Regulation

Car manufacturer launches concept ?Tonka truck?

{{image2-a:r-w:200}}The HiLux Tonka concept is a rock-crawling truck that embodies the reputed toughness and durability of the Toyota and Tonka brands. It celebrates significant global anniversaries in 2017 for both Toyota (80 years) and Tonka (70 years), and follows the HiLux’s success of becoming Australia’s best selling vehicle in 2016. It is painted in Tonka’s signature yellow and black livery.

The new vehicle was conceived, designed, assembled and tested by designers and engineers from Toyota Australia’s 150-strong product planning and development division.

"We have taken Tonka out of the sand pit and reinvented HiLux from top to bottom and from nose to tail," Toyota Australia’s product design chief Nicolas Hogios said. "Inspired by the Tonka trucks that kids play with in their backyards, the HiLux Tonka concept goes way beyond the already hugely capable abilities of HiLux to traverse rocks and other rugged terrain."

The Tonka HiLux is powered by a 2.8-litre, four-cylinder, turbo-diesel engine and quipped with a high riding axle, heavy-duty suspension and 89cm diameter tyres. It features a new front safety bar, a carbon fibre skin bonnet and a rugged bash plate made from a 6mm thick alloy that is designed to protect the sump and other vital components. The vehicle is also equipped with a carbon fibre tailgate that incorporates an integrated spoiler and two air vents for optimal air flow. A durable, lightweight strap releases the tailgate, rather than a handle.

{{image3-a:r-w:200}}Although the HiLux Tonka concept isn’t destined for dealer showrooms, it will tour four-wheel -drive shows, field days and expos around Australia.

“The HiLux Tonka concept shows that our local team loves to have fun, we’re keen to explore new ideas and we’re always looking to push the boundaries of what’s possible,” Hogios said.

The new HiLux isn’t the first vehicle to be inspired by the Tonka range. In 2015, Ford launched the F-750 Tonka truck in Indianapolis, USA. Although it was also a concept vehicle, it was based on Ford’s F-650 and F-750 commercial trucks.

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