A Toyota created just for triathletes Michael Kofsky/USA TODAY
(USATODAY.com) - You'd think the biggest challenge for triathletes is to keep from drowning during the swim, crashing during the ride or hitting the wall during the run. Nope, says Toyota. It's contending with the filth afterwards.
Triathletes are a dripping, sweaty, smelly mess after a vigorous competition or practice, so Toyota has come up with a novel prototype of a vehicle suited to them. It comes with a built-in, sit-down shower and a mini washing machine and dryer.
The LifeTime Fitness RAV4 is one of the vehicles going on display Monday at the big SEMA aftermarket car products trade show in Las Vegas. It was created to show how outrageous a vehicle could be made to accommodate triathletes.
Created by the Motorsports Technical Center in Torrance, Calif., some of the ideas are good. Some are just plain wacky.
For instance, the RAV4 has indentations in the roof in which to trap the wheels of a triathletes racing bike during transport. Great idea. But the shower with five-gallon water tank, washer and dryer, a mini fridge for smoothies and an industrial-strength blender? That's all a little strange. And that's just fine.
"This fun RAV4 brings together a triathlete's passion for a healthy, active lifestyle and the drive for pushing ourselves to race faster and smarter," says Sarah Haskins, one of three triathletes consulted for the project. "The cutting-edge tools incorporated in the vehicle will help us continue to build our racing skills, while enabling us to relax a little too."
For the ride home after an event, there are massage units built into the seats. Plus, there's a fancy sound system for soothing post-ride music.