When it comes to rugged and reliable pickups, Toyota’s Tacoma has long held a special place in the hearts of truck enthusiasts. Renowned for its off-road prowess, the Tacoma has now taken a thrilling detour with the revival of a classic nameplate – the 2024 Toyota Tacoma X-Runner. Unveiled as a concept at the 2023 SEMA show in Las Vegas, this sport-truck is a departure from the Tacoma’s traditional off-road focus, showcasing a blend of street-oriented style and power.
A Concept with a Twist:
The Tacoma X-Runner concept is a visual and performance feast for those who appreciate the fusion of power and design. Toyota has reimagined the X-Runner name from its archives and breathed new life into it for this exciting concept. So, what makes this truck stand out?
The first thing you’ll notice is the Tacoma X-Runner’s aggressive stance. It sits on a widened track and boasts a lowered suspension, giving it a street-smart appearance that’s hard to ignore. The muscular fenders, deep front grille, and stylish LED headlights all contribute to its captivating presence. This isn’t your typical Tacoma; it’s a bold departure from the off-road norm.
Muscle Under the Hood:
But the real magic happens under the hood. The Tacoma X-Runner concept is equipped with a modified version of the larger Tundra’s twin-turbocharged 3.4-liter V-6 engine. This powerhouse generates an astonishing 421 horsepower and a torque monster with 479 pound-feet of torque. Compare this to the most potent setup in the 2024 Tacoma, a 326-hp four-cylinder hybrid, and you’ll quickly realize that the X-Runner is in a league of its own.
The result? A pickup that can go from 0 to 60 mph in a blink and handle highway passing with ease. It’s not just about looking the part; the Tacoma X-Runner backs up its aggressive styling with raw power.
To deliver all that power to the pavement, Toyota has fitted the Tacoma X-Runner with a solid axle from the Tundra, featuring a 4.30:1 final drive and an electronic locking differential to effectively split torque to the rear wheels. This setup ensures that the rear wheels get all the power they need to launch this street beast forward.
But that’s not all; the exhaust system has been meticulously rerouted to exit just below the rocker panel on the truck’s side, emphasizing its performance credentials and delivering an auditory experience to match its visual impact. The unmistakable growl from this exhaust system is bound to turn heads wherever you go.
Beneath the X-Runner’s amped-up bodywork, you’ll find the air suspension sourced from the Tundra. This innovative suspension system allows the Tacoma to ride at a lower height while retaining the ability to carry a payload, offering the best of both worlds. This means you can enjoy the thrilling ride quality on the road while still being able to haul your gear when needed.
The team behind the truck also customized the length of the control arms to accommodate the lowered stance of the Tacoma. This attention to detail ensures that the X-Runner’s suspension setup is perfectly tuned for a sportier driving experience.
Wider Stance and Stiffer Springs:
Toyota has also made substantial adjustments to the Tacoma’s framework to support the truck’s newfound performance orientation. The track width has been widened by about three inches, providing enhanced stability, especially during high-speed cornering. This wider stance not only improves handling but also gives the X-Runner a more planted and aggressive look.
Stiffer springs and 2.5-inch Bilstein shocks at each corner ensure that the X-Runner handles like a dream, making it a true sports truck that’s equally at home on the track or the street.
Rolling in Style:
To complete the package, the Tacoma X-Runner concept rides on a set of stunning Lacks Enterprises 21-inch carbon-fiber wheels with forged aluminum centers. These wheels are wrapped in Michelin 285/45R21 Sport Tires, delivering a combination of style and grip that’s hard to match. The oversized wheels not only look fantastic but also enhance the X-Runner’s cornering capabilities, ensuring it sticks to the road with authority.
A Nod to Tradition:
The display model at the SEMA show is finished in the same Speedway Blue as the original Tacoma X-Runner that made its debut back in 2004 at the Chicago Auto Show. While this might just be a nostalgic nod, it does raise the tantalizing possibility of a production version with a similar performance package. Toyota has a history of turning its exciting concepts into production reality, and the X-Runner could be the next in line.
The Future of Toyota Trucks?
The 2024 Toyota Tacoma X-Runner is, at this stage, a concept vehicle, and Toyota hasn’t officially confirmed whether it will make its way to production. However, the excitement generated by this street-oriented sport-truck is undeniable. If it were to become a reality, the Tacoma X-Runner would undoubtedly add a new dimension to the Tacoma lineup, catering to a different breed of truck enthusiasts.
So, is this the future of Toyota trucks? While we can’t say for certain, one thing is clear: the Tacoma X-Runner concept is a bold step into uncharted territory, and we can only hope that it paves the way for more thrilling and unexpected developments in the world of pickup trucks.
The 2024 Toyota Tacoma X-Runner is a powerful, stylish, and street-focused concept that proves Toyota’s commitment to pushing the boundaries of what a mid-size truck can be. If you’re a fan of trucks with a side of adrenaline, this concept is undoubtedly something to keep an eye on. Whether it remains a concept or evolves into a production model, the Tacoma X-Runner has already left an indelible mark on the world of pickups. With its blend of power, style, and heritage, the X-Runner may just become the next legend in the Toyota truck lineup.