Toyota entering Camrys and a Prius in One Lap of America to prove they're not boring

One has a sweet retro paint scheme

  • Image Credit: Toyota
Toyota is backing a few teams from facilities in West Virginia, Indiana and Kentucky in One Lap of America, and they're driving arguably the last Toyotas you would take on a cross-country racing road trip. Three of the four cars are Camrys, and the fourth is a Prius. And on top of that, only one of the Camrys has the 300-horsepower V6. The other two have a normal four-cylinder and a hybrid four-cylinder.

According to Toyota, the goal is to help dispel some of boring, staid reputation of the competing cars, or as Toyota puts it, the view that they're "plain vanilla grocery-getters." At least one of the Camrys has had a bit of visual sprucing up, too, to help. The four-cylinder SE has a fantastic retro Toyota Motorsports paint scheme with the red, orange, and yellow stripes that adorned famous Toyota racing vehicles such as Ivan "Ironman" Stewart's T100 Baja truck. The other two are more plain, but all three benefit from aftermarket wheels and sticky tires. The Camrys all have some tweaks to brakes and suspension, along with some safety additions, for track duty, and the Prius is completely stock except for the tires.

It seems that the cars are surprising people already. James Nichols, an engineer for Toyota in Indiana, said about the hybrid: "It was met with humor by other drivers in the paddock, but, when we started passing cars on the track, the atmosphere changed. I think we're going to surprise some people out there."

We also have found the Camry to be a vast improvement over the last one, and even a bit fun to drive. You can see what we think in some of our reviews. We've also found the Prius to be much improved compared with the last one, though we would hesitate to say it's fun, per se.

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