Custom-car enthusiasts who have been waiting for the day when a Toyota Prius gets tricked out, the time has come.

Four race teams – two from NASCAR and two from the NHRA – are being given stock Toyota models to customize, and Charlotte-based RKM Performance Center is going to do the honors with a Prius hybrid.

RKM and its NASCAR driver Clint Bowyer are hard at work on its so-called "Tekked-Out Prius," whose interior will get the black leather and suede treatment and whose exterior will get a new grille, lots of graphics and a bunch of other goodies. No, the engine won't be touched.

RKM and Bowyer are competing against NASCAR racer Kyle Busch (who is modifying a Camry) and NHRA drivers Anton Brown ( Sequoia) and Alexis DeJoria ( Tundra) for the c ontest-winning rights to get $50,000 from Toyota donated to the charity of their choice. Folks can vote online from October 20 to 29. The winner will be unveiled on the 30th at the SEMA show in Las Vegas. More details in the press release and video below.

Show full PR text

RKM Performance Center customizes a 2012 Prius for the Toyota Racing Dream Build Challenge

CHARLOTTE, N.C. – Sept. 12, 2012 – RKM Performance Center, a full service restoration, build and maintenance facility for classic and collectible vehicles worldwide, is teaming up with NASCAR star Clint Bowyer to customize a 2012 Toyota Prius hybrid to raise money for the Emporia Community Foundation during the Toyota Racing Dream Build Challenge. In a battle testing the creativity and design skills of each participant, Bowyer will compete against NASCAR driver Kyle Busch, and NHRA drivers Antron Brown and Alexis DeJoria, to modify the vehicle assigned to them by automotive manufacturer Toyota.

"When you think of a customized hot rod or special car build, a Toyota Prius is not the first thing that comes to mind," said Bowyer. "We wanted to have some fun with this project and create something edgy, different and completely unexpected. The RKM Performance Center team turned my ideas into reality, and I was impressed with their craftsmanship and skills. I'm excited to see the results of our hard work pay off and become the Toyota Racing Dream Build winner."

Nicknamed the "Tekked-Out Prius" the Toyota will turn heads when it cruises down the street wearing a custom body kit and hand-built custom grille that gives it an aggressive, yet stylish appeal. The Barcelona Red Metallic factory paint was completely redone in Sherwin-Williams' Planet Color® Charcoal Gray with Silver top panels and custom blue graphics to add to its edgy demeanor. A set of Speedline five-spoke wheels wrapped in high performance rubber will tuck neatly underneath the stock Toyota fenders.

The earth-friendly drivetrain will remain the same, but the interior will appear unrecognizable to the everyday Prius enthusiast. The entire compartment will be covered in a custom mix of black leather and suede with blue double stitching to match the exterior graphics. Automotive enthusiasts will appreciate the futuristic ambience created by fiber optic lights located in the custom full-length console. Cutting edge technology will be the focal point of the build and will include an impressive array of JBL components along with numerous cameras, a 17.5" touchscreen, personal tablets for the passengers and more.

"This is the most eco-friendly custom we've ever seen or worked on, which makes it an extremely unique project," added Bill Park, vice president of service for RK Motors, LLC. "The RKM Performance Center team has years of experience tuning, building, restoring and turning dream vehicles into reality for classic and collector car owners. Our staff thrives on competition, so we're excited to transform this Prius for Bowyer and his charity."

The public will vote online for the vehicle and team they like the best between Oct. 20 and 29, 2012. The winner will be unveiled at the SEMA show in Las Vegas during a press conference in the Toyota display on Tuesday, Oct. 30. Fans not able to attend the SEMA show can watch it all unfold via LiveStream at Besides bragging rights, the driver's charity of choice will also receive a $50,000 donation from Toyota.

The RKM Performance Center team of experts has numerous award-winning builds under its belt, including vehicles that have taken home first place awards at the Glenmoor Gathering, the Mopar Nationals and the Pontiac Nationals. The 40,000 sq./ft. center features a fabrication shop, two paint booths, ten lift bays, a parts department and interior shop. The classic car care facility offers complete mechanical maintenance, frame-off restorations, interior design and installation, custom fabrication and performance upgrades, to name a few, to handle all collector and classic car needs.

Those interested in learning more about the products and services provided by RKM Performance Center, can visit or call (704) 235-2969.

About RKM Performance Center

RKM Performance Center specializes in building, restoring and servicing classic and high performance cars. Founded in 2010 by Robert Kauffman, co-owner of Michael Waltrip Racing, and Joseph M. Carroll, founder of Best of Show Automotive, the RKM Performance Center is the exclusive service provider to RK Motors Charlotte, but can also build, restore or service cars for customers worldwide. The 40,000 sq./ft. facility features a fabrication shop, upholstery shop, two paint booths, ten lift bays and a parts department.

Toyota Prius Information

Toyota Prius

Share This Photo X