TOYOTA STRUTS ITS STUFF ON THE VEGAS STRIP

Race-bred Yaris and Urban Cruiser join customised Prius at SEMA

It may be Las Vegas, but all bets are off when America’s top custom car design teams are commissioned to create stand-out show machines for SEMA, the USA’s number one trade show for the specialist auto parts industry. Toyota seized the opportunity to parade beefed-up race and rally versions of Yaris and Urban Cruiser and a street-mean interpretation of Prius at the show, taking place this week.

The Yaris GT-S Club Racer is the real deal, a race car created by SportsCar Magazine that proved a double class winner in this year’s SCCA (Sports Car Club of America) competition. Based on a road-going five-door model, the car was stripped out and fitted with a carbon fibre bonnet and hatch in order to meet the weight regulations. Power from the 1.5-litre VVT-i engine was beefed up from 106 to 145bhp with the addition of performance parts and handling was sharpened with a limited slip diff, slick tyres and Jongbloed Racing wheels. The GT-S name harks back to the celebrated Celica GT-S competition cars of the 1980s, while the graphics pay homage to Dan Gurney’s All American Racing team which fielded the all-conquering IMSA GTP Eagle Toyota cars in the 1990s.

0-60 Magazine is behind the transformation of Urban Cruiser into a full-blooded rally car. A Sparco interior, roll-over cage, Tein suspension, Quaife LSD and Greddy performance exhaust are all included in the complete competition make-over. Attention to detail extends to the car being fitted out with a rally timing computer and on-board HD cameras. The livery on the concept pays homage to Toyota’s succesful World Rally Car heritage.

Toyota Motor Corporation in Japan commissioned the Prius C&A Custom Concept, created by its own Conversions and Accessories department to show just how the world’s best-selling hybrid can be transformed. Apart from the doors, the body, skirts, spoilers and bumpers are made from carbon fibre, finished in “Mystic Lavender”. The car rides on 18-inch forged alloy wheels and the Tien suspension drops the ride height by four inches at the front and six at the rear. Inside it is fitted out with Recaro sports seats and Alcantara upholstery and trim. The car’s debut at SEMA forms part of the celebrations of Prius’s 10th anniversary in North America.

ENDS

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