The Greatest Sleeper Of All Time?

The Toyota Camry is for all intents and purposes a fine car. It’s roomy, economical and it will probably never break down. There’s a reason that it’s consistently one of the best selling vehicles in America. It’s not, however, a car that you’ll find many enthusiasts salivating over. It’s perfect family transportation, but it’s a bit, well, vanilla…

But that’s exactly the reason why Toyota decided to use a new 2015 Camry as the basis for its most extreme SEMA build ever.


Not only that, but this extremely deceptive Camry just might be the greatest sleeper project of all time. With its body in the ‘down’ position, this car looks like any other ’15 Camry XSE, but then the entire outer skin flips up to reveal a custom-built drag chassis that’s been loaded up with Toyota Racing Development competition parts.


It’s actually a lot like a Funny Car, except the exterior has been left completely stock – right down to the headlights and original tail pipes. All four doors even open and close, just like on a normal Camry. The only thing that might raise some eyebrows are the dark tinted windows.


But when the body goes up, you can see the incredible amount of work that Toyota’s Motorsport Technical Center has invested into the build. The tube chassis has been custom-built to tuck perfectly beneath the stock Camry body and uses a number of parts from the heavy-duty Tundra pickup truck in its construction.


The 5.7-liter 3UR-FE V8 is based on the Tundra’s stock powerplant, but this one’s fitted with a number of internal upgrades and a TRD supercharger up top. There’s also a nitrous system which raises total horsepower above the 850hp mark.


The rear end also comes from a Tundra, and here you can see the 335-width DOT-approved drag tires, which are mounted on custom-widened 18-inch Camry alloys so not to disturb the sleeper look.


Toyota estimates the car should be capable of a quarter mile time in the high 9-second ET zone – all from a vehicle that carries the appearance of a bone-stock 2015 Camry. If that’s not winning at the sleeper game, I don’t know what is.


Now that the build is complete, I hope that Toyota will take this car out and have some real fun with it. Can you imagine the sort of viral video antics that could come from a 850hp stock-look Camry?

With an off-the-wall build like this, I need to see video of this car doing crazy things.

Mike Garrett
Instagram: speedhunters_mike



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Oh my god I can't even this is so wonderful


Do you have any shots of how the exterior is held together? Looking upwards into the shell.


Not to knock a good thing, which this is... But it's not that incredible. When you say it's "a lot like a funny car," you're spot on, because it is. A multi-billion dollar corporation shows up with a funny car that has less awesome oozing from it than a lot of small time shop owner's can muster, and it's called a revelation and the "greatest" anything? Strikes me odd.


Can it even be road registered? I pre-requisite for a sleeper I think, although I'm sure it will surprise people on the strip too.


That's really clever. I too would like some video, please keep us updated if anything surfaces


I seen it live, pretty slick set up how they made it..
Pretty much cut the bottom of the car off and reinforced it like a box...
Best part was it sealed it self shut..
Wish I got to see it go down, then the hot sexy girls distracted me at the booth and I didn't care about it lol


gliebau The title says the greatest "sleeper", not the greatest funny car. This has never been intended to be a funny car I believe. And a funny car is not a sleeper either.


AmirIzham It's *alright* as a sleeper, and I say that simply because there's very little ingenious about it - it's built just like a basic racing car with some sleek independent suspension and a stock body to cover it all up, using a platform that dates to 1950s drag racing. In either case, it's already been done, but better:


gliebau Holy shit now that IS cool. Totally looks like Alex Murphy sans Robocop suit.


I love the fact it was running widened versions of oem wheels!  It was very neat in person.  While yes, there are other awesome cars of the vein, I think this one deserves it's time in the lime light (just want to see it behind some drag lights!).


gliebau AmirIzham  for a beige car company, toyota did pretty well "dabbling" in the custom scene.  also, the camry has that alfa beat out in the sleeper game from its ride height.  the alfa is pretty darn close to tucking rim!  the camry's height looks lowered at most.


Yes, I need to see this in action. Again just a quick trip to the LV Speedway to see what these cars can do. 
C'mon what's the point of just displaying these rides and not really showing them off huh?


here's a better photo from front on showing more of the chassis


I want this car in traffic, 8AM Monday, bumper to bumper.....And then at the stop light :))))


I guess this is by far my favourite Toyota in 2014 SEMA , but I wonder if it works ?


It needs to be entered into Hot Rods drag week.


