The Toyota Tacoma X-Runner concept is our kind of street truck

The Toyota Tacoma X-Runner concept is our kind of street truck

The sport truck scene has long been outgrown and overshadowed by the off-road squad. While no automaker currently offers a street-oriented performance model, Toyota on Tuesday revived a piece of sport truck history with the new Tacoma X-Runner concept.

Street truck fans are sure to be familiar with the original Tacoma Combined with some nice body modifications, the X-Runner was an attractive alternative to the larger, more powerful sport trucks of the era. This new X-Runner concept enters a completely different truck segment than its predecessor, but manages to bring a little more hot-rod driving style.

The design is based on a modified version of the Tacoma’s TGNA-F platform, with three inches of additional track width and additional bracing for more strength. This extra stiffness will be welcome, as this Tacoma is much stronger than any current model. This is due to the fact that the concept uses a 3.4-litre twin-turbocharged i-FORCE V6 engine, which it borrows from its siblings that use the shared platform.

Of course, this is a SEMA build, so the V-6 is equipped with the Tundra’s RD Performance Package, which customers will be able to purchase next year. The CD-ROM pushes output numbers to 421 horsepower and 479 pound-feet of torque, which are fed to a solid rear axle borrowed from the Tundra. An electronic limited-slip differential and the Tundra’s air suspension setup are also included. In order to help the truck perform, Toyota got stiffer springs, which work in conjunction with 2.5-inch Bilstein reservoir shocks.

No X-Runner would be complete without some sporty styling upgrades, and this particular one doesn’t disappoint. The bodywork features a set of custom aerodynamic fascias, as well as revised front and rear fascias. There are also a number of functional dimes and scoops everywhere, including 13.9-inch Tundra-sourced brakes. The side-exit exhaust system has a bit of an SRT-10 vibe, which isn’t a bad thing in the world of sport trucks. The Speedway Blue color is a nice nod to the original X-Runner from the 2004 Chicago Auto Show.

While Toyota currently has no plans to sell the performance-oriented Tacoma on the streets, it notes that this design is a measure of customer interest. While the production version of the truck will likely be stuck with the Tacoma’s 2.4-liter i-Force Max hybrid engine, there’s still plenty of potential for fun. You can check out this special concept at the SEMA Show in Las Vegas through November 3. Just be sure to tell Toyota employees that you want to see successful dealer showrooms.

Born and raised in metro Detroit, Associate Editor Lucas Bell has spent his entire life surrounded by the automotive industry. He may drive an old Mustang every day, but a Porsche 944 and an NB Miata take up most of his free time.

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