According to Toyota, the goal is to help dispel some of boring, staid reputation of the competing cars, or as Toyota puts it, the view that they’re “plain vanilla grocery-getters.” At least one of the Camrys has had a bit of visual sprucing up, too, to help. The four-cylinder SE has a fantastic retro Toyota Motorsports paint scheme with the red, orange, and yellow stripes that adorned famous Toyota racing vehicles such as Ivan “Ironman” Stewart’s T100 Baja truck. The other two are more plain, but all three benefit from aftermarket wheels and sticky tires. The Camrys all have some tweaks to brakes and suspension, along with some safety additions, for track duty, and the Prius is completely stock except for the tires.
It seems that the cars are surprising people already. James Nichols, an engineer for Toyota in Indiana, said about the hybrid: “It was met with humor by other drivers in the paddock, but, when we started passing cars on the track, the atmosphere changed. I think we’re going to surprise some people out there.”
We also have found the Camry to be a vast improvement over the last one, and even a bit fun to drive. You can see what we think in some of our reviews. We’ve also found the Prius to be much improved compared with the last one, though we would hesitate to say it’s fun, per se.