Toyota also showed some sporty thoughts this year at SEMA. The Japanese manufacturer turned a family car into a brand new sports car, because, no one could preddict what is hidden under the bonnet. The Sienna was chosen for the experiment.
Toyota Technical Center collaborated with championship-winning performance shop DG-Spec to modify a stock Sienna SE “Swagger Wagon” with performance tires, wheels, brakes, double-adjustable shocks with racing springs, and a clutch-type limited-slip differential.
Even though the concept uses the Sienna’s stock 3.5-liter V6 engine and six-speed automatic transmission, it has outpaced even a 6.2-liter V8 Camaro SS on the test track. At the Streets of Willow Springs, just north of Los Angeles, the Sienna R-Tuned turned a blistering 1:27 lap time, sailing past the 6.2-liter V8 Camaro by a full second around the 1.7-mile sports car course.
“When we produced the Sienna SE, we started moving in the direction of more sportiness beyond what you would find in a family hauler,” said Andrew Lund, chief engineer for the Sienna at Toyota Technical Center in Ann Arbor, Michigan. “With the Sienna R-Tuned, we wanted to see if we could create a vehicle that would push the limits even farther. We definitely proved that it’s possible.
When asked how the Sienna R-Tuned could go faster than a 426-horsepower sports car, Lund said, “We looked at the overall dynamics of the vehicle, and made adjustments to make the vehicle handle and brake better. The Sienna R-Tuned simply carries more speed through the corners.”