Toyota Made This Wonky RAV4 Limo as a Team Building Exercise
More productive than paintball, we suppose.
Remember having to work in groups on a school project? The dread of having to rely on classmates to pull their own weight while your grade was on the line. Coordinating after-school schedules to work on the project, and always dealing with that one kid who never did anything. Now imagine needing to build a car with fellow co-workers for no reason other than the spirit of the challenge. That was the case for 200 employees at Toyota's Takaoka plant in Japan, who recently had to come together to build a RAV4 limousine as a team building exercise.
Japanese automotive website Car Watch broke the story of this one of a kind factory limousine, which was constructed at Toyota's Takaoka plant in Japan, the home of the RAV4, Corolla and Harrier/Venza assemblies. It took four months of working in their off-hours to get it done, but the result is a 26-foot-long unibody crossover with acres of rear legroom, an interior table and even little chandeliers.
The organizer of the project talked to Car Watch about how it came about, and I'll spare you the poor Google Translate version by saying that it seems like your average HR-approved bonding exercise. Still, it's an endearingly goofy concept. It may be screwed together nice and tight, but they couldn't do much about matching the character lines and overall rake of the RAV4's doors, and the final beltline is pretty wonky. It's also got fuzzy purple carpet in the back for some reason.
The biggest challenge was structural integrity because there is no frame, no spine, preventing the stretched body from flexing. Sheet metal was added and welded, and they tested the strength by putting it on a lift, raising it and then dropping it to see if it would break in half. It did not.
So how does a stretched Toyota RAV4 ride? Again, we're going off a poor Google Translate of the Car Watch writer's backseat ride-along impressions, in which she likens it to "a four-legged animal walking" at lower speeds. Apparently it still needs some suspension work, maybe a set of air-shocks. Also, the RAV4 limo only got up to around 50 mph, and a high-performance handling test wasn't on the docket. Shame, because I'd really like to see the Takaoka RAV4 tackle an apex corner and see what the law of physics think of it.
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