What is SEMA? Well, it’s the annual SEMA (Specialty Equipment Marketing Association) Show is seen as the world’s premier automotive and aftermarket industry trade show, the trade-only event allows automotive speciality equipment manufacturers to display their new wares alongside new model and concept car debuts from automotive manufacturers. In many cases, the cars on display are collaborations between manufacturers and aftermarket component manufacturers, but the cars that attract the real attention are those from performance component manufacturers who create special one-off builds to help highlight their products as well as their car-building skills. It’s also where you’ll find the completed projects from some of the world’s biggest and most popular automotive YouTube stars, and that’s the kind of thing that SXdrv loves. The 2023 instalment of the show takes place over four days, the 31st of October to the 3rd of November, and it pulls in over 160,000 attendees, over 70,000 buyer companies, over 3,300 media reps from around the world and features 2,400 exhibitors that represent over 140 countries. The show is set over 1.2 million net square feet of exhibit space and has an additional 1 million square feet of features and attractions scattered throughout the expansive Las Vegas Convention Center. If there’s ever a show to add to your automotive bucket list, it’s SEMA.
There are a few Toyota concept builds that were revealed at SEMA 2k23, and this one here indicates that Toyota thinks the Sport Truck category may be gaining some traction in the market. To be fair, if all manufacturers created something like this and added it to their product lineup, more people would be interested in owning one. Sure, there are performance-orientated versions of these things, but they don’t tick all the same boxes that a performance car offers up. A colab between the Toyota Engineering teams at Toyota R&D and Calty Design Studio resulted in what you see here, a 2024 Toyota Tacoma that’s been tailored for street instead of off-road, and the results is this one-off concept called the X-Runner Concept. As you can see, changes are plentiful. Power comes from a modified twin-turbcocharged 3.4-litre i-FORCE V6 producing 310 kW and 650 Nm of torque. There’s a Tundra with an electronic locking differential. The track width was increased by 8cm and the frame was strengthened. Tundra air-suspension was fitted and up front, the upper and lower arms were lengthened to match the Tundra’s suspension geometry. At the rear, the upper and lower arm lengths were increased to mate with Tundra’s rear geometry. The springs were stiffened and a set of custom-valved, 2.5-inch Bilstein shocks are in play. One-off 21-inch Lacks Enterprises carbon fibre wheels with forged aluminum centers can be found in the corners, wrapped in Michelin Sport tyres. The X-Runner is in Toyota’s Speedway Blue and also has a matt black finish on the bonnet, A-pillars and roof while red accents complement the bonnet’s lines, scoop and wheel hubs. Inside ther are paddle shifters, and custom X-Runner accents.
“There is a Tacoma for everyone, with eight grades in the 2024 Tacoma lineup,” said Mike Tripp, group vice president, Toyota Marketing. “This new X-Runner concept really shows that TRD is about performance, about going fast… It shows the range of the platform and what we could do if we took the Tacoma beyond off-road and everyday capabilities, slammed it, and gave it a little street cred,” Tripp said. When asked about the inspiration behind building an X-Runner Concept for the SEMA Show, Adam Rabinowitz, chief designer at Toyota’s Calty Design Research, Inc. shared a part of the team’s thought process. “There were lots of street trucks in the early 2000s and they all faded, so on the one hand, this was a curiosity check to see if there is any market for street trucks at all, or if the market has entirely shifted to what we see today—tough, rugged, lifted vehicles,” Rabinowitz said. “On the heels of the Tacoma launch, we wanted to showcase the diverse possibilities of the new truck’s architecture,“ said Sheldon Brown, chief engineer, Toyota Motor North America. “The TGNA-F platform allows us to efficiently build something this cool in a fraction of the development time it would normally take. A project like this is why you get into the automotive business.“
Take a look at the YouTube video from the chaps at Toyota USA that showcases all the brilliant work they've put in to a boggo Toyota Tacoma to create a omne-off custom concept car to show off their skills at this year's SEMA show in Las Vegas: "Tacoma X-Runner Concept": SEMA Build Episode 3 | Toyota | Toyota USA
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