Monday, February 06 2017 23:53

#CAS17: Toyota Brings the "Sexy" Camry + TMNT NASCAR & More to the Chicago Auto Show...

Written by
  • While all content is editorially chosen, articles may contain affiliate links which may generate revenue for the site when a purchase is made.

2017 CAS LogoAt its world debut last month, Toyota Motor Corporation President Akio Toyoda dubbed the 2018 Toyota Camry a "sexy" ride. Is it? That's for families to find out as it comes to the Chicago Auto Show, where it will be on display alongside more than 50 cars, trucks and SUVs in Toyota’s exhibit at Chicago’s McCormick Place from February 10-22. Going beyond the norm, Toyota is bringing some additional camera-worthy vehicles, including the Chicago Cubs Tundra that drove in the victory parade last fall, and the custom Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Camry, which was driven in last year’s NASCAR XFINITY race at Chicagoland Speedway. Check out more details in the announcement below...

tmntnascarCamry, the best-selling car in America for 15 consecutive years and Cars.com’s “Most American Made” for the past two years, has evolved for 2018 with more exciting and emotional character, newfound sporty performance and eye-catching style. The display in Chicago is the first time the eighth-generation model has been shown at an auto show since its Detroit premiere in January.

Show visitors don’t want to miss Toyota’s indoor drive experience, which has annually become one of the Chicago Auto Show’s must-see attractions. This year’s theme, ‘The Story of Go,’ presents Toyota vehicle safety technology through real-world driving maneuvers and demonstrations, including:

  • GO CONNECT ─ Demonstration of how vehicles connect seamlessly to the tech of today with a scenic Chicago backdrop.
  • GO BEYOND EXPECTATIONS ─ Participants cross the Chicago Bridge teeter-totter.
  • Low-Friction Surface ─ Controlled demonstration of how Toyota all-wheel drive systems monitor power and distribute that power to provide optimum traction.
  • Noise, Vibration and Harshness ─ Participants drive over a cobblestone street to show how every Toyota model is built to provide a quiet and comfortable ride.
  • Side Tilt ─ Participants experience the vehicle tilted at a remarkable angle—something they won’t experience on the street.
  • GO SEE THE UNSEEN ─ Demonstration of: Automatic High Beams, Perimeter Scan and Rear Cross-Traffic Alert
  • GO THE DISTANCE ─ An articulation rack becomes a condensed drive route connecting Chicago to Canada that showcases Toyota’s fuel-efficient powertrains.

This unique experience uses 2017 RAV4 and Highlander models, both gasoline and hybrid versions, to give show goers an opportunity to discover Toyota vehicles from the driver’s seat. Drivers are required to be at least 18 years of age and must show a valid driver’s license.


Toyota is continuing the celebration of the Chicago Cubs’ World Series victory on the Chicago Auto Show floor. The Cubs-themed 2017 Tundra that drove in the Cubs victory parade last November will be on display for photos, complete with the ten-foot-tall World Series trophy replica in the bed. Toyota is a Legacy Partner of the Chicago Cubs and the Official Vehicle of the Cubs and Wrigley Field. The exhibit will also display two baseball-themed RAV4 models, one each for the Cubs and White Sox.

Three of Toyota’s future mobility concepts that are fan-favorites will be in Chicago:

  • FCV+ ─ This concept vehicle demonstrates Toyota’s vision of a connected, sustainable hydrogen society. It is capable of generating electricity directly from hydrogen stored outside the vehicle and thus operating as a stable source of electric power for use at home or on the go.
  • i-ROAD ─ Toyota’s innovative, fun-to-drive three-wheel personal electric vehicle, has become a bit of a celebrity with the amount of media attention it has received over the past few years. The i-ROAD, equipped with revolutionary Active Lean technology that emulates the movements of a skier, is as agile as a scooter with the enclosed-canopy comfort of a car and ideal for congested city centers.
  • FV2 ─ Another concept that generates substantial public attention is operated by the driver shifting his or her body to intuitively move the vehicle in any direction. It uses intelligent transport system technology to connect with other vehicles in the area and traffic infrastructure to enable safe driving.

In addition, two of the Toyota Extreme Builds that were unveiled at the 2016 Specialty Equipment Market Association (SEMA) Show will be in Chicago: The Xtreme Corolla and the Toyota Motorsport GmbH GT86 CS-Cup. Unlike many of the vehicles showcased at SEMA, all of the Toyota SEMA builds can be driven, and embody the SEMA spirit of imagination and innovation—taking stock builds and transforming them into something inspired.

Other new production models on display include:

  • The new C-HR, featuring a bold, outgoing character with a diamond-shaped avant-garde physique and a modern, comfortable cabin for fashion-forward, trendsetting owners.
  • The new Prius Prime, which visits the Chicago show floor for the first time. It combines an electrifying design with an advanced electric powertrain that delivers a remarkable 2017 EPA-estimated 133 MPGe (miles per gallon equivalent), the highest rating in the industry among all vehicles.

A replica of the 2018 NASCAR Camry race car rounds out the camera-worthy vehicles in the Toyota exhibit. The Camry race car received a dramatic redesign in conjunction with its show room counterpart, and will compete on the race track in 2017 as Toyota defends its NASCAR Premier Series manufacturer’s championship. 

Stay tuned to the Rock Father Rides™ section of The Rock Father™ Magazine for more coverage of the 2017 Chicago Auto Show. The show runs February 11-20, 2017 at McCormick Place. Click here for tickets and details.

James Zahn

James Zahn is best-known as The Rock Father™, a media personality, commentator, adventurer and raconteur. He is the Owner, Publisher, and Editor-in-Chief of THE ROCK FATHER™ Magazine. In January, 2019, after nearly a decade of publishing The Rock Father™ Magazine, he joined Adventure Media and Events as Senior Editor of The Toy Book—the leading trade publication for the toy industry since 1984, as well as The Pop Insider — a destination for all things pop culture, and The Toy Insider — the leading consumer guide for toys and games. He is also editor of The Toy Report, a weekly newsletter published by The Toy Book each Thursday. Zahn has over 27 years of experience in the entertainment, retail and publishing industries.

He regularly serves as a Brand Ambassador and spokesperson for several Globally-recognized pop culture and lifestyle brands in addition to consulting for a number of toy manufacturers. 

Creatively, James has directed/edited music videos, lyric videos, and album trailers for bands such as FEAR FACTORY, has appeared as an actor in feature films and commercials, written comic books, and performed in bands. He currently serves as an artist manager and video director for PRODUCT OF HATE, whose debut album was released by Napalm Records in 2016, distributed by ADA/Warner Music in the U.S. with Universal Music handling global. A new album has been completed and is set for release this year.

Zahn and/or his work have been featured in/on CNN, NBC, ABC, WGN, CBS, GCTN, G4, The Chicago Tribune, Forbes, MarketWatch, Reuters, BusinessWire, Fangoria, Starlog and more. He's appeared as a music expert on CNN's AC360 alongside Anderson Cooper, and has been interviewed by Larry King. In the past he served as a writer for the Netflix Stream Team,  Fandango Family and PBS KIDS, penned articles for Sprout and PopSugar, and was a contributor to Chicago Parent.

Learn more here

Connect with James on Facebook or Twitter.