Toyota is out to prove that we don’t grow up, it’s just the size of the toys that change with the release of a full-size Tonka toy Hilux concept car to celebrate 80 years of the car brand and the toy brand’s 70th anniversary.
The high-riding Hilux was the brain child of Toyota Australia’s 150-strong product planning and development division, led by product design chief Nicola Hogios.
“We have taken Tonka out of the sand pit and reinvented HiLux from top to bottom and from nose to tail,” Hogios 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.
“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.”
The black and yellow Hilux is based on the top of the range SR5 dual cab with a 2.8L turbo diesel, with a six inch lift, heavy duty suspension and 35 inch tyres.
A new front bar is compatible with the vehicle’s safety systems while the bonnet has a carbon-fibre skin and features an aggressive bulge and air scoops.
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 removable 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.
While the Hilux Tonka Concept is not destined for dealer showrooms, adults and kids alike will have the opportunity to share the dream as it tours 4WD shows, field days and expos around the country.