First Look: Toyota Tacoma X-Runner RTR (Ready to Race)

First Look: Toyota Tacoma X-Runner RTR (Ready to Race)

Toyota revealed the Tacoma X-Runner "Ready to Race" high-performance SEMA project truck Tuesday at Pomona Raceway in Southern California, with a few welcome changes from what we first reported over the weekend.

Aimed at conquering the drag strip, the RTR melds the street performance X-Runner version of Toyota's midsize Tacoma pickup with the full-size Tundra's mighty 5.7-liter V-8. Then it ups the ante by bolting on Toyota Racing Development hardware, including a supercharger and intake kit. The end result is a 504-horsepower, 550 pounds-feet of torque hero truck that's expected to be piloted to quarter-mile times in the 11-second range.

The RTR doesn't just combine powerful hardware. It's also a combination of Toyota’s strong motorsports heritage and a passionate development team, said David Williams, Toyota Tacoma and Tundra marketing manager.


The best part? The RTR could almost be considered a parts-bin truck that a strong-willed enthusiast might be able to build in their garage.

The 5.7-liter V-8 and six-speed automatic transmission have been installed in the Tacoma without a single calibration change, Williams said. The engine still thinks it's working in a full-size pickup, not a 3,920-pound dragster. The X-Runner RTR weighs only about 150 pounds more than a stock X-Runner.

The RTR project team also borrowed the rear axle from a Tundra with a 4.30 ratio and 10.5-inch ring gear, though the team narrowed its wide track by 5.7 inches to match the Tacoma's natural stance. Inside, the Tacoma's gauge cluster has been replaced by the Tundra's.

One of the most difficult feats of the project was combining the wiring harnesses of both the Tundra and Tacoma so the RTR's electrical system would behave correctly, Williams said.


The X-Runner keeps its stock rear brakes, and the 15-inch steel wheels are the same that come with the base Tacoma, though they've been narrowed to 4.5 inches wide in front and widened to 10 inches in the rear to accommodate the massive Goodyear Eagle Dragway slicks needed for maximum traction at launch.

Other unique changes include a fabricated steel driveshaft, because the Tundra's stock driveshaft was too long, and fabricated torsion bars. TRD drafted Eaton's help to create a prototype mechanical limited slip rear diff. The only body modification was relocating the exhaust from behind the passenger-side rear wheel to under the cab, which helps maximize rear-suspension squat for optimal takeoffs. The RTR's ride height was reduced 4.5 inches from its already-low stock level.

Inspiration for the RTR’s livery comes from the limited-edition 1968 Dan Gurnery Mercury Cougar XR7-G pony car. The XR7-G was Mercury's equivalent of a Shelby Mustang and Gurney was a famous race car driver who signed on with Lincoln-Mercury in the late 1960s to manage their auto racing efforts. He later lent his name to the upfitted Cougar.

The number "95" on the RTR's doors refers to the Tacoma’s first model year. Other exterior details include painted front fender badging that resembles the Tundra's similarly positioned 5.7-liter i-Force V-8 emblems and a tornado logo next to the words "TRD supercharged" in front of the hood's air inlet.


What’s the end result like? In the hands of Top Fuel professional dragster Antron Brown, on his first day behind the wheel, Brown got the X-Runner RTR down to 12.01 seconds at 116.57 mph in uncooperative weather at Pomona Speedway. That’s remarkable for what Toyota says is an uncalibrated drag truck.

We’ll have VBOX performance data collected during Antron’s runs to share with you later this week.

From what we saw today, the Tundra and Tacoma fused X-Runner RTR hero truck is one Toyota hybrid we can definitely get behind.



What about the 0 to 60 mph?? I'll be really interested to know lol. Otherwise this combination is unbelievable

@bry: I'm going to pull the zero to 60 mph data from the VBOX tonight. Story later this week.

What will this thing be able to haul.....besides ass?

That is just awesome. In the other post about this I commented about imagining something like this. The next day it happens lol. Thanks Mike this is good stuff.

0to60 in 4.4 yawns .

Ford needs to resurrect the Ranger Lightning Bolt and actually get serious with it.

What is the rear end? a Stock Tundra has an Open diff. And that looks like a Posi burnout. Where can I find a TRUE LSD diff? or a Locker?

@Tom: Custom Eaton mechanical LSD in back. Thanks for reminding me that I need to add that to the story.

Doesn't the stock X-Runner have drum rear brakes? Why would they consider that satisfactory for a car that can run a 12 second quarter mile?

All Ford needs to do is "hot rod" one of their ecoboosts a little more and leave that Toyota in the dust.

Thank you, is there a website that I can look at, I want to buy one. The stock rear ends suck.

Hate to say it but everyday Toyota wins me over a little more, building most the Tundras in America breaking into and giving real attention to NASCAR building a real muscle truck

I still don't understand why Toyota doesn't update the 4.0l v6 Tacoma version to 270hp version found in the new Tundra?

I also don't get why they don't include a 4.6l V8 version a la Dakota style. I mean in the Tundra Double Car 4x2, comparing the 4.0lV6 with the 4.6lV8, the difference in MPG goes from 16/20 to 15/20.

