2016 SEMA: Toyota’s Efforts to Make Minivans Cool With the Extreme Sienna [News]

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Minivans have the unfortunate stigma of being the ultimate automotive compromise. They necessitate that you give up any last attempt to look cool in favor of a spacious cabin and room to carry a family of five plus all their stuff. Toyota has used this year’s SEMA to do a number of things, including make a Prius capable of pulling 0.99 G on the skid pad. Now, they are attempting to make a minivan that is… wait for it… actually kinda cool, with the Sienna Extreme.

Toyota have brought in Real Time Automotive‚Äôs hot rod builder Rick Leos in hopes to support the self-proclaimed title of “swagger wagon.” So what exactly has been done to this run-of-the-mill Sienna to achieve this boisterous title?

On the exterior, it is a combination of body kits, dual exhaust, performance wheels, front and back aero kits, TRD brakes, oodles of carbon fiber, and chin-scrapingly low suspension. On the inside, the focus has gone towards luxury improvements, including a home theater system, reclining seats with custom upholstery, a refrigerator, Wi-Fi connectivity and Bluetooth speakers.

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Nothing much has been done to the powertrain, but that is fine, since this Sienna Extreme is fitted with the Sienna’s new 3.5L V6 engine mated to an 8-speed automatic transmission. So, was Toyota successful in making the ultimate “swagger wagon?” That is for you to decide. It certainly looks like a heavily modified minivan, but we’re not sure if that is really a good thing. Whether or not you like it, it certainly makes a bold statement, which is something that most minivans certainly don’t do.

Toyota aren’t the only ones trying to change the minivans image in the US. Chrysler would like to think that their all-new Pacifica minivan has also got a bit more to offer. To find out which is best, we took both to the test track to see which we would rather own. To find out which won, be sure to watch the full video below:

Of course, stay tuned to TFLcar.com and TFLtruck.com for all SEMA related news and information!