While the Toyota Camry has seen unparalleled popularity with consumers and critics over the last two decades, it has never been associated with stunning quarter mile times. Toyota and a skilled team at Motorsports Technical Center (MTC) have changed all that with one of this year’s entries at the Specialty Equipment Market Association (SEMA) Show in Las Vegas. It is a 2015 Toyota Camry XSE — or so it would appear — but on second glance, it has an extraordinarily wide athletic stance with a low center of gravity. Further investigation reveals that this is not your Mama’s Camry at all but a rolled tube racing chassis with a solid Camry “funny car” body.
Over the span of 11-weeks the team at MTC transformed a hum-drum full-size sedan that could cruise through mall parking lots unnoticed into a fire breathing dragster that devours pavement by the quarter and eighth mile. Aptly named the Sleeper Camry, it looks as harmless as a dove but when the body is lifted a full rolled tube racing chassis is revealed. Possibly the only thing stock about this Camry is the exterior shell and the interior driver’s door panel. “This Camry is the ultimate sleeper — it definitely has the element of surprise on its side and more than enough muscle to drop the hammer on any unsuspecting car that pulls up,” said MTC director Chuck Wade.
A supercharged 5.7-liter V8 capable of producing 850-horsepower is at the business end of this sleeper. It is mated to an IPT performance built transmission. The build team extracted the outer shell of the all-new 2015 Camry and mated it to a full tube-frame chassis. Underneath the stylish Camry skin, it’s all about brute force, rugged durability and raw speed. A Toyota Tundra was tapped for its 5.7-liter 3UR-FE V8 engine, transmission, rear axle and electronics. The engine is blown with a TRD (Magnuson) supercharger and Goodridge Fluid Transfer System. It also features a NOS nitrous system and Magnaflow exhaust. Directing the power to the asphalt are beefy DOT 335/30/18 drag racing tires which are expected to help propel the Sleeper Camry to a blistering 9.80-second quarter-mile time. To put that into perspective, a $1.3-million McLaren P1 hypercar covers the same distance in 9.9 seconds, while the $4-million Lamborghini Veneno makes the quarter-mile run in 10.6 seconds. It’s hard to believe that the build was completed in just 11 weeks. The attention to detail and craftsmanship is evident throughout the dragster — from the fully functional stock doors to the custom-fabricated interior which includes an Autometer digital dash and Fast Ed’s racing seat with an Impact racing safety harness.
“This is the most extreme build we’ve ever unveiled at SEMA,” said Toyota Engagement Marketing and Motorsports National Manager Steve Appelbaum. “The transformation from seemingly stock Camry to full-blown racecar just shocks the senses. Chuck Wade and the team at Motorsports Technical Center did a truly spectacular job executing the vision of this project.”
The Sleeper Camry made its debut at the Toyota display booth located in the Las Vegas Civic Center, Central Hall at the 2014 SEMA Show. After the SEMA Show it will tour the country at select NHRA races.