Sienna with Stock Engine and Transmission Outpaces Camaro SS
TORRANCE, Calif., Nov. 3, 2015—Why turn a Sienna minivan—the least likely product in the Toyota lineup—into a performance vehicle? It’s one thing to make an LFA supercar go fast around a racetrack. People expect that. But no one sees a Sienna coming.
People’s perception of just how much fun you can have driving a family hauler will change dramatically when they see the Toyota Sienna R-Tuned concept, which made its debut today at Toyota’s 2015 Specialty Equipment Market Association (SEMA) Show display.
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 to deliver radically enhanced performance.
The result? 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.”
Yet the Sienna R-Tuned isn’t a vehicle that can only be handled by a professional driver. When tested by a select group of everyday drivers, they were truly surprised at how easy it is to drive. People felt more confident, more in control and more secure behind the wheel.
The Sienna R-Tuned can be seen November 3-6, 2015, in the Toyota display booth (#24700) located in the Central Hall of the Las Vegas Convention Center at the 2015 SEMA Show.
Dan Gardner, Gardner Automotive Communications