IF YOU can’t play with the big boys, then get out of the sandpit!
Toyota has jumped mud-tyres-first into the sandpit with its new collaboration with iconic toy manufacturer, Tonka.
It has taken its own iconic toy, the Hilux, and transformed it into a life-sized Tonka Truck using some pretty unique add-ons.
Designed in-house by Toyota’s own team of designers, The Hilux Tonka Concept features bespoke carbon-fibre bodywork, 35-inch tyres on black alloy wheels, LED light bars and, most interestingly, portal axles developed by Marks 4WD. This is the first application of Marks portals for independent front suspension, an indication of possible future product from the innovative engineering company.
Toyota product design chief Nicolas Hogios said the extreme style and capability of the Hilux Tonka Concept would capture the imagination of kids and adults alike.
“We have taken Tonka out of the sandpit 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.”
As well as the Marks 4WD portals, other off-road equipment fitted to the Tonka Hilux includes Toyo Open Country M/T tyres, Method Race Wheels and King Suspension. There’s a 12-volt winch behind the custom-crafted front bar, and the tray houses a custom rack to haul the spare wheel, recovery gear, a couple of jerry cans and storage bins.
“The Hilux Tonka Concept is dramatic evidence that our local team loves to have fun, we’re keen to explore new ideas and we’re always looking to push the boundaries of what’s possible,” Hogios said.
Both Tonka and Toyota are celebrating milestones this year, with 70 and 80 years in business respectively. In its 49 years the Hilux has sold more than 16 million units globally, and in 2016 it was the top-selling vehicle in Australia.
Before you get too excited about getting your own Tonka Hilux, Toyota won’t be offering a version of it for sale to the public, but there is the new TRD Hilux for those wanting something more than just an SR5. We only hope Tonka produces a version we can all afford to play with.