MikeYee gliebau AmirIzham I agree that the Camry's definitely got the stock stance going on the Alfa, but being lowered doesn't mean being fast. Most of the cars that are slammed and rolling around urban America these days are actually staggeringly slow, little pieces of junk from the '80s and '90s that young kids put on the ground to look cool. I don't expect a slammed car that comes up next to me of any make or or model to be faster than stock.
Now, if the Camry can hit 215 miles per hour and corner like an F1 car with that stock stance, I'll give it that... Otherwise, the Alfa's performance justifies being lowered, even as a sleeper.


the car community really needs to poke toyota on a regular basis so that they make sleepers like this.  lol.


Likes this.


This wins SEMA. It's the exact opposite of everything else there; crazy performance, no exterior changes at all.


I agree on the necessity of showing this creation in action. 

On a different note, I feel like a "sleeper" would still have a full interior to carry people and stuff. If Toyota can build this, they could definitely build another Camry with the same engine/drivetrain combo, convert to RWD, and make a killer grocery getter.


Most favorite ride of SEMA 2014 and is the best sleeper of all time but should've went turbo


silveradotx true, i feel like a car isnt a sleeper unless you can actually get in it thinking its a normal car


gliebau Putting an 850 HP engine and chassis under a fully functional stock Camry body is awesome. The fact that you expected a "multi-billion dollar corporation" to draw upon their vast resources on a mere SEMA project doesn't make the car less awesome. BTW That Alfa article you put up is also awesome as is the Renault Espace and other wild projects but they don't diminish this one.


These comments are funny. most people don't understand that shows like SEMA are not high on the development priority list. Way more money is spent in the development of new models and new designs that improved. Don't get me wrong the aftermarket is a platform for automakers to display technology that may enhance performance or style. In the case of this Camry let's discuss how much effort is put into a custom chassis or more or less take a car that had an FF chassis and make it FR. Now while it is custom it is using the tech that is in house. No outside fab team that builds hot rods. And yes this car can be driven. In fact everything on the body works as if a normal car. Amazing if I should say so.....


Now i the body shell is made of fibreglass like other funny cars or stock like other camry?


i want to see a vid of this as a sleeper doing sleeper things... yenno like showing up at the local drag strip and putting other cars to shame....or at the stoplight... or revving at the person in the drive though window... something! but anyway awesome build. i love toyotas, i hate camrys in general . i love what they did to this car.


Go on Toyota! Send it down the strip!


To be honest this is basically not a sleeper. A sleeper for one needs to be road legal IMO and at a minimum the window tint is ridiculous unless this is to be a permanent desert resident vehicle. Secondly I appreciate homegrown style sleepers that get crazy speed out of junky looking parts but I guess most laymen wouldn't notice the 14inch wide rubber but maybe they would notice the rumble of the engine or the rollcage if they could see through the window. In any case I am happy Toyota did something creative using tundra powertrain parts rather than robbing a nascar V8 or something like that and for making this "sleeper." And I would take it for a spin if they let me.....


best Camry ever, never thought I'd say that


Love it!


U suk. It is a sleeper. I proclaim this as a sleeper.



I don't think it is. I also don't think people should attack other people in the comments because they should be commenting on the SH article. On the subject of Camry sleepers this is probably the best I have ever seen

IMO it is definitely a better "sleeper" than the SEMA car just because you can get in and out without having people seeing a ridiculous cage inside if you were perhaps street racing or at a car meet where you want to hide the fact that it has huge power in every way possible before racing. Good day sir.


Mechanophile Here is another video of the same car stomping an R35:




so a 3UR 5.7 stock block can handle 850hp?


Builds like this always take my mind to what i think has always been the ultimate sleeper. Drag cars are cool and all but lets face it, not that hard to cage chassis+drag motor... But to make a full on race car that not only does 9s on the strip, but with the same rubber do 40s on tsukuba... Has yet to be seen. Pic related


Builds like this always take my mind to what i think has always been the ultimate sleeper. Drag cars are cool and all but lets face it, not that hard to cage chassis+drag motor... But to make a full on race car that not only does 9s on the strip, but with the same rubber do 40s on tsukuba... Has yet to be seen. Pic related


What is that in your picture? It looks awesome I want to know more about it!


It is surprising that you can accomplish so much with just a Camry. I have a Dodge Viper from '03 that I am fixing up. I'm probably a few months, and about $800 away, from getting it up and running. Then I've just gotta do the smaller more asthetic things to it, such as window tinting and repainting it, before I feel good about driving it around.


This car just makes me laugh, I love that it's basically a professional drag car under a Camry body. Definitely something that would be fun to see at a drag strip or race track, especially with it's huge amount of sleeper status. The only think aftermarket about this thing on the actual body must be the window tint, but other than that it's a total sleeper.