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April 8, 2017

Toyota Hilux Tonka Concept is a Child's Toy Come to Life (w/ 13 Photos)

After Toyota UK did a memorable series of videos starring the Hilux and Tamiya RC cars, Toyota Australia is doing something along the same vein. This time though, they’ve brought together the Hilux and the iconic children’s toy, Tonka. The rest is the Hilux Tonka Concept, an impressive rock-crawling truck that combines the brands’ reputation for toughness and durability.

On a high after becoming Australia’s best-selling pickup, Toyota’s 150-strong product planning and development division worked on this endeavor.

The Hilux gets an extensive makeover starting with extra ground clearance. The Hilux Tonka Concept has been raised an extra 150 millimeters and combined with a high-riding axle, heavy duty suspension, and 35-inch tires, it’s equipped to power over rugged terrain that would otherwise be off limits to other off-roaders.

At the front, a new nudge bar compatible with the Hilux’s safety system is in place while the hood itself is skinned in carbon fiber and features an aggressive power bulge and air scoops. Off-road LED lighting in the bar and roof provide excellent night time vision while a rugged sump guard made from a 6-mm thick alloy protect the undercarriage. Tubular side rails protect the body and chassis.

At the back, almost everything has been changed. The transformation includes a new tailgate, also wrapped in carbon fiber, that incorporates a spoiler and two air vents for better airflow. A durable lightweight strap rather than a handle releases the tailgate. Inside, the bed, a removable tubular frame keeps all the gear in place, including jerry cans and a storage box that house the recovery gear needed during extreme off-road driving. A fire extinguisher, ax, shovel, and high lift jack are also fitted.

Underneath all the dramatics though, the Hilux Tonka Concept still runs on the same 2.8-liter four-cylinder turbo diesel engine. The 1GD-FTV engine has a maximum power of 177 horsepower and 450 Nm of torque.

Creating this one-of-a-kind concept is fitting since this year, Tonka is celebrating its 70th anniversary this year. At the same time, Toyota is also in its 80th year of incorporation this year.

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