Toyota Motor North America has revealed a lowered, high-performance concept version of its Tacoma ute at this year’s SEMA show in Las Vegas, which runs from October 31 to November 3.

    The Toyota Tacoma X-Runner concept is a modern-day take on the limited-production ute that was offered in the US from 2005 to 2008.

    Toyota is using this high-performance concept version of the Tacoma as a “customer pulse check” and to also demonstrate the possibilities of the TNGA-F body-on-frame platform that also underpins the LandCruiser 300, next-gen Prado, Tundra, as well as the Lexus GX and LX.

    The Tacoma X-Runner concept is powered by a modified 3.4-litre i-Force twin-turbo V6 petrol engine producing 314kW of power and 649Nm of torque. This is around 25kW more than what the regular engine produces in the larger Tundra.

    This modified powertrain is mated to a 10-speed automatic transmission with a solid rear axle that has a 4.30:1 final drive, and an electronically locking rear differential.

    Toyota notes this modified engine will be available in the Tundra next year as part of a TRD Performance Package upgrade.

    In order to support the extra power, the Tacoma X-Runner concept has a 3-inch wider track width and the ladder-frame chassis has been strengthened.

    The low-riding pickup concept has air suspension sourced from the Tundra that’s claimed to be able to “attain the lowest possible ride height while still carrying a load”.

    The front and rear upper and lower suspension arms have been lengthened in order to match the Tundra’s suspension geometry, while there’s also custom-valved 2.5-inch Bilstein aluminium-bodied shock absorbers with remote reservoirs.

    The Tacoma X-Runner concept has one-off Lacks Enterprises 21-inch carbon-fibre wheels with forged aluminium centres that are wrapped in Michelin 285/45R21 Sport tyres.

    In terms of exterior design, the concept has an aggressive body kit that features custom aero-fairings with functional venting. There’s also a functional bonnet scoop, as well as custom side-exit exhausts.

    At the front there are projector LED headlights with “X-Runner” laser ablation lenses, whereas there are smoked tail lights at the rear.

    The majority of the Tacoma X-Runner concept is finished in Speedway Blue exterior paint with matte black finishes on the bonnet, A-pillars and roof, as well as red accents.

    Inside the Tacoma X-Runner concept has bold red seats, paddle shifters and custom X-Runner accents.

    At this stage it’s unclear if Toyota plans to put the Tacoma X-Runner into production, so for now it’s just a concept.

    While Australians never received the low-slung Tacoma X-Runner, TRD did briefly offer the a high-performance HiLux ute locally from 2008 to 2009 that was powered by a 4.0-litre supercharged V6 petrol engine producing 225kW and 453Nm.

    Toyota Australia recently introduced the HiLux GR Sport, which uses a more powerful 2.8-litre four-cylinder turbo-diesel engine producing 165kW and 550Nm – making it the most powerful diesel HiLux it has ever offered.

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    MORE: 2024 Toyota Tacoma unveiled with Australian engineering

    Jack Quick

    Jack Quick is an automotive journalist based in Melbourne. Jack studied journalism and photography at Deakin University in Burwood, and previously represented the university in dance nationally. In his spare time, he loves to pump Charli XCX and play a bit of Grand Theft Auto. He’s also the proud owner of a blue, manual 2020 Suzuki Jimny.

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