Las Vegas, Nevada. That’s where this motor show takes place. It’s not your usual motor show for manufacturers though. SEMA is short for Specialty Equipment Marketing Associate. The trade show is a place for vehicle aftermarket vendors to meet with manufacturers and enthusiasts. It’s also become a major event for showcasing custom modified cars. This years event takes place from November 2 to the 6th. Most auto makers build special SEMA edition customs for the event, and Toyota USA is no different.
“We believe the SEMA Edition TRD versions of these vehicles will appeal to a crowd that needs a great all-around vehicle plus even more sportiness. We’re anxious to gauge public response to these concepts,” said Steve Appelbaum, national engagement marketing manager at Toyota USA.
The fab five – Corolla, Camry, Avalon, Highlander and Land Cruiser – are Toyota’s core models across the most popular North American segments, and they look really good. Not too extreme, like many SEMA cars end up being. “We think our SEMA Edition TRD vehicles will surprise many. These concepts are hot – dare we say sexy – vehicles that are equal parts show and go,” Appelbaum added.
USDM mainstream Toyota’s such as the Corolla and Camry already have a sportier flavour than their “rest of the world” siblings, and TRD turns things up a notch in both aesthetics and performance.
TRD’s “midsize car” started life as a Camry XSE V6. Lowering springs bring ride height down by the same quantum as on the Corolla, benefiting aerodynamics, handling and of course, looks. Not your dad’s Camry, this one sits on 21-inch bronze wheels and boasts TRD performance-tuned struts, brake pads, and a custom free-flow cat-back performance dual exhaust system.
The other car familiar to us is the Land Cruiser, now in 2016 facelift form. The refreshed J200, already legendary for its all-terrain capability and reliability, gets even more off-road performance from TRD.
While the rear of this SEMA Land Cruiser is at stock height, the front end has been raised a full two inches for even more impressive ground clearance and angle of approach. A TRD skid plate protects the underbody. Up front, the stock suspension has been enhanced by TRD adjustable remote-reservoir coilover shock absorbers, while TRD adjustable remote-reservoir shocks and springs augment the rear suspension.
Exterior details serve both style and substance. They include a TRD brush guard with LED driving lights; a TRD performance off-road air snorkel; bronze-coloured TRD tubular running boards; and a roof-mounted cargo pod. The TRD performance cat-back dual-tip exhaust features an innovative offset design. The ultimate Toyota SUV rides on 285/55 tyres and TRD 20-inch wheels.
Browse the gallery below for the rest of the SEMA TRD pack. Of course, these are just concepts, but based on reaction at the show, many of the accessories may one day enter mainstream.