The all-new 2016 Toyota Tacoma is coming to Chicago along with several eye-popping concepts and specialty vehicles that are sure to keep cameras clicking around the Toyota exhibit at the Chicago Auto Show. Toyota's presentation at McCormick Place is designed for consumer engagement and interaction. It features a broad range of new and historic vehicle displays, future concepts, simulators and fun, playful one-of-a-kind rides that show consumers the broad scope of the world's most progressive full-line automotive manufacturer.
The 2016 Tacoma, revealed to the world in January, makes its first appearance in Chicago. America's best-selling mid-size pickup for ten consecutive years has been rebuilt inside and out with improvement in every aspect over the current Tacoma including design, ruggedness and performance improvements in horsepower and fuel efficiency. It features an all new powertrain and enhanced suspension tuning.
The head-turning FT-1 concept car, which has captured the imagination of car enthusiasts since its debut last year, also makes a Chicago appearance. The FT-1 is labeled the spiritual pace car for the new direction of Toyota Global Design. It features a muscular exterior that builds on Toyota's rich sports coupe heritage. The model in Chicago is the second upscale interpretation of the FT-1, which features graphite exterior paint and light saddle-colored leather. The intention of the second concept vehicle was to showcase the versatility of the FT-1 concept by using color choice to create a more sophisticated feeling. Visitors can take a virtual drive in the FT-1 in specially-designed simulators.
Parents and their children will flock to The SpongeBob Movie 2015 Toyota Sienna for pictures. The popular family hauler has been transformed into a 3-D concept car celebrating everyone's porous pal. It features a custom three-dimensional SpongeBob SquarePants exterior, complete with the character's Superhero Incredibubble mask that blows real bubbles at the top of the car. The interior features seating inspired by each of SpongeBob's Bikini Bottom pals, along with a wood-grain dashboard, a custom Captain's steering wheel, a blue-sky head liner and a sand-inspired floor.
Chicago's Shedd Aquarium is celebrated in a vehicle design that is sure to attract eyeballs. The Shedd Aquarium Highlander features a custom aquatic-themed wrap recognizing Chicago's most-attended cultural attraction. Toyota is the Premier Corporate Partner of the John G. Shedd Aquarium.
Also in Chicago is the all new TeenDrive365 distracted driving simulator, launched in January, which educates teens and their parents about the dangers of distracted driving. Using Oculus Rift and a Toyota Corolla, the TeenDrive365 simulator is the first time that the next generation virtual reality technology is being used to bring the dangers of distracted driving to life. The new simulator featuring Oculus Rift will be available free of charge to the public at the Chicago Auto Show and other auto shows across the country. The safety exhibit also includes education on the functions of several active safety technologies including Blind Spot Monitor and Lane Departure Alert.
Visitors to the show can also see B.B. King's guitar and jacket. Both props were used in the advertising campaign for the bold, new 2015 Toyota Camry that featured the blues legend. There is also a motorsports exhibit that presents Toyota's involvement and success in NASCAR, and a heritage vehicle area that shows historic Toyota vehicles including an FJ25, a 1967 2000GT and the GTP Car #99.
Two Toyota concepts that suggest the possibilities of future mobility will also make a Chicago appearance, FV2 and i-ROAD. The FV2 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. The i-ROAD is an innovative, fun-to-drive three-wheel personal electric vehicle equipped with revolutionary Active Lean technology that emulates the movements of a skier. i-ROAD is as agile as a scooter with the enclosed-canopy comfort of a car and is currently on the roads of Grenoble, France in a car-sharing pilot program.
"Toyota's exhibit at McCormick Place is unique to Chicago as we have ability to combine a mix of various consumer engagement elements under one roof," said Don Johnson, Auto Show Engagement Manager at Toyota Motor Sales, U.S.A., Inc. "Visitors to the Chicago Auto Show will see the past, present and future of Toyota in a range of interactive exhibits and photogenic displays."
The Toyota exhibit is designed and constructed by George P. Johnson.
Toyota, the world's top automaker and creator of the Prius, is committed to building vehicles for the way people live through our Toyota, Lexus and Scion brands. Over the past 50 years, we've built more than 25 million cars and trucks in North America, where we operate 14 manufacturing plants (10 in the U.S.) and directly employ nearly 40,000 people (more than 37,000 in the U.S.). Our 1,800 North American dealerships sold more than 2.37 million cars and trucks in 2014 – and about 80 percent of all Toyota vehicles sold over the past 20 years are still on the road today.
Toyota partners with philanthropic organizations across the country, with a focus on education, safety and the environment. As part of this commitment, we share the company's extensive know-how garnered from building great cars and trucks to help community organizations and other nonprofits expand their ability to do good.