The back of the Toyota themed to SpongeBob, a Highlander complete with an aquarium Dan MacMedan USA TODAY
Chris Woodyard, USA TODAY
LAS VEGAS, NV -- Toyota found a fun way to make a splash at the SEMA aftermarket auto parts trade show here: fill the back of an SUV with a fully-stocked fish tank.
The 2014 SpongeBob Highlander looks like it is right out of SpongeBob SquarePants' underwater neighborhood, Bikini Bottom, as seen on the long-running Nickelodeon cartoon series. .The entire rear of the crossover SUV is an 800-gallon salt-water tank teaming with tropical finned friends. It was unveiled Tuesday at the SEMA aftermarket car parts trade show here.
The tank is huge, stretching from behind the front seats to the vehicle's rear. To see the 32 species, you just peer through the rear glass. There are 115 fish, including starfish (like the SpongeBob character, Patrick), squirrelfish, Fiji foxface, flame angel, clownfish and pilot fish.
As you might expect, there is also a fancy filtration system to try to keep them alive, at least until the trade show ends. Toyota says there is an overflow system, sterilizer, UV filter, temperature regulator and additional elements. The fish were brought to Las Vegas from Los Angeles and had two days to acclimate to the tank before going on display.
The SpongeBob theme carries throughout the interior details and the exterior wrap of the vehicle.
The tank was designed by Wayde King and Brett Raymer, who own a company called Acrylic Tank Manufacturing. They are co-stars of an Animal Planet show called Tanked and plan to feature the build on the show. They build fancy fish tanks for celebrities, luxury hotels, casinos and others.
"Brett and I love the challenge of designing aquariums in every shape and size and welcomed the opportunity to bring living art like this to SEMA," King said in a statement. "The teams at Toyota and Nickelodeon gave us great platforms in the Highlander and SpongeBob SquarePants to create something fun and inspiring for fans."