More Than Meets the Eye: The Sleeper Camry is a Brilliant Surprise at SEMA 2014

More Than Meets the Eye: The Sleeper Camry is a Brilliant Surprise at SEMA 2014

SEMA is always home to some outlandish concepts and adventurous designs which is one of the things that make it such a fun, high profile show that nobody should miss. This year has been no different and the Sleepy Camry really epitomized that fact with an incredibly unique concept that was brilliant unveiled by Toyota.

Here's what happened…

The (Double) Unveiling

There was a lot of hype surrounding the unveiling of the Camry at SEMA and the moment that the cover was pulled off at Toyota's SEMA stand was hotly awaited. You could feel the anticipation and excitement in the air.

And then…

What was revealed underneath was a Camry. And not a new or exciting Camry, just the 2015 Camry that we already knew about. Nothing wrong with that car, but there's hardly any reason for it to be getting such a big unveiling…

What no one realized though, was that the Camry was actually still under its cover. Because in fact, the entire Camry body was just a 'shell' that could be lifted up to reveal something much more exciting: a tube frame dragster.

That's right: the thing looks like any other Camry from outside, but underneath is a car built entirely for speed.

Awaking the Sleeping Dragon

Specifically, the dragster features a front-mid-engine 5.7 liter Toyota V8. It has a TRD supercharger with nitrous, sidepipes, IPT Performance transmission, magnaflow exhaust and forged connecting rods and pistons.

Ultimately the vehicle is capable of getting to 150mph in around eight seconds. That's insane for a car that looks like something you would see parked at your local (high end) supmarket.

Toyota's motorsports manager Steve Appelbaum seemed about as excited as everyone else.

'This is the most extreme build we've ever unveiled at SEMA', he enthused. 'The transformation from seemingly stock Camry to full-blown racecar just shockes the senses. Chuck Wade and the team at Motorsports Technical Center did a truly spectacular job executing the vision of this project.'

He's not wrong!

Doing the Rounds

If you missed SEMA 2014 then don't worry, the car is going to be doing the rounds and will appear at the LA auto show before making exhibition runs at various NHRA events. If you go to those try not to spoil the surprise for the others attending.

While it can go faster though, the car is going to have to be limited to quarter miles of 9.90 because going faster would require a parachute.

If you get the chance, we highly recommend you go and see it. Not only is this just a brilliant concept that truly does 'shock the senses', but it's also a great example of the kind of creativity that's so often on display at SEMA. This is the kind of thing you might have drawn in your homework diary as a kid or have made out of LEGO, except it's real. Just goes to show that the OEMs are run by big kids really… which is awesome!

About SEMA 2014

SEMA is the Specialty Equipment Marketing Association show held each year in Vegas. It always shows cars that turn heads as well as unveiling many models and concepts that set the tone for the coming years. The Sleepy Camry was just one of the amazing things on display this year and was certainly seeing hot competition when it was unveiled. Nevertheless, Toyota really managed to stand out this time with a concept that really has to be seen to be fully appreciated!