Toyota is rekindling childhood memories with the recent unveiling their collaboration with iconic toy manufacturer Tonka. A full-size dream toy for adults, the HiLux Tonka Concept is an aggressive high-riding off-roader built on the HiLux platform, which was Australia’s best-selling vehicle last year. The Toyota HiLux Tonka Concept was conceived, designed, assembled and tested by designers and engineers from Toyota Australia’s 150-strong product planning and development division.
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 sand pit and reinvented HiLux from top to bottom and from nose to tail,” Mr Hogios said.
Underneath the dramatic black-and-yellow livery of the HiLux Tonka Concept is the top-of-the-range production HiLux – the SR5 double cab with a powerful 2.8-litre four-cylinder turbo-diesel engine.
The HiLux Tonka Concept starts with increasing the ride height significantly, by 150mm. Combined with a high-riding axle, heavy-duty suspension and 35-inch diameter tyres, the HiLux Tonka Concept is equipped to power over rugged terrain that would be off-limits to other off-roaders.
A new front bar is compatible with the vehicle’s safety systems while the bonnet has a carbon-fibre skin and features an aggressive “power bulge” and air scoops. High-performance off-road LED lighting in the bar and roof pod combine to provide excellent night vision for off-road trails. A rugged bash plate made from 6mm-thick alloy is designed to protect the sump and other vital components. Tubular side rails protect the body and chassis.
Behind the cabin, almost everything has been changed. The transformation includes a new tailgate, also wrapped in carbon fibre, that incorporates an integrated spoiler and two air vents for optimal airflow. A durable, lightweight strap rather than a handle releases the tailgate.
Inside the tub, a removeable tubular frame keeps all the gear in place, including diesel fuel cans, while storage boxes house the recovery gear needed for extreme off-road driving. A fire extinguisher, axe, shovel and high-lift jack are also fitted.
Unfortunately, the HiLux Tonka Concept is not destined for dealer showrooms, however will be touring the country at 4WD shows and expos for the foreseeable future. Let’s hope Toyota bring something like it to life for the market!