Batteries Not Included: Playtime In The Toyota HiLux Tonka Concept 

The Tonka HiLux concept is the new toy from Toyota unveiled at the Australian Technology Park
Tegan Lawson

Tegan Lawson

Apr 22, 2017

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 Toyota Tonka was unveiled in the exhibition hall at Australian Technology Park
The Toyota Tonka was unveiled in the exhibition hall at Australian Technology Park

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!

Read more about the Toyota Tonka on CarAdvice and discover more motoring stories.


By Tegan Lawson

Tegan Lawson

Tegan Lawson is the Lifestyle writer and Motoring Expert for The Carousel. Tegan produces in-depth interviews and reviews and helps readers make the best choice for their next car purchase. Tegan got her first taste of motorsports journalism working for a regional newspaper. She was still a student at the University of Southern Queensland but was moonlighting patrolling the pits at the Leyburn sprints and heading to the drags, as well as working trackside at the Queensland Raceway V8 supercar rounds in the early 2000s. With petrol firmly in her blood, these early days spawned her love of all things automotive. Her driving career as a 17 year-old began with the unique experience of a Suzuki Carry Van that was quickly upgraded to a more image-appropriate Holden Barina.


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