After back in 2014 Toyota and Tonka teamed up in order to create a unique Tundra, they did it again. The end result this time around is the Toyota Hilux Tonka Concept which has been built in cooperation with Toyota Australia. The truck is based on the Australian SR5 Hilux and features plenty of upgrades over the regular truck. The end result is one of the more impressive off-road trucks out there and certainly one that deserves to enter production. Unfortunately though Tonka already said they have no intention building it. This is because the truck is meant as an advertisement for the company and it is going to tour most off-road oriented shows in the upcoming months.
Being based on the Hilux it means the new Tonka concept is also smaller than its predecessor. However, this doesn’t mean it isn’t just as capable. Toyota together with Tonka replaced the entire running gear and gave the truck a brand new look. The powertrain on the other hand is the same as before which is usually the case with this type of concept. Unfortunately being the only one, a price hasn’t been set and considering Tonka is not considering a production model, it is safe to assume it will never be made.
Toyota Hilux Tonka Concept design
One of the largest changes done to the Toyota Hilux Tonka Concept is the exterior design. It features both TRD parts and specifically made items meant to make it look meaner and better. In the front the concept features a large off-road steel bumper which protects the fenders and gives the truck a better approach angle.
It also sports a hidden winch and new hood with a large scoop and heat extractors on top. On the right side there is a snorkel helping the truck breathe through deep water and on top of the cab a set of high power LED floodlights has been installed. Instead of a large roll-bar in the bed Tonka added a spare wheel, two fuel canisters as well as two lockable luggage boxes on both sides.
The bed also features a small storage area right between the bed and the spare tire. They haven’t mentioned if the interior is the same. However, considering its purpose, it is safe to assume that the cabin of the Tonka concept is mostly identical to the regular SR5 Hilux.
The powertrain and running gear
The Toyota Hilux Tonka Concept sports a 2.8 liter turbocharged inline 4 diesel, the same as in the regular truck. Tonka hasn’t mentioned if the engine still offers the same amount of power but this likely didn’t change. Because of that, we expect it to make 174 horsepower and 310 lb-ft of torque which is still a respectable amount. The gearbox is more than likely the 6 speed manual usually found on the Hilux.
Its running gear on the other hand is rather impressive. It is quite clear that Toyota and Tonka developed quite a few parts for this truck. The shocks and springs seem to be brand new, likely with external reservoirs in order to handle tough off-road conditions. The ground clearance increased by 6 full inches thanks to the new suspension which also allowed them to install 35 inch tires on beadlock light alloy wheels.
The entire underside of the truck has been covered by a 6mm thick plate which should easily handle most debris on an off-road course. The truck is definitely based on the four-wheel drive Hilux which is known to be one of the more capable trucks on the market. With the help of all that extra gear, the Tonka concept should be more than capable of outperforming most other similar trucks around and maybe in the future Toyota could even offer a similar TRD kit for the Hilux’s buyers.