Toyota won't advertise its new Corolla XR-S, but with a 170-horsepower version of the Celica GT-S' 2.0-liter VVTL-i engine and six-speed manual transmission under its hood, and an immensely attractive interior, this small sport sedan could prove to be the car that brings driving enthusiasts back to the Corolla. Toyota expects to build about 5000 of the XR-S sedans during the 2004 model year and that hardly seems enough of them. If only they'd advertise it¡
Toyota NASCAR V-8Enlarge Photo
Toyota¡¯s other big news was the public unveiling of their new overhead valve, 358-cubic inch, iron-block, and carbureted V-8 race engine for use in NASCAR Craftsman Truck racing next year under Tundra pickup sheetmetal. The Toyota NASCAR V-8 is nothing short of spectacular with features both big league and little league racers have sought for decades. "It's the best looking small-block Chevy I've ever seen," at least one observer stated. Interestingly, while the Craftsman trucks run 390 cfm carburetors, much of the testing of this engine one source reported, has been done using a Winston Cup (er, Nextel Cup) spec 830 cfm carburetor. As parts come on line for this engine, Toyota plans to offer not only to Craftsman truck racers but also to competitors in virtually any other circle track series that will accept it. By the way, though the design work on the Toyota NASCAR engine was all done here in the United States by TRD, the block is cast in Japan. And the only stock Tundra component on the engine is the power steering pump.
Ford Cammer engineEnlarge Photo
Ford claimed the Cammer was making 420 horsepower as installed in the '65 Mustang on display. However, they didn¡¯t address any rumors that the Cammer would be the engine powering next year's all-new Mustang GT.
2003 Nissan WAV Pathfinder Armada conceptEnlarge Photo
Nissan's big push at SEMA came during 2002 when it introduced the NISMO line of performance and appearance components to North America. At this year's SEMA show, the most profound presences in the Nissan booth were modified Titan full-size pickups and modified Pathfinder Armada full-size SUVs. But among those, one stood out best. Modified by WAV, this Pathfinder Armada wore the proud red, white and blue racing colors of Datsun's early Seventies racing efforts. Lowered in stance and towing a trailer upon which sat John Morton's legendary #46 BRE racing Datsun 510, the WAV Armada practically begs Nissan to can its current corporate colors and revert to the glory so hard-earned by Datsun decades ago.