SEMA: Toyota Triples Booth Size, Highlights Big Trucks

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We can't remember the last time we saw so many Toyota pickup trucks at the Specialty Equipment Market Association Show or any other auto show, but there were 13 different Tundras and Tacomas at the recent show in Las Vegas. The first standout pickup was a modified Tundra TRD Pro that a team of pro and non-pro racers will be taking to the treacherous Baja 1000 race; this year the Baja coversmore than 1,000 miles and runs from Nov. 12 to 16. Although entered in the stock full class, the Tundra does carry some significant safety upgrades that include a full in-cab and bed roll cage and a few beefed-up suspension parts. The race truck was flanked by several TRD and TRD Pro support vehicles at the Toyota booth.

The other dramatic Tundra on display was a custom version of an emergency rescue vehicle called the Tonka Tundra. Built in collaboration with the Funrise Toy Corp. (manufacturer of Tonka Trucks today), the custom monster has almost 12 inches of lift, a bed-mounted water canon, and just about every emergency light and piece of rescue equipment you'd find on a fire truck.

For those who love to watch cooking shows on the Food Network, chef Tim Love built his ultimate tailgate truck off a new four-door Tundra long bed. His crazy kitchen included a full workstation, refrigerator, slide-out stove and grill, and several ready-to-go ice-cold taps.

Interestingly, Toyota used SEMA as an opportunity to reveal an 850-horsepower fully drag-race-modified "Sleeper Camry" to the world. And the reactions were amazing. From the outside, the vehicle looks like a relatively stock family sedan, but when the front two latches are opened and the complete body is lifted to show off the custom chassis and powertrain (the steel shell uses two hydraulic-assist arms to help lift the 1,000-pound body), minds were blown. Much of this Camry's motivation comes from the Tundra, with a TRD supercharged engine out front, all Tundra wiring and cooling, and a stock Tundra rear axle to deal with the monster off-the-line loads.

And if that wasn't enough, Toyota showed off a fully functional monster truck complete with 66-inch agricultural tires, all set for the freestyle competition. Just outside the massive and crowded booth, Toyota also had six more Tacoma and Tundra projects from various builders to show off the different aspects of the trucks' personalities. Although Ford or Chevy may have had the most trucks at the show, Toyota's booth was the most densely packed with pickups. images by Evan Sears and Mark Williams


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Tundra Monster 4 II

Tundra Tonka 1 II

Tundra Tonka 3 II

Tundra Love 1 II

Tundra Love 4 II

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Anyone know the cargo capacity of the rack on the Tonka? The HD bumper blends with the body very well.

Dunno, its probably a custom one off piece...... not sure though.

I like the black one.

I like the black one.

A lot of other companies used Toyota's too, I saw Pro Comp used a Tundra to show off their "new" long travel "prerunner" kit. Which included new suspension and glass fenders.

@ hemi lol - I saw a similar rack on a Chevy when looking at SEMA pictures.

I get the impression that this "News" blog isn't really about news but about clearing out press releases from various auto companies.

I'd like to see some close up coverage about accessories like racks, canopies, bumpers, lights etc.

PUTC should focus on SEMA accessories that a guy can add to his truck with minimal tools in an afternoon. That is much more useful than PR photo`s of trucks that most of us cannot afford to buy or build.

@ Lou BC

VERY good point! maybe that would clear out some of the BS you see on here. Come to think of it its almost like they are purposefully feeding the fire lol.

After research and closer comparison between different Brands of half ton pickups, these new Tundras's look like a solid piece of machine and most likely are with their stellar reliability ratings from reputable organizations such as JD Powers and Consumer Reports.

I'm waiting to give the new F150 a look when they become available on dealer lots. But picture comparisons right now make the F150 look cheap and somewhat ugly to me.

I really like the Ram also but their poor reliability rating is turning me away. I hate to be embarrassed like my friend was when his new Power Wagon 6.4 Hemi engine died on him with less than 1K miles on it. Pretty sad when he hasn't bought a truck since the early 90's and when he decided to put his money on a good looking Power Wagon this crap happens to him.

Not sure where Toyota is going with all this. Tundra styling is still awful, no diesels, 3/4 or 1 ton models. Very hard to think Toyota is serious about the Tundra, beyond just a personal use 'big brother' to the Tacoma. Almost nil commercial application. Nonetheless, the quality is good and you can hang a lot of accessories on a Tundra.

@Big Bob styling is opinionated, I personally think the 15 F-150’s and new Silverado’s look horrible.

@Big Bob, The Tundra may not be designated a 3/4 or 1 ton, but it's clearly a capable truck.

The rack on the tonka is made by addictive desert designs

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