the JGRMX and N-FAB shops more than 1,000 miles apart. The collaboration resulted in expandable electronic awnings and TV screens to cool down, along with all motocross gear and attitude to heat up the competition.
To accommodate the oversized needs, the team kept the front half of the 2014 Tundra with a CrewMax cabin and swapped in an 8-foot long truck bed from another Tundra. A custom-built metal box accommodates the length of a motocross bike, plus three TV screens on doors that swing open. One TV plays off a game console so the riders have entertainment between competitions, another can play DVDs and a third displays bike engine diagnostics. A fridge, power washer, helmet dryer and space for tools, back-up gear and hydrogen tanks contribute to the functionality of the truck. Finally, the entire vehicle was lifted by nearly 12 inches to handle the rugged desert terrain where motocross events frequently occur.
"The competition is not going to be able to hang with this truck and all the resources JGRMX and N-FAB brought to the table," Grant said. "Our industry has a lot of unique needs, and this Tundra hits them all."
Grant has competed professionally since 2004 and is a frequent visitor to the podium, including a gold medal in Moto X at X Games 16, as well as wins in the Monster Energy AMA Supercross Championship and Lucas Oil AMA Pro Motocross Championship Series. Brayton turned pro at age 18, making a name for himself in the AMA Arenacross Series before earning a ride in Supercross and winning an X Games gold medal earlier this year.
The two Team Toyota athletes and their partners had seven weeks in this year's Toyota Dream Build Challenge to transform a vehicle. Voting for the winner begins today at www.ToyotaDreamBuild.com until Nov. 4. The winner will be revealed by Top Gear host and racing personality Rutledge Wood at the SEMA Show in Las Vegas on Nov. 5 at 10 a.m. local time. Fans can watch at www.livestream.com/Toyota.
"The skill, creativity and willingness of the teams to take on a wish list like ours was incredible to watch," Brayton said. "The Tundra will blow everyone away at SEMA, giving us the victory."
To win, Grant and Brayton must beat out freestyle skier Simon Dumont with partner Oakley with the Ultimate Dream Ski 4Runner; BMX rider Drew Bezanson with partner Skullcandy and the 2014 Corolla tuned for performance and NASCAR driver Parker Kligerman with partner Kyle Busch Motorsports, who transformed a 2013 Camry into a rally car.
Snow-Ready DC Shoes Tacoma Plows Over Its Competition
Fans Chose Ultimate Snowboarding Ride Over Motocross, Skateboarding
TORRANCE, Calif. (October 31, 2013) – Bring on the snow. DC Shoes and Toyota asked the footwear company's fans to select a snow, motocross or skateboarding design for the ultimate sports Tacoma. The winning, wintery Tacoma concept was voted into reality and now will show off its frosty features at the SEMA Show Nov. 5-8.
Camburg Engineering brought to life the ideas from professional snowboarding athletes, including a powerful front snowplow to push through drifts and a telescoping ramp to drive a snowmobile onto the truck bed. Secure storage can hold multiple snowboards, shovels and gear. Even more extreme: a pop-up tent that sits on the roof with access via ladder. Sleeping on the truck would provide maximum time on the slopes, and a 40-inch LED light bar could light up a mountainside for late-night snowboarding.
"Our fans loved the concept of the snowboard-ready Tacoma, and the real-life version will blow them away," said Dan Hartloff, events and partnerships manager for DC Shoes. "This Tacoma would add a new level of intensity to any practice session or impromptu ride with friends."
Technology inside the Tacoma includes a mounted iPad® mini connected via Bluetooth® for navigation, videos and other content. All-weather Scoshe® boomBOTTLE wireless speakers can operate in the snow, bringing music to the mountain. Additional portable communication charging ports and performance batteries will keep the team powered up without draining the Tacoma's battery.
"DC Shoes brought their creativity and passion for the sport to elevate this Tacoma into a snowboarder's dream," said Jim Baudino, engagement marketing manager for Toyota. "Our partnership shows fans the possibilities of customization, which ultimately makes the SEMA Show one of the most engaging for enthusiasts of any kind."
After the SEMA Show, the Tacoma can be seen at upcoming Dew Tour events.
Race, Rinse and Repeat with Triathlon-Themed RAV4
LifeTime Fitness and Team Toyota Triathletes Create Ultimate Sports Sidekick for SEMA
TORRANCE, Calif. (October 31, 2013) – After the elation of a triathlon finish wears off, the wet gear and aching muscles remain. Climb into the LifeTime Fitness RAV4 and kick back. The fitness company teamed up with Team Toyota triathletes Sarah Haskins, Andy Potts and Hunter Kemper to build a 2013 RAV4 with perks that not only soothe tired athletes, but also provide training intelligence. The vehicle will be on display at the SEMA Show in Las Vegas Nov. 5-8.
The Motorsports Technical Center in Torrance, Calif., added the custom features, which include a hot water shower with a 5-gallon fresh water tank, a spin dryer and gear storage compartments in the rear cargo area. While the wetsuit drips into the drain, the athlete can enjoy a shiatsu massage in the front seat while reviewing race statistics and tracking data through the integrated iPad®.
The relaxation doesn't end with the massage. In the rear seat, a refrigerator holds water and recovery drinks near the Blendtec® blender and cupboard full of snacks. A wireless Bluetooth® speaker allows music to move with an athlete around the vehicle. A custom roof rack keeps two bikes secure, yet easily accessible.
"This fun RAV4 brings together a triathlete's passion for a healthy, active lifestyle and the drive for pushing ourselves to race faster and smarter," Haskins said. "The cutting-edge tools incorporated in the vehicle will help us continue to build our racing skills, while enabling us to relax a little too."
