Last year’s locally-developed 86 Shooting Brake obviously gave Toyota Australia a taste for the fantastic, because the company’s designers are now preparing to roll out another concept fit for the big kid in you.
This one, the HiLux Tonka, lives right at the other end of the spectrum, bringing a new level of tough styling – and, presumably, capability – to the country’s best-selling ute.
Previewed today by a single sketch and a short video clip, the HiLux Tonka project’s true purpose, Toyota says, is to demonstrate “the ongoing capabilities and passion” of its local product design team.
Like Ford and Holden, Toyota Australia’s future does not include manufacturing, but the company will retain some amount of development capability here – although the now closed Toyota Technical Center Australia (TTC-Au) will not form part of the program.
On the styling front, though, Toyota’s local design division will be responsible for “ensuring the company’s vehicles are desirable for local customers and suitable for the tough Australian environment”.
As for the HiLux Tonka concept, Toyota says fans can look forward to the “ultimate off-road adventurer”.
“We expect the extreme style and capability of our re-imagined HiLux will capture the imagination of kids and adults alike,” Mr Hogios said.
“HiLux is such a great canvas, and we really pushed the envelope by marrying our number-one seller with the Tonka brand,” he said.
“The end result is so exciting because the HiLux Tonka really delivers the dream of every Australian kid who ever wanted such a truck,” Toyota Australia’s product design chief, Nicolas Hogios, said.
Toyota says it will reveal the HiLux Tonka in the coming months, but has not set a firm date.