Toyota invited us to the Autoclub Raceway in Pomona, California to watch the median test runs for their "parts-bin" built Tacoma X-Runner RTR (Ready-to-Race). Toyota brought in 16-time NHRA winner Antron Brown to pilot the RTR down the track as the weather would permit. Gray skies and light sprinkles kept the crew on their toes for the most part.
Based on a stock 2011 Tacoma X-Runner, the standard body and chassis were paired with a modified Tundra-based 5.7-liter V-8 and six-speed automatic transmission. A Toyota Racing Development (TRD) Supercharger Kit was bolted on to the V8 and brought the SEA certified power to 504-horsepower with 550 pound-feet of torque. To make it work, the stock Tundra rear axle with a 4.3:1 ratio and 10.5-inch ring gear was narrowed by 5.7-inches to fit the Tacoma rear-track width. To maximize traction, the build team added a TRD prototype mechanical limited-slip differential fabricated by Eaton. No special mapping was done to the V8 and it runs on 91-octane gas.
A rerouted exhaust system with two TRD perforated-chamber mufflers and 3.5-inch tubing now exits behind the passenger side wheel, necessitating the only bodywork modification on the vehicle. The RTR's silver and red paint them was inspired by Dan Gurney's late 1960s Courgar XR7-G. The number "95" was added to the doors and represents the year the Tacoma nameplate began to sell in the U.S. A Tundra i-Force badge was painted onto the front fenders and the TRD Supercharger tornado that signifies force induction was added to the hood scoop to showcase the changes made to the beast.
The truck sits 4.5-inches lower than stock height. Its stock front Tacoma 15-inch wheels where narrowed to 