As the 2013 Chicago Auto Show draws near, Toyota plans on showcasing its American "success stories," as evidenced by numerous award-winning vehicles and a strong motorsports presence in the automaker's exhibit.
Toyota's 45,000-square-foot stand will be a blend of new products available at dealerships and concept vehicles that could provide a glimpse of new automobiles and cutting-edge technologies. This year, Toyota has made way for approximately 50 vehicles, such as the 2013 editions of the all-new RAV4 and Avalon - a sedan that's designed, engineered and manufactured in the U.S. The Avalon will be featured atop a glass platform, comprised of more than 5,000 pieces of individually-cut glass. Nearby, there will be an Avalon "virtual reality experience," providing show goers with an up-close view of this revolutionary product for Toyota.
"Chicago has long been considered one of the top drawing consumer auto shows in the country," said Brent Marrero, Auto Show Planner for Toyota Motor Sales, U.S.A., Inc. "This year, we wanted the exhibit to not only showcase our incredible products but also our heritage in the United States. We know that 'made in America' is especially important to people living in the Midwest, and we feel we have a great story to tell, with 70 percent of all our vehicles sold in U.S. being built here as well."
Among the headliners at the exhibit will be the Corolla Furia Concept. This exciting new sedan concept made its world debut in Detroit a few weeks ago, providing the media and public with a view of Toyota's potential design direction for the world's all-time, best-selling automobile. During its history, the Toyota Corolla has sold more than 40 million cars worldwide, with nine million sold in the U.S. since 1968.
A popular concept vehicle returning to Chicago this year is the Toyota Fun-Vii, a car engineered to be able to connect wirelessly with the infrastructure and surrounding roads. The "Vii" is an abbreviation for Vehicle, interactive, internet. The Fun-Vii has evolved into more of an interactive display for 2013, with consumers able to change the image on the vehicle's exterior shell. Another hi-tech feature scheduled for Chicago is the Toyota Driveland game, a driving simulator that uses Kinect technology, which reacts to a player's gestures, so they don't need a joy stick or even a steering wheel.
This year, Toyota's motorsports pursuits brandish considerable space, compliments of a NASCAR Garage, containing a Toyota Sprint Cup car and a Toyota-branded pace car used at the Chicagoland Speedway. A special edition SEMA/Kyle Bush Camry will be located nearby, along with a Toyota Racing Development (TRD) accessories display.
Also appearing in Chicago will be a replica of the stock Toyota Tundra CrewMax which successfully helped transport the retired space shuttle Endeavour to its new home at the California Science Center last October. That pickup truck marveled the world when it towed the nearly 300,000-pound Endeavour and its custom-built dolly across a bridge spanning the 405 Freeway in southern California.
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