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Slideshow: Toyota's Automotive Aquarium

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GTOlover
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How much does this vehicle weigh?
GTOlover   11/13/2013 7:59:14 AM
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Charles, I am not clear. The article said the engine and transmission was removed to put the fish tank in, were they ever put back in? The water alone is 3.3 tons, so not sure that this is even drivable if the engine and transmission were back in the vehicle. I did notice that the vehicle is supported by jackstands, so I assume that the suspension would be completely collapsed under this weight? So it is safe to assume that this is a static display and is not capable of being rolled around, let alone driven?

Kind of cool, but a really expensive non-mobile fish tank!

Charles Murray
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Re: How much does this vehicle weigh?
Charles Murray   11/13/2013 8:56:02 AM
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No, the engine and transmission were never put back in, GTOlover. So while it will make a great display for the LA Auto Show, it's really just an aquarium. As for its weight...hard to say. The water weighs about 6,700 lbs, but the weight of the car is more difficult to calculate. The 2013 Highlander weighed about 3,800, but that includes the engine, transmission, seats and other interior elements. I think it's safe to say that this car is a little short of five tons when the aquarium is filled.

Elizabeth M
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Not a Sponge Bob fan, but still cool
Elizabeth M   11/13/2013 9:04:21 AM
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Well, I'm not a fan of the show and think perhaps it's a lot of effort to go to promote an animated series, but I have to admit this is really cool and a fantastic repurposing of an SUV. The design modifications made to accommodate the aquarium are really clever. Thanks for the unique slideshow!

Rob Spiegel
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Are the kids picking the cars now?
Rob Spiegel   11/13/2013 7:05:44 PM
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When my kids were young, I was surprised that our culture had drifted into the territory where kids were selecting the family dining locations -- the fast food places with playgrounds won out thanks to the marketing efforts of MacDonald's and Burger King.  For this generation, things seem to have escalated. Now it looks like the auto industry is marketing directly to kids.

Zippy
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Re: Are the kids picking the cars now?
Zippy   11/14/2013 12:37:47 PM
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Rob, I agree that the kids who watch Sponge Bob aren't likely to take out car loans, but their parents may be a big target market for this type of vehicle, and I'll bet they are very familiar with the programs their kids watch.

Rob Spiegel
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Re: Are the kids picking the cars now?
Rob Spiegel   11/14/2013 2:53:47 PM
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That's right Zippy. Much like fast food restaurants that successfully marketed to kids to get their parents to the restaurant, it looks like Toyota is tryng to hook the kids and thus bring the parents along.

Charles Murray
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Re: Are the kids picking the cars now?
Charles Murray   11/15/2013 5:57:24 PM
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That sounds right to me, Rob. I can only assume its Toyota's reason for doing this.

Rob Spiegel
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Re: Are the kids picking the cars now?
Rob Spiegel   11/15/2013 7:18:19 PM
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There's another side to this as well. Sponge Bob has been around about 11 years, which means some of the kids who fell in love with the Sponge are old enough to buy a Toyota. Also, there are millions of parents -- like me -- who found Sponge Bob was the most interesting cartoon their kids watched. Millions of parents love Sponge Bob too.



Pubudu
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Re: Are the kids picking the cars now?
Pubudu   11/16/2013 7:55:34 AM
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But Rob when they get old I don't think that they will grow up with the Sponge Bob theme, for me it's very uncomfortable to drive a vehicle with the theme of a cartoon. 

Rob Spiegel
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Re: Are the kids picking the cars now?
Rob Spiegel   11/16/2013 10:05:10 AM
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Hey Pubudu, I think there are plenty of consumers in North America who would love to drive around in a car decorated like a cartoon character. Halloween proves our willingness to look ridiculous. Will there be enough to justify Toyota's investment in Sponge Bob? Maybe.

Habib Tariq
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Re: Are the kids picking the cars now?
Habib Tariq   11/17/2013 2:42:11 AM
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well in my opinion the main idea of Toyota behind producing a SpongeBob themed car wasn't to produce a new series of car, but rather was marketing to strategy to be in the spot light, while in the process maybe selling a few of these cars. All major companies employ this tactic. They usually come up with product that does not really contribute much to the company but gains them the attention from all kind of media. Like recently Dominos made the first drone pizza delivery (using a quad copter).

