Remember the days when sleek, lowered street trucks ruled the roads? Fast, tuned, and focused on speed between stoplights, they were a symbol of performance rather than off-road ruggedness. Toyota is bringing back that spirit with the unveiling of the Tacoma X-Runner Concept, a modernized take on the classic street truck. This Modified Toyota Tacoma truck was showcased at the 2023 SEMA Show.
The Birth of the Modified Toyota Tacoma X-Runner Concept
The idea for the X-Runner Concept was born from collaborative brainstorming sessions between Toyota’s engineering teams at Toyota R&D and the design team at Calty Design Studio in Ann Arbor, Michigan. The goal was to divert attention from the prevailing off-road trends and explore the possibility of rekindling interest in modified Toyota Tacoma street trucks, reminiscent of the sleek, tuned machines that once ruled the roads.
Adam Rabinowitz, chief designer at Toyota’s Calty Design Research, Inc., explained, “There were lots of street trucks in the early 2000s, and they all faded. So, on the one hand, this was a curiosity check to see if there is any market for street trucks at all.”
Showcasing the Versatility of Toyota’s New TGNA-F Platform
Inspired by the overwhelming consumer enthusiasm for the 2024 Tacoma, Toyota’s R&D and Design Teams saw an opportunity to showcase the versatility of Toyota’s new TGNA-F product platform. According to Sheldon Brown, chief engineer at Toyota Motor North America, “The TGNA-F platform allows us to efficiently build something this cool in a fraction of the development time it would normally take.”
Power and Performance
The Modified Toyota Tacoma X-Runner Concept is not just about looks; it packs a punch under the hood. Equipped with a modified i-FORCE 3.4-liter twin-turbocharged V6 engine, it churns out an impressive 421 horsepower with 479 lb-ft of peak torque. The power is transferred to the rear wheels through a Tundra solid axle with a 4.30:1 final drive and an electronic locking differential. The custom side exhaust, exiting just below the rocker panel, adds a touch of performance flair.
Chassis and Styling Upgrades
To support the engine’s prowess, the chassis underwent modifications, including a 3-inch increase in overall track width and frame strengthening. The team was keen on preserving the Tacoma’s design language, incorporating interlocking shapes and fluid forms. The front fascia boasts Tacoma XB LED Projector headlights with “X-Runner” laser ablation lenses, while the aggressive appearance is complemented by custom aero-fairings and functional venting.
Achieving the Perfect Modified Street Stance
Achieving the perfect street stance was a crucial aspect of the X-Runner Concept. The team utilized a Tundra air-suspension system for the lowest possible ride height while still maintaining load-carrying capability. The upper and lower arms were lengthened to match the Tundra’s suspension geometry, enhancing on-road driving dynamics. The one-off, 21×9.5-inch carbon fiber wheels with forged aluminum centers on Michelin 285/45R21 Sport Tires complete the striking look.
A Nod to the Past and Future
The Toyota Tacoma X-Runner Concept pays homage to its roots with a subtle nod to the original X-Runner’s Speedway Blue color. Matte black finishes on the hood, A-pillars, and roof draw inspiration from the TRD Pro style guide, while red accents highlight the high-performance nature of this street machine.
Inside the X-Runner
Inside, the X-Runner retains its Tacoma essence while embracing a performance aesthetic. Paddle shifters and custom X-Runner accents add a touch of sophistication to the driver’s experience.
A Glimpse into the Future
Mike Tripp, group vice president at Toyota Marketing, sums it up: “This new X-Runner concept really shows that TRD is about performance, about going fast… It shows the range of the platform and what we could do if we took the Tacoma beyond off-road and everyday capabilities, slammed it, and gave it a little street cred.”
This modified Toyota Tacoma X-Runner Concept is a testament to innovation, combining the heritage of street trucks with modern engineering and design. It beckons enthusiasts to reimagine the possibilities of a high-performance, street-ready Toyota Tacoma Modified for a new era.