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Toyota turns Hilux into real-life Tonka toy

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Port Melbourne, Australia – Toyota Australia describes its new Hilux Tonka Concept as a “full-size dream toy for adults” and who are we to argue?

And it’s not just for show. Riding a cool 150mm higher than the conventional 2.8 GD-6 flagship double cab that it’s based on, and sporting beefed-up “heavy-duty” suspension, the Hilux Tonka is a very serious off-roader.

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Sadly, and as the ‘Concept’ part of the name implies, this is purely a one-off and at this stage Toyota has no plans to series-produce this inner-child-awakening play-thing. 

It was created by Toyota’s ever-enthusiastic Australian design and engineering division, which also brought us the 86 Shooting Brake Concept a year ago. They built it to celebrate the Hilux becoming Australia’s best selling vehicle for the first time last year, which means that in a fair world, Toyota SA would owe us quite a few of these by now…

Although the Tonka Concept looks like it’s about to dice a Ford Raptor across the desert, Toyota actually decided to concentrate on the off-roading side of things rather than outright performance, meaning the big toy must make do with the stock 2.8-litre turbodiesel, good for 130kW and 450Nm.

It is big on the rock crawling gig though and in addition to the aforementioned raised ride height, the Tonka Concept is equipped with a high-riding axle, 35-inch tyres, rugged bash plate and tubular side rails.

It’s also decked out with a completely new front bumper and grille, widened wheel arches, carbon fibre bonnet and tailgate as well as roof-mounted LED off-road lighting and removable loadbox frame with storage space for jerry cans and recovery gear. Toyota’s Outback conquerors even thought of an axe, shovel and high-lift jack.

Just build more than one next time, please.

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