Rob Spiegel
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Re: Are the kids picking the cars now?
Rob Spiegel   11/18/2013 5:09:01 PM
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I think you got something there, Habib. This article -- and all of its comments -- is a good example of Toyota building a buzz. 

Charles Murray
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Re: Are the kids picking the cars now?
Charles Murray   11/19/2013 5:53:53 PM
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It may be uncomfortable to drive a car with a cartoon theme, Pudubu, but I can honestly say that some of the beaters I've driven got a lot of laughs, although they may not have been classified as cartoons. 

Pubudu
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Re: Are the kids picking the cars now?
Pubudu   11/20/2013 11:48:00 AM
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Well Charrles You may have a point, but for me driving a vehicle should give me some status and it should give me prestige surely not a cartoon character. 

Charles Murray
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Re: Are the kids picking the cars now?
Charles Murray   12/3/2013 6:49:07 PM
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Good point, Pubudu. I have to admit that I, too, have reached the age where I wouldn't want to drive a SpongeBob-themed car.  

Pubudu
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Re: Are the kids picking the cars now?
Pubudu   11/16/2013 7:41:15 AM
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True Zippy I do agree with you on this when it comes to automobile kids may not influence the buying decisions.  And I am sure that Toyota also will not target the kids to sell a vehicle. 

GTOlover
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Could this be the fix for burning Teslas?
GTOlover   11/14/2013 9:21:55 AM
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Charles,

The Tesla thread was about the car burning up, perhaps a 3 ton aquarium could help? Not sure how water interacts with lithium batteries :-) Then again, a 5 mile range at this weight is pobably not going to work either.

Charles Murray
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Re: Could this be the fix for burning Teslas?
Charles Murray   11/14/2013 11:53:22 AM
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A five-ton curb weight wouldn't have done much good for the powertrain either, GTOlover...

Tool_maker
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Re: Could this be the fix for burning Teslas?
Tool_maker   11/14/2013 12:36:14 PM
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@GTOlover: Great way to tie the two cars together. Here is another: They are both impractical playtoys for the very wealthy.

Zippy
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Re: Could this be the fix for burning Teslas?
Zippy   11/14/2013 12:42:01 PM
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Tool_Maker, perhaps the wealthy have a different take on "impractical?"

Charles Murray
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Re: Could this be the fix for burning Teslas?
Charles Murray   11/15/2013 5:59:24 PM
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The difference is that Toyota doesn't get any Zero Emission Vehicle Credits for this, Tool_Maker.

William K.
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Not a "roadable" car, though.
William K.   1/23/2014 2:40:00 PM
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I had not been aware of this vehicle prevoiusly, and I wondered about the handling characteristics with an 800 gallon tank on board. I'm glad to see that it is a marketing showpiece and not a road vehicle.

But I don't see how such a vehicle would induce me to consider purchasing a toyota, or any other car. 

BUT it certainly is a tribute to the skills of the customizing shop.

Charles Murray
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Re: Not a "roadable" car, though.
Charles Murray   1/23/2014 7:56:39 PM
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Since writing the article, I watched the Animal Planet show "Tanked" on several occasions and I'm amazed by what they do. I think the show will feature the Toyota aquarium some time in March.

jhmumford
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Gold
Couldn't drive it if you wanted to...
jhmumford   1/23/2014 2:54:36 PM
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800 gallons of water alone weighs, what, close to 7000 pounds?  They probably had to weld a subframe under it to support the weight, or at least beef up the stock suspension substantially.  No wonder they had to tear out the engine and transmission.  Probably weights close to 5 tons even with everything stripped out of it.

Charles Murray
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Re: Couldn't drive it if you wanted to...
Charles Murray   1/23/2014 8:01:24 PM
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Yes, 800 gallons of water would be pushing 7,000 lbs, jhmumford. And, yes, they did weld a steel subframe underneath for support. We'll see how they did that when the show plays on Animal Planet in a few weeks.

bobjengr
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AQUARIUM
bobjengr   3/3/2014 5:39:26 PM
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Charles--I think Toyota's efforts to gain attention are working.  Who on earth would suspect installing an aquarium in a vehicle?  Really innovative and clever advertising.  I think they should be commended.  I'll bet this one was really fun to witness. 

Charles Murray
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Re: AQUARIUM
Charles Murray   3/3/2014 6:29:16 PM
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Bobjengr, I think the Toyota aquarium will appear on the Animal Planet show, "Tanked!" some time in March.

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