Haskins is one of the top female triathletes in the United States with 29 professional wins and competing on the 2008 U.S. Olympic triathlon team. Her teammate Kemper is the most decorated U.S. triathlete in history and a four-time member of the U.S. Olympic triathlon team. Potts competed on the 2004 Olympic team and won the Pan American Games in Rio de Janeiro and the 2007 Ironman 70.3 World Championship.
"We swim, bike and run, and it's great to see all three sports represented in the RAV4," Potts said. "There's no triathlete who wouldn't love having a vehicle like this on his or her team."
After its display at SEMA, the Life Time Fitness RAV4 will support Toyota-sponsored athletes at select events.
"For always on-the-go triathletes, this RAV4 will help us train, recover and clean up in a private space," Kemper said. "I loved contributing to this fun project and can't wait to see this car at the finish line."
SEMA 4Runner Ready to Attack the Slopes
Skier Simon Dumont, Oakley Mobilize for the Mountains With Toyota Dream Build Challenge
TORRANCE, Calif. (Oct. 31, 2013) – There's nothing easy about freestyle skiing: the cold weather, the superman double front flips 100 feet in the air, the unforgiving landings. So when athlete Simon Dumont partnered with Toyota and Oakley to create the ultimate vehicle for the Toyota Dream Build Challenge, it had to be a 4Runner as aggressive as the sport and with comforts appreciated by an athlete at the end of a long day. Meet the "Ultimate Dream Ski 4Runner."
The crew at Herbst Smith Fabrication in Huntington Beach, Calif. created an aggressive look through oversized front grill work, a dark Oakley camouflage-patterned vehicle wrap, LED lights and a rugged, metal roof rack designed to electronically lower and open to store two sets of skis. Comfort is in all the details. The doors, music, windows and other interior features are controlled by three separate iPads® for a high-end, customized experience. After a cold ski run, there is a coffeemaker, a dryer for each glove and boot and a mountable grill stored in the rear cargo area.
"When you're going to attack the slopes, this 4Runner is an assault vehicle," Dumont said. "It was incredible to be part of the Toyota Dream Build Challenge and watch details of my sport and personality be transferred into this car."
A Team Toyota member, Dumont is one of the best freestyle skiers in the world and will compete in the 2014 Winter Olympics in the first superpipe event. He is known for the amplitude he gets in the pipe and his medal success on the slopes.
Dumont's custom ride is one of four entries in this year's Toyota Dream Build Challenge that invites Team Toyota athletes and partners to turn a vision into a real vehicle. Fans can vote once per day at www.ToyotaDreamBuild.com until Nov. 4. The victor will be announced at the SEMA Show in Las Vegas on Nov. 5 at 10 a.m. local time by Top Gear host and racing personality Rutledge Wood. Fans can watch at www.LiveStream.com/Toyota.
Dumont's competition is NASCAR driver Parker Kligerman with partner Kyle Busch Motorsports, who transformed a 2013 Camry into a rally car; BMX rider Drew Bezanson with partner Skullcandy, who created the Crusher Corolla; and supercross stars Justin Brayton and Josh Grant with partner Joe Gibbs Racing Motocross with the Let's Go Moto Tundra.
Corolla Prepared to Ambush
Toyota Dream Build Challenge Entry from BMX Star Drew Bezanson, Skullcandy Makes Any Location Ready for a Ride
TORRANCE, Calif. (Oct. 31, 2013) – Whether he's on a street, in the dirt or at a formal course, BMX rider and Team Toyota athlete Drew Bezanson can turn any terrain into a fun run on his bike. The intensity could go up a notch when joined by the "Crusher Corolla," a creation dreamed up when Bezanson joined Toyota and Skullcandy to compete in the Toyota Dream Build Challenge. Music and BMX come together throughout the customized 2014 Corolla to make Bezanson's next ride a party for everyone involved.
Torrance, Calif. build shop Motorsports Technical Center infused BMX riding into the Corolla's design with custom grind rails added to the front and rear of the vehicle, rally wheels and a rack that mounts two bikes along the vehicle's back window. When the bikes are removed and the trunk opened, there are nesting locations for bike tools, plus a pair of mountable speakers with light bars. Suddenly, any location could be lit up and sound-ready for a BMX show. Inside, custom iPad® integration controls the interior features, including music out of upgraded speakers shaped in the Skullcandy logo. Both front seat headrests are 3:1 scale representations of Skullcandy's newest Crusher headphones.
"When designing the Corolla for SEMA, we imagined a BMX rider could drive next to any drainage ditch and transform the space into a performance with bikes, lights and music," Bezanson said. "Anyone who loves spontaneity in sports and deep bass sounds should vote for my entry in the Toyota Dream Build Challenge."
Bezanson is a Canadian native known for his creativity and talent both on the street and the course. He is a three-time Simple Session champion, along with his other wins at the Toronto BMX Jam and other competitions. Bezanson also helped design the course at the Toyota-sponsored Dew Tour City Championships in San Francisco earlier in October.
This year's Toyota Dream Build Challenge invited five Team Toyota athletes and big-name partners to put the athlete's passion into a vehicle. Fans can vote once per day at www.ToyotaDreamBuild.com until Nov. 4. The victor will be announced at the SEMA Show in Las Vegas on Nov. 5 at 10 a.m. local time by Top Gear host and racing personality Rutledge Wood. Fans can watch at www.livestream.com/Toyota.
Bezanson's competition is NASCAR driver Parker Kligerman with partner Kyle Busch Motorsports, who transformed a 2013 Camry into a rally car; freestyle skier Simon Dumont with partner Oakley with the ultimate winter 4Runner; and Supercross stars Justin Brayton and Josh Grant with partner Joe Gibbs Racing Motocross with the Let's Go Moto Tundra.