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Toyota Australia builds Tonka toy-based Hilux concept

By David Bonnici, 10 Feb 2017 Car News

Because who didn’t play with a Tonka truck and wished it was real?

Toyota Australia builds Tonka

Toyota’s FJ Cruiser always had a Tonka truck feel about it and now the Toyota Hilux is about to get the same treatment with an audacious drivable concept model based on the popular toy trucks.

The brainchild of Toyota Australia's in-house designers, the Tonka-inspired Toyota HiLux monster truck will sit on all-new raised underpinnings including custom suspension and massive wheels and tyres to help turn the off-roader into a prodigious rock climber.

Produced to celebrate 80 years since the foundation of Toyota Motor Corporation and the 70th anniversary of Tonka, the concept is built around the Toyota HiLux SR5 4x4 double cab and will be powered by the top-spec 2.8-litre turbo-diesel engine – though that’s where the similarities will end.

Exterior modifications will include aggressive new bumpers, grille, tailgate, wheel-arches and door mouldings in bold black-and-yellow Tonka livery.

Toyota Australia's product design chief Nicolas Hogios said the HiLux and Tonka brands were a natural fit.

"We expect the extreme style and capability of our re-imagined HiLux will capture the imagination of kids and adults alike," Hogios said.

"HiLux is such a great canvas, and we really pushed the envelope by marrying our number-one seller with the Tonka brand.

"The end result is so exciting because the HiLux Tonka really delivers the dream of every Australian kid who ever wanted such a truck."

Toyota expects to reveal the concept within months.

Toyota Australia's designers are part of a product planning and development division that is responsible vehicles suitable for Australian conditions and will remain after local production ends.