by Vlad Mitrache , 5th November 2015
There are a lot of ridiculous and impractical concepts being shown at the SEMA Show, but this stripped-down minivan from Toyota isn’t one of them. Well, kind of.
The purpose of a minivan is to transport as many people as possible with their respective luggage comfortably and safely. Stripping the car of extra weight (700 pounds - 317 kg - of it) and adding a roll cage puts a dent in all those minivan features it is supposed to have, so there goes practicality out the window. But is the Sienna R-Tuned ridiculous?
Ridiculously fast, yes.
It all started with the stock car lapping the Willow Springs Raceway and coming up with a pretty good time. The V6-powered family car got a very decent lap time of 1:42, with an equally stock Camaro V6 finishing at 1:35.
The Sienna was then taken to DG-Spec for some light modifications, which included the weight reduction we were talking about. That helped the Sienna shave off 2.5 seconds of its lap time. The wheels and tires package helped cut a further five, while the new suspension system reduced it by another 2.5 seconds.
These were enough to go over six seconds faster than the Camaro V6, so it was time for a bigger challenge. Not straying too far away from the original benchmark in terms of make and model, the team opted for a Chevrolet Camaro SS, the 6.2-liter v8-powered muscle car.
With this competitor, the Sienna was already starting to deserve its R-Tuned name needed to improve its lap time by one second, as it was currently standing at 1:29 with the Camaro all too comfortable at 1:28.
Some finishing touches were required, and they came in the form of a limited slip diff that helped the Toyota go a whole two-seconds faster around the Willow Springs Raceway, beating the Camaro SS by one second while at it.
If you want to see the whole story unfold for yourself - and watch some Camaro butt-kicking - click on the play button below:
Toyota Sienna R-Tuned Is the Minivan That Beat a Camaro SS on Track - Video