Don’t expect the Toyota Hilux Tonka concept to appear in New Zealand showrooms anytime soon, so we won’t dwell on it other than to run plenty of pictures on this page.
Briefly, Toyota Australia built the one-off concept to honour the ute’s sales success across the Tasman last year. That and to celebrate a couple of birthdays – Toyota’s 80th and US toymaker Tonka’s 70th.
The Hilux Tonka is based on the SR5 double-cab variant and has been given off-road upgrades and an eye-catching livery to look like it could tackle any terrain.
Toyota will tour Australia with Hilux Tonka, taking it to off-road shows and field days. Company design chief Nicolas Hogios said the concept would capture the imagination of kids and adults alike.
“We have taken Tonka out of the sand pit and reinvented HiLux from top to bottom and from nose to tail,” he said.
“Inspired by the Tonka trucks that kids play with in their backyards, the HiLux Tonka Concept goes way beyond the already hugely capable abilities of HiLux to traverse rocks and other rugged terrain.”
The concept rides 150mm higher than the standard Hilux SR5, uses heavy-duty suspension and runs 17-inch wheels wrapped in 35-inch tyres. Tubular side rails help to guard the body and chassis.
Up front, there’s a new bumper, a 6mm-thick bash plate to protect underbody components, a carbon-fibre bonnet skin, and off-road lighting on the bumper and roof. The tailgate also has a carbon-fibre skin, with spoiler and air vents.
The rear tray features a removable tubular frame to help secure diesel fuel cans, storage boxes, fire extinguisher, axe, shovel, high-lift jack and a spare wheel.
Under the bonnet is the same 2.8-litre four-cylinder turbo-diesel engine from the HiLux SR5, which develops 130kW of power and 450Nm of torque.