Toyota has thrown its hat into the ring of automotive creativity with the unveiling of two unique Tacoma versions at the 2023 SEMA event. While one Tacoma gears up for a superhero voyage, the other revisits a sport truck favorite from the past.
The X-Runner Concept brings back the thrill that enthralled pickup enthusiasts in the 2000s and early 2010s. Could this be a herald of the new X-Runner's arrival? Only time will tell.
This concept is a modern-day ode to the beloved sport truck, embodying a sleek yet athletic persona distinct from other SEMA off-road showcases. The X-Runner opts for a ground-hugging stance over raised clearances, emphasizing performance, handling finesse, and sheer power.
At the heart of this concept lies a modified twin-turbo i-FORCE 3.4-liter V6 engine, pumping out a robust 421 HP and 479 lb-ft of torque. Its mechanical prowess extends to a solid axle (sourced from Tundra) with a 4.30:1 final drive and an electronic locking differential, channeling torque to the rear wheels.
This engine package, as Toyota revealed, will debut in the 2024 TRD Performance trim, albeit exclusive to Tundra models.
The X-Runner isn't just about engine upgrades; it's a comprehensive reimagining. The track width extends by three inches to harness the added horsepower, while a switch to a Tundra air suspension system lends a sportier stance. Custom 2.5-inch Bilstein aluminum-bodied shocks with remote reservoirs and carbon fiber 21-inch wheels wrapped in Michelin Sport tires round off the performance enhancements.
The aesthetic brilliance of the X-Runner is undeniable, with a rugged front end housing LED projector lights, unique "X-Runner" lenses, and a functional hood scoop. The rear end sports an integrated spoiler, sportier bumpers, and smoked taillights, all drenched in a Speedway Blue paint as a homage to the original X-Runner sport truck. The contrasting black finish on the hood, roof, and A-pillars adds a touch of modernity to this nostalgic narrative.
Shifting gears to the superhero saga, Toyota collaborates with the creative minds behind the upcoming Blue Beetle movie to craft a one-of-a-kind Tacoma. The design is a vivid tapestry of dark blue, pink, and magenta elements mirroring the aesthetic of Blue Beetle's costume and the movie's ambiance. This isn't merely a vehicle; it's a cinematic companion to a groundbreaking superhero narrative celebrating Latino heritage.
The Blue Beetle movie, marked as a milestone with its primary Latino cast, finds a vehicular counterpart in this specially wrapped Tacoma, embodying the authentic Latin-American/Mexican-American ambiance that pervades the film.
As highlighted by Kathleen McCarthy, Toyota’s Social Media Analyst, the Tacoma morphs into a hero vehicle within this cinematic venture, illustrating the intertwining of automotive innovation and storytelling.
Together, these Tacoma concepts underscore Toyota's knack for blending performance, design, and cultural narratives, beckoning automotive and superhero enthusiasts alike into a world where vehicles tell stories beyond the tarmac.