Toyota Revives The Street Truck With The Tacoma X-Runner Concept

Younger readers might not remember the popularity of street trucks in the 1990s and early 2000s. These modified pickups generally had a ground-scraping suspension, big wheels, and eye-catching custom paint schemes. Toyota is reviving this idea with the 2024 Tacoma X-Runner Concept for the 2023 SEMA Show.

Toyota already offers rugged versions of the 2024 Tacoma, like the Trailhunter and TRD Pro trims, so the R&D and design teams went the opposite direction for this year’s SEMA build. Plus, it lets the company see if there’s any consumer interest in reviving a sporty pickup.

Gallery: Toyota Tacoma X-Runner Concept

“There were lots of street trucks in the early 2000s and they all faded, so on the one hand, this was a curiosity check to see if there is any market for street trucks at all, or if the market has entirely shifted to what we see todayโ€”tough, rugged, lifted vehicles,” Adam Rabinowitz, chief designer at Toyotaโ€™s Calty Design Research, said in the X-Runner Concept’s announcement.

Toyota gave the X-Runner Concept a suitably aggressive stance by widening the track by 3.0 inches. The team adapted the air suspension system from a Tundra to let this truck hunker down over the 21-inch carbon-fiber wheels. There’s also a set of 2.5-inch Bilstein shocks with remote reservoirs.

The X-Runner Concept receives a significant power upgrade over the stock truck by getting a twin-turbo 3.4-liter V6 making 421 horsepower and 479 lb-ft of torque. For comparison, the most powerful engine available from the Tacoma in showrooms is the hybrid-assisted turbocharged 2.4-liter four-cylinder that produces 326 hp and 465 lb-ft. To handle the extra muscle, Toyota fitted the rear axle from a Tundra, including an electronic-locking differential.

Most of the truck’s body is Speedway Blue. The concept features a trapezoidal front fascia with large openings and a light bar in the center. The satin black hood has a functional scoop with red accents. A rectangular side-exit exhaust comes out of the bodywork ahead of the driver’s side rear wheel. A hard tonneau cover conceals the bed. The tail gets smoked taillight lenses and a bumper with a simulated diffuser at the bottom.

The cabin receives a pair of vibrant red seats with the X-Runner emblem on the headrests. Paddle shifters are behind the steering wheel.

The original Tacoma X-Runner was available from 2005 to 2014 and offered buyers a street truck straight from the factory. It featured a lowered suspension, sporty body kit, and a hood scoop. The 4.0-liter V6 made 236 hp and hooked up to a six-speed manual driving the rear wheels, with a standard limited-slip differential. TRD even offered a supercharger available as a dealer add-on for buyers wanting to boost the engine output to 300 hp.

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