Toyota Motor Sales (TMS) U.S.A., Inc. has partnered with the Surfrider Foundation to create a specially modified Camry Hybrid fueled by compressed natural gas (CNG), reflecting Toyota involvement with environmental awareness. The Toyota Surfrider Camry Hybrid CNG and two modified Prius gas-electric hybrid vehicles are on display in the Environmental Lifestyle Zone of the Toyota vehicle display at the 2009 SEMA Show. The Prius represents Toyota’s current commitment to the environment while the Camry Hybrid CNG pushes the envelope on alternative fuel possibilities.
The current benefits of CNG are amplified by rapidly changing market conditions and an increase in consumer environmental awareness. As a transport fuel, natural gas is a clean and safe gasoline alternative. It can potentially reduce U.S. dependency on foreign oil and reduce vehicle operating costs. Currently, more than 99 percent of natural gas used in the U.S. comes from domestic and other American sources.
The CNG system was built by Metal Crafters of Fountain Valley, Calif. To convert the stock Camry Hybrid to a CNG vehicle, the gasoline fuel system was replaced with a CNG system in the spare tire well area.
Toyota also teamed with Street Image to further modify the Camry Hybrid CNG Show Car for the 2009 SEMA Show. The exterior of the vehicle was given a sportier concept look with the installation of an aggressive body kit featuring a custom front grill and unique rear bumper that covers the tail pipe and exhaust system. The overall ride height was lowered on an adjustable coilover suspension, allowing the car to hug the set of 20-inch alloy wheels rolling on Toyo Proxy 4 tires. A new multi-colored vehicle wrap that features CNG and Surfrider logos completes the unique look.
The inside was modified with several enhancements, including a custom Grey Suede and Black leather upholstery, interior lighting and an enclosed trunk area with a viewing window to display the CNG fuel cylinders.
At the conclusion of the 2009 SEMA Show Toyota will provide a production version of the Surfrider Camry Hybrid CNG to the Surfrider Foundation. The vehicle will be driven to, and displayed at numerous outreach campaigns, education programs and beach cleanup events.