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Wild Looks And Wild Hopes

Toyota X-Runner Concept

Toyota wasn’t pulling any punches at this year’s SEMA Show. The goal was to inspire fans for the products on the way or already available. For example, the Toyota Land Bruiser took the classic 1966 Land Cruiser to new heights with massive tires and tank-like tracks, an alternative to a winch. But if off-road isn’t your scene, and you prefer to keep to the pavement, the Toyota X-Runner Concept will undoubtedly pique your interest.

Toyota Tacoma X-Runner Concept: Details

What started as a concepting session between the Toyota Engineering teams at Toyota R&D and the design team at Toyota’s Calty Design Studio resulted in a divergence from the off-road focus at the 2023 SEMA Show. The Toyota X-Runner Concept returns the beloved street truck with a modified 2024 Toyota Tacoma. The build uses a modified i-Force 3.4-liter twin-turbocharged V6 engine, producing 421 horsepower and 479 lb-ft of torque. A Tundra solid axle with 4.30:1 final drive and an electronic locking differential split the torque to the rear wheels, while a custom side exhaust exits just below the rocker panel. If interested, this same engine modification will be available next year, beginning with the new Tundra models as part of a TRD Performance Package upgrade.

Toyota X-Runner Concept

The overall track width of the Toyota X-Runner concept was increased by just over 3 inches, and the frame was strengthened. As for styling, the team made a point to maintain Tacoma’s design language, which includes the use of interlocking shapes and fluid forms central to its “chiseled liquid” DNA. The concept’s aggressive front fascia is completed with Tacoma XB LED Projector headlights with “X-Runner” laser ablation lenses. Front and side bodywork features custom aero-fairings with functional venting that cools X-Runner’s 13.9-inch Tundra front brakes, providing higher heat capacity. The functional hood scoop is also purpose-built, drawing cool air into the engine bay. At the back, the truck is purposefully simple with smoked taillights.

Toyota X-Runner Concept

To give the Toyota X-Runner a proper street stance, the team sourced a Tundra air suspension to attain the lowest possible ride height while still carrying a payload. Up front, the upper and lower arms were lengthened to match the Tundra’s suspension geometry. The lower arm was customized with the slammed nature of the vehicle in mind. At the rear, the upper and lower arm lengths were also increased to mate with Tundra’s rear axle housing, axle shafts, and bearings, matching the width and strength of the front end. Finally, the springs were stiffened, and performance was optimized with custom-valved 2.5-inch Bilstein aluminum-bodied shocks with remote reservoirs at each corner to help the driver put the power to the ground. The wheel wells were filled with Lacks Enterprises, one-off, 21×9.5-inch carbon fiber wheels with forged aluminum centers on Michelin 285/45R21 Sport Tires.

This is one of those builds that we hope becomes a reality, as it’s pretty amazing, and while street trucks are no longer sold, Toyota recognizes that there remains a fanbase for them.

Written by Zac Quinn

Zac's love for cars started at a young age, after seeing the popular Eleanor from Gone In 60 Seconds. From there, fascination and enthusiasm blossomed and to this day the Ford Mustang remains a favorite. His first job started out detailing cars, but also provided the opportunity to work on restoration including an 1968 Ford Mustang, Ford Firebird, and a C3 Corvette, though he left that job before further work and experience could be had. From there, he was a detailer at a car dealership before quitting that job to try and finish college.

Much of his free time while studying was spent watching YouTube videos regarding new cars, or off-roading. 4WD247 is a personal favorite channel which rekindled a dying flame in car enthusiasm, now tailored towards trucks and SUVs and the fun that can be had building up an overlanding rig, and going on adventures, though, that chapter remains unwritten for the time being.

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