You’re never too old to play with toys, we say – and Toyota has given us all a nice reminder with the release of the full-size HiLux Tonka concept.
Billed as the “dream toy for adults”, this collaborative ‘Toyonka’ (Tonkota?) made its global debut in Sydney recently. As hoped, it oozes the same childish charm as the bright yellow, indestructible, miniature dump truck that most of us still harbour fond childhood memories of.
The black and yellow beast was unveiled in the exhibition hall at Australian Technology Park alongside the new HiLux TRD (Toyota Racing Development) edition. Both are based on the top-spec HiLux 4×4 double-cab SR5.
For the concept’s debut, a special indoor off-road track had been set up for the HiLux Tonka concept with dirt, giant building blocks, ascent, descent and articulation exercises, all cleverly designed to show off its hard-core modifications.
It looks like a tough piece of equipment. There haven’t been any changes under the bonnet. but, as you can see, the exterior alterations have been extensive. How about that custom ‘Sun Fusion’ yellow paint?
The upgrades include a high-riding axle that has increased the ride height by 150mm, 17-inch alloy wheels with bulbous 35-inch tyres, a new front bumper, carbon fibre bonnet skin with a power bulge, LED lighting to help see where you’re going in the dark or in the thick of the bush, and thick alloy bash plates.
The frame in the tub keeps all the gear securely stowed during extreme off-road driving endeavours, with space for diesel fuel cans, storage boxes with recovery gear, fire extinguisher and tools including an axe, shovel and high-lift jack.
Unfortunately, as it is a one-off, there are only a couple of people insured to drive it, so it’s the passenger seat for me. It sits incredibly high; it glides over rougher parts of the course and easily handles everything thrown at it in this controlled environment.
*Off-road track and HiLux Tonka concept each sold separately. Batteries not included!