The sport truck scene has long been overtaken and overshadowed by the off-road contingent. While no automaker currently offers a street-oriented performance model, Toyota on Tuesday revived a piece of that sport truck history by way of the new Tacoma X-Runner concept.
Fans of street trucks are surely familiar with the original Tacoma X-Runner, which arrived on the market for 2005. That sporty mid-sizer featured Bilstein shocks, stiffer springs, larger anti-roll bars, and a limited-slip differential out back. Combined with some slick bodywork tweaks, the X-Runner was an attractive alternative to the larger, more potent sport trucks of that era. This new X-Runner Concept enters a very different truck segment than its predecessor, but manages to bring even more hot rod attitude.
The build is based on a modified version of the Tacoma’s TGNA-F platform, with three inches of additional track width and extra bracing for added strength. That extra rigidity will be welcome, as this particular Tacoma is significantly more powerful than any current variant. That’s due to the fact that the concept employs the brand’s twin-turbocharged 3.4-liter i-FORCE V6, which it borrows from its platform-shared siblings.
Of course, this is a SEMA build, so the V-6 has been fitted with the Tundra’s RD Performance Package software, which customers will be able to purchase next year. The reflash ups output figures to 421 hp and 479 lb-ft of torque, which is fed to a solid rear axle borrowed from the Tundra. An electronic limited-slip differential and the air suspension setup from the Tundra are also included. In order to help the truck perform, Toyota sourced stiffer springs, which work in tandem with 2.5-inch Bilstein remote reservoir shocks.
No X-Runner would be complete without some sporty styling upgrades, and this particular build does not disappoint. The bodywork features a suite of custom aero-fairings, as well as modified fascias front and rear. There are also a number of functional cents and scoops all around, including for the 13.9-inch Tundra-sourced brakes. The side-exit exhaust setup has a little bit of SRT-10 vibe, which is not a bad thing in the sport truck world. The Speedway blue hue is a nice nod to the original X-Runner from the 2004 Chicago Auto Show.
While Toyota doesn’t currently have any plans to sell a street-performance-oriented Tacoma, it did note that this build is a gauge for customer interest. While a production variant of the truck would likely be stuck with Tacoma’s 2.4-liter i-Force Max hybrid engine, there’s still a lot of potential for fun. You can check this particular concept out at the SEMA Show in Las Vegas until November 3. Just be sure to tell the Toyota folks that you want to see one hit dealer showrooms.
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