So assuming such, a current Tacoma Double Car 4x2 Long Bed 4.0lV6 is at 17/21, worst case it drops to 16/20 with the 4.6l V8 and gains enough grunt without considering premium fuel and a TRD supercharger.

Seems logical, but who am I to judge. Until then, keep making one offs like this to just make everyone wonder why not...

Will it stop when you hit the brakes?

I guess unintended acceleration would be welcome in this rig. At least for 12 seconds anyway. I don't see why making a wire harness work would be that hard. AEV makes a Hemi conversion for the Jeep Wrangler. We have installed 2 of these kits at the dealership I work at. They take a Hemi Jeep Grand Cherokee wire harness and the factory harness, blend it to meet the new needs of the vehicle. Not that hard.


How old are you?

@Jordon L

I guess you were not paying attention when the NHTSA mentioned DRIVER ERROR as the main culprit, then again you only believe what you want too...

No mention of the rear suspension? Is it 4-link or leaf sprung?

I ran factory leafs on my X-Runner and used Calvert traction bars, prototype Watts Link and a larger rear sway bar.

She hooked up well with BFG R1's on 18x9.5 ASA wheels.

I also had a bed cover roll-back type and not that flimsy fabric types and a custom rear wing mounted into the tailgate for rear downforce above 100.

Here is a pic of my bed cover and rear wing:

Parking lot auto-x pic:

The Watts Link on the rear:

@oxi: It still has leaf springs.

Now, lets have some competition; Mopar should swap a supercharged 392 Hemi in the Dakota, Chevy should put the
6.2 supercharged from the ZR1 in their Colorado, and Ford...
after some major rework to the chasis... a supercharged Boss 6.2 from the Raptor - I would pay to see the outcome!

and Ford...
after some major rework to the chasis... a supercharged Boss 6.2 from the Raptor - to the Ranger of course!

I see Dakota's running 10's and 11's with stock 4.7 & 5.9 engines and a supercharger at my local track...

NHTSA also said it could not and wont deny random excelleration in Toyota products,their final theory was unclear. They said in some cases they have the major issue with random excelleration.I work with electronics and its tough to find out a problem with electronics,when it works right it doesnt register any errors,until when the mishap happens,then it works fine again,then you check it it shows no errors.Tough to test it when it actually happens,because they dont do it all the time and not every car does it.The ones they tested were fixed units.Even Toyota said its black boxes are inacurate in its vehicles.
I have a Lexus so I am not biased,just a realist.I know it is not the best car I have owned,I too have had the car surge on me and the shop couldnt find anything wrong with it.Now drive a new American truck,and my 06 Lexus is gathering dust..with the battery unplugged ! Just waiting for new 2011's to hit the showroom to trade her in (no imports anymore)
(Dip. Electronics / ITI Electronics ,Auto Ancillary, 5S )


Did you install the rear discs on your truck? I wish the X-Runners (heck all Tacomas) came with stock discs brakes on all fours (like the Nissan Frontier).

Also, a turbocharged V6 (like the EcoBoost F-150 or the Subaru WRX H-4 engine), uprated brakes, and other mods would blow away the competiton fiercely. Just a thought. Then again, the automakers get engineer/designer block when it comes to trucks LOL!

Anyhoo, the RTR is badass!


Yes I installed a rear-disc conversion as well as the massive and awesome TRD front BBK.

I would not even set foot on a road course without those brake upgrades, in fact they were my first mods onto the X-Runner and then I ran DOT 5 brake fluid even for the street!

Here is a pic with my Calverts after coming off a 15 minute session on Road America:


Then that fact of some RANDOM acceleration would also include ALL makes out there and since Toyota is being unfairly singled out (world's largest auto company, won the cash for clunkers race and they shut down their only union plant) is why they are getting picked on.

If you are going to accuse one, you better accuse them all!

It looks like I need to repost this:

NHSTA data is flawed. You can file a complaint without having to verify who you are.
This link has a table showing alleged unintended accelleration complaints from the other manufacturers. (second link in my previous post)
The incidence of alleged unintended accelleration in Toyota vehicles is comparable to Volvo at approximately 12 per 100,000.
This phenomenon occurs in the domestics at a rate of 2 - 6 incidences per 100,000.
The automotive industry average is around 6 per 100,000.
These are just complaints, not actual proven incidences of unintended accelleration.

You guys may make fun of Oxi's paranoia but why would Toyota be singled out when it is obviously an industry wide phenomenon!

I think that crappy drivers are blaming the vehicles for their own stupidity.

As the saying goes - a poor craftsman blames his tools.

Statistics show driving skills:
3 - 5 % good to excellent
63 % average
33% fair to poor

The ones in the 3-5% range are usually professional drivers or drivers who have received advanced driver training.

33% should not have a drivers licence.

Back on topic - this is one cool truck. Ditch the red paint and stickers and it would be one bad assed sleeper.
Pink slips anyone? LOL.

