Toyota Tacoma X-Runner is a street truck with twin-turbo V-6

A redesigned 2024 Toyota Tacoma bowed earlier this year exclusively with turbo-4 powertrains, but a concept unveiled at this week’s 2023 SEMA show at least teases the possibility of a twin-turbocharged V-6 making its way under the midsize truck’s hood.

The Tacoma X-Runner concept is a modern take on the classic street truck formula, in that it’s lowered, fast, and probably next to useless when heading off-road due to the ride height. It also features rear-wheel drive.

According to Adam Rabinowitz, the chief designer at Toyota’s Ann Arbor, Michigan-based Calty Design Research, one of the reasons for developing the concept was to gauge interest in a potential production version. Another was to show the flexibility of the Tacoma’s TNGA-F body-on-frame platform.

That platform is shared with the Tundra pickup, among other vehicles, and this enabled Toyota engineers to easily install some of the full-size truck’s features in the Tacoma X-Runner concept.

Toyota Tacoma X-Runner concept

A key item carried over from the Tundra is the twin-turbocharged 3.5-liter V-6. It features 421 hp in the Tacoma X-Runner concept, or 32 hp more than what the engine delivers in the Tundra. That horsepower bump is courtesy of a TRD Performance Package, which was also announced at the SEMA show and set to be made available to Tundra buyers next year.

Also borrowed from the Tundra is a solid axle with a 4.30:1 final-drive ratio and an electronic locking differential to split the drive torque between the rear wheels. The Tundra’s 13.9-inch front brake rotors are also used on the concept.

For that proper street truck stance, the engineers installed an air suspension system borrowed from the Tundra. This required modifying the Tacoma’s suspension arms to match the Tundra’s suspension geometry. Completing the chassis are a set of 2.5-inch Bilstein aluminum-bodied shocks with remote reservoirs at each corner, and 21-inch wheels with 285/45 Michelin performance rubber. The wheels are a hybrid design combining an aluminum hub with carbon-fiber spokes.

Inside, the modifications are limited to some sporty touches such as a 12 o’clock mark on the steering wheel, body-hugging seats, and paddle shifters for the Tacoma’s 8-speed automatic.

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