Superchargers make everything better: Toyota SEMA 2012 preview (pictures)

Toyota Motor Co. is hitting the 2012 SEMA Show running, giving us a preview of what to expect in its three branches' booths. Spoiler alert: superchargers abound!

Antuan Goodwin
1 of 13 Toyota Motor

Toyota, Lexus, Scion preview SEMA show cars

Toyota's covering all of the bases, tackling the 2012 SEMA Show with a coordinated offensive that brings all three of the automaker's brands to the fray.
2 of 13 Toyota Motor

2013 Toyota Avalon TRD

Representing the core brand, Toyota will be showing off at least an example of its upcoming 2013 Avalon sedan that has been handed over to the TRD division for a quick performance boost.
3 of 13 Toyota Motor

Pimping Grandpa's ride

TRD starts with the 3.5-liter V-6 engine and boosts its output to an as-yet-unspecified level with the addition of a TRD supercharger. Handling is matched to the new straight-line performance by swapping in lowering springs and custom-valved KYB gas-pressured monotube shocks. Bigger wheels and wider tires increase grip (or at the very least, increase curb appeal) where the rubber meets the road.
4 of 13 Toyota Motor

Custom paint

It wouldn't be a show car without some custom paint, so Toyota has slathered the TRD Avalon in two-tone custom paint. A 15-speaker JBL GreenEdge stereo system is augmented by a pair of 500W JBL amps mounted in the trunk -- you know, just in case you want go ahead and totally destroy Grandpa's hearing.
5 of 13 Toyota Motor

TRD-Tuned FJ Cruiser Concept

Toyota also turned over an FJ Cruiser SUV to the TRD team. The result was this Baja-inspired beast.
6 of 13 Scion

The FJ-S

Dubbed the FJ-S, this vehicle doesn't deviate too far from TRD's established formula of performance upgrades. So the logical first step is to boost the V-6 engine's output to 345 horsepower and 340 pound-feet of torque with the aid of a TRD supercharger and a custom cat-back exhaust.
7 of 13 Scion


This off-roader receives a healthy dose of chassis-stiffening by way of an underbody "exoskeleton." A front nudge bar and rock rails toughen up the look and add an extra layer of ruggedized protection.
8 of 13 Toyota Motor

Raise it up

Bilstein racing shocks add 1.3 inches to the FJ's stock level. Meanwhile, 17-inch TRD wheels with beadlocked BFGoodrich All-Terrain tires fill the wheel wells. This suspension setup sounds familiar after the Tacoma TRD Baja that we recently tested.
9 of 13 Lexus

Supercharged 2013 Lexus GS 350 F Sport

Last year, Lexus unveiled the GS 350 F Sport at SEMA, so it's only right that the automaker kick things up a notch by slapping a supercharger onto an example customized by VIP Auto Salon. (Are you noticing a theme here? I know I am.) The VIP GS also features a laundry list of mods that's punctuated by a dual header-back exhaust system and staggered-fit 20-inch wheels.
10 of 13 Lexus

More from Lexus, including...

Lexus is bringing a few more vehicles to the desert, including a track-ready IS F, the LF-CC concept, the mighty LFA and LFA Nurburgring, and this Five Axis-project Lexus LS 460 F Sport that sits on staggered 22-inch custom wheels.
11 of 13 Scion

Scion Tuner Challenge returns!

Every year at the SEMA Show, tuner-friendly Scion hands over its hottest new car to the hottest customizers and lets them battle for the hearts of the show-goers in the Scion Tuner Challenge. This year, these artists' canvas will be the all-new Scion FR-S. Check out this preview of the "Minty FReSh" by Chris Basselgia of Lebanon, Pa.
12 of 13 Scion


The FR-S GT by Daniel Song of Orange County, Calif., features a massive wing, sticky rubber wrapped around functional-looking wheels, and a blacked-out color scheme that shouts, "I mean business."
13 of 13 Scion

Carbon Stealth FR-S

Beige isn't really a color that springs to mind when talking about sports cars, but the Carbon Stealth FR-S could win its builder, John Toca of Chicago, a cool $10,000 if it is chosen as the challenge winner at the 2012 SEMA Show.

More Galleries

Yamaha motorcycle and instrument designers trade jobs (pictures)

Yamaha motorcycle and instrument designers trade jobs (pictures)

16 Photos
CNET's 'Day of the Dead Devices' altar (pictures)

CNET's 'Day of the Dead Devices' altar (pictures)

9 Photos
2007 Los Angeles Auto Show: concept cars

2007 Los Angeles Auto Show: concept cars

14 Photos
Best sound bars under $300

Best sound bars under $300

18 Photos
2018 Ford F-150 Power Stroke reports for diesel duty
2018 Ford F-150 diesel

2018 Ford F-150 Power Stroke reports for diesel duty

22 Photos
Music-friendly cell phone accessories

Music-friendly cell phone accessories

11 Photos
Cosplay at Comic-Con 2016: From Stormtroopers to Sansa Stark

Cosplay at Comic-Con 2016: From Stormtroopers to Sansa Stark

34 Photos