This thing is about as useful boobs on a barrel. Put a damn diesel in a Tacoma and you'd have a real winner.

barrels have boobs???
That, in itself makes a barrel much more interesting.
We are guys after all :)

I work next to the pomona raceway(i could throw a rock onto the track.... and i didnt hear this thing....

toyota actually canned their tundra diesel due to people complaining about sticking gas pedals.... people need to learn to drive.

Dodge actually has the most American content in its trucks(they did a blog about that already)...
This truck is not on sale for the public..Dodge was the first to have Muscle trucks...65 css,70's lil red,90's R/t Dakota,SST and 00's SRT-10 Ram's,and the 13.70 second 1/4 mile new Ram R/T Hemi.....I believe in nascar Toyota uses a Chevy block and in NHRA Toyota as well as GM/Ford use a Chrysler Hemi....Remember Dodge has the new Challenger drag pak running 10's and the public can actually buy one...

And this truck probably has a bad camshaft now,blown driveshaft,engine sludge and no steering on the highway,random excelleration,cracking side glass,self destructing engine as per many recalls of new toyota/Lexus products !!!

@ Dodge - why don't you list all the Dodge/Ram/chrysler/Jeep problems.
I bet it's a longer list than the one you stated for Toyota.

We already danced around the whole Hemi drag racing thing before.
The rules state that a hemi or hemi like engine is all you can use.
That rule is as stupid as it gets.
Great for Dodge but not so great for any competition.

NASCAR has rules limiting the engine to a pushrod carbureted V8.
Not to many manufacturers making those in the real world.

This is what Toyota said about it when they first entered NASCAR quote"Now we are designing a 5.6-liter, 360 cubic-inch carburetor engine. Some call it "reverse engineering" or using state-of-the-art technology to build a better dinosaur-one that uses pushrods instead of overhead camshafts, no less."
Toyota made their own engine but the rules state they have to follow a common architecture. Probably something similar to a small block Chevy.
You slag Toyota but statistically the Tundra is still a way more reliable truck than the Ram.
Satistically Toyota's whole product line has a much higher quality and reliability rating than Chrysler.
Look at sales statistics for 2009 - Toyota Tacoma and Tundra(combined) outsold Ram 1500, HD, and Dakota(combined).
Must be hard for a fanboi like you knowing that a substandard (your opinion) line of trucks
outsold Dodge Ram.

but yet you still don't have time to fix our POS trannys! Thanks Toyota!

@ oxi Easy guy. It was a joke. Driver error may be the main culprit but it is not the only culprit. I've seen news stories with video showing the engine at redline with nobody in the car. Toyota has had recalls for brake related issues as well. Not to mention all of their vehilces are getting a throttle over ride program so when you hit the brakes the throttle will close. Obviously they have problems. I wouldn't be afraid to own or drive a Toyota but thier vehicles do not appeal to me so that won't happen anytime soon. Don't take everything so personal.

@ Lou Toyota realy said that? Geez, nothing like giving racing fans a big middle finger. Makes you wonder why they would stoop so low as to build a carburated engine. Last time I checked the 5.7 Hemi and the 6.2 from GM are quite competitve with Toyotas 5.7 even though they are "dinosaurs".


They fixed mine under warrenty! I did not have to pay a dime on the $3,500 bill...

@ Jordon L - it does seem that Toyota brings on some of their own grief, oxi included.

As a current X-Runner owner, I would have been much momre impressed if TRD had built a truck to compete in road race/time attack/drift, etc events. The whole point of the X was to have a sporty truck to drive in the twisties. Geez, 12's? My buddy with a S-Runner is running 11.7's on a stock 5vz with the trd blower and a nitrous shot. Way to waste some R&D money TRD. Instead you could have given the consumer a stronger six-speed and a motor that can handle some serious boost. I think it is crap that I have to buy a $250 steel sleeve to go on my transmission to get rid of the squeal coming out of my transmission where the throw out bearing is mounted. Toyota used to be nothing but quality. My next vehicle will be a Ford.

@ Lou I agree. Seems to me that a company that pushes so hard to be "green" would be above such things as racing in NASCAR and the truck series as well. Obviously they think that it will help sales or they wouldn't bother. So I guess the real message is "its okay to go against what you stand for if you can make some money". Have you seen the Lexus LFA? Hard to believe a company that builds hybrids of everything, not to mention quite serene riding luxo cars, would care to build something like that. They don't seem to know what kind of car company they want to be. Maybe thats the reason for their current situation.

Oxi: I have seen stock R/T Dakotas w/ 5.9 mod. w/ vortec supercharger, run 11-12's, no prob. and drive home after, pulling there V-Rod Distroyer in an inclosed trailer hundreds of miles, while getting 15mpg! w/3spd chrysler trans, not sure of the rea-end #'s but def. posi. also with drag sliks on, then in the trailer, and all R/T's have 4wheel disks, and all 2nd gen. after 02, and all 4X4 after 2000.

i am so glad this internet thing works and your article really helped me.

i am so glad this internet thing works and your article really helped me.

How hard was the wiring I have a xrunner with no motor or Trans I wanna do the the I force 5.7 for daily driver

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