Maybe it's a sign of the times, but Toyota was awfully quiet about the trucks it brought to SEMA this year. So quiet, in fact, that it wasn't until we walked into the Toyota booth that we found out any effort had been made at all. But what an effort it was. There was a sleeper supercharged Tundra TR Concept, a wild Tundra/Ducati Transporter Concept and an '80s retro Tacoma Truck Concept. The most extreme Toyota pickup, though, was a desert racing-inspired TRD Tacoma Off Road Concept, built by Toyota's in-house performance team.
"We built the Tacoma Off Road Concept so that it bore some resemblance to last year's Toyota Tundra TRD Off Road Concept, but with this truck we gave it a more aggressive suspension," said Gary Boler, business operations manager of Toyota Racing Development.
TRD gave the Tacoma Off Road Concept a 7-inch wider track and re-engineered the suspension to soak up the toughest Baja trails.
The independent front suspension received longer, custom steel A-arms and Bilstein coil-over shock absorbers with 13 inches of travel. The rear was radically overhauled. The live axle and leaf springs were replaced with a fabricated independent suspension that included another set of Bilstein coil-over shocks with 14 inches of travel. The front and rear springs surrounding the race-ready dampers were milled from titanium, saving about 7 pounds per corner.
"The idea (in back) was to have little unsprung weight, long wheel travel and to keep the bed level," Boler said.
The 4.0-liter V-6 engine was upgraded with a TRD supercharger and TRD air intake. Both of those accessories are available today through a Toyota dealer. The gold TRD forged-aluminum 16x7.5-inch wheels will be available in January, Boler said.
TRD Tacoma Off Road Truck Specs
· 4.0-liter DOHC EFI V-6 with VVT-i
· TRD supercharger and intercooler package featuring an Eaton Roots-type supercharger with an integral air-to-liquid intercooler
· TRD performance air intake
· Stainless rear-exit dual exhaust chassis
· Revised front suspension with custom long-travel control arms and special Bilstein shock absorbers providing 13 inches of wheel travel
· Track width is increased 7 inches front and rear
· Custom independent rear suspension featuring inboard disc brakes and special Bilstein shock absorbers providing 14 inches of wheel travel
· Titanium springs from Renton Coil Springs are used in the front and rear
· TRD Forged-Aluminum 16x7.5-inch wheels with LT315/75R16 Baja T/A tires
· Revised front grille and bumper with built-in winch
· Integrated wide fenders and bedsides
· Restyled rocker panels with built-in automatic step rails from Amp Research
· Custom mix blue paint by Nippon Paint
· Custom seat fabric and door and center-console trim
· Custom TRD Audio head/navigation unit
· Amp Research
· Nippon Paint
· Renton Titanium Coil Springs
· Solo Motorsports