The Toyota Tacoma X-Runner Makes A Return At SEMA

The Toyota Tacoma X-Runner Makes A Return At SEMA

Photo: Lawrence Hodge/Jalopnik

Where have all the performance pickups gone? I’m not talking about off-road desert runners like the Ram TRX and Ford Raptor. I’m talking about on road performance, something that could give a Ford Mustang Ecoboost or a Honda Civic Type R a run for its money in a stoplight race. Here at SEMA, Toyota has shown that someone on its team is dreaming that same dream: the Japanese automaker has revived its mid-2000s performance pickup, the Tacoma X-Runner, as a concept vehicle we can’t stop thinking about.

Two Cars Is Always Better Than One | What Car Should You Buy?

First offered in 2005, the X-Runner could haul ass and haul things. With a starting price just a hair under $24,000, you got a six-speed manual, a lowered and stiffened double wishbone suspension, x-bracing, Bilstein shocks and a 4.0-liter 245 horsepower V6. It was pulled from the lineup in 2013.

Image for article titled The Toyota Tacoma X-Runner Makes A Return At SEMA

Photo: Lawrence Hodge/Jalopnik

For this new concept, Toyota has brought the X-Runner into the modern era by throwing together an unexpected — but impressive — mix of features from both the upcoming Tacoma and the current Tundra. Engineers started with the suspension, custom matching the arms to those lifted from the Tundra’s suspension geometry. The Tundra’s air suspension was added as well as custom valved Bilstein 2.5-inch aluminum dampers with stiffer springs and remote reservoirs.

More goodies were taken from the Tundra are fitted to the new Tacoma, like the Tundra’s big 13.9-inch brakes with four piston calipers up front and 13.6 -inch rotors with two piston calipers in the rear, but the Tundra’s biggest share is the engine dropped into the X-Runner. Engineers fit the Tundra’s 3.4-liter i-FORCE twin-turbo V6 under the hood. In the X-Runner, the engine makes 421 horsepower and 479 lb-ft of torque, which is paired tp a 10-speed automatic with paddle shifters. Completing the look are 21-inch wheels wrapped in Michelin 285/45R21 tires.

See also  2024 Mercedes-AMG GLE53 Tested: More Beef with Little Trade-off

Image for article titled The Toyota Tacoma X-Runner Makes A Return At SEMA

Photo: Lawrence Hodge/Jalopnik

Outside, the look is all aggressive performance, and much more in your face than the original. Toyota’s Calty design studio whipped up custom components for the front fascia. There are unique and functional aero bits like the rocker panels, brake ducts and hood scoop. There’s even slick looking dual side exiting exhaust and a fantastic paint color called Speedway Blue.

Is there any plan for this to see the light of day? It’s all up in the air right now, according to the Toyota engineer I spoke to; they noted that SEMA is a way to show off what kind of skunkworks projects the engineers have been cooking up. While there’s currently no production plans for the X-Runner, don’t put it past Toyota to make this thing. With the popularity that off-road and overlanding has had the last few years, it’s cool to see that the dream of a performance pickup is still alive in some engineers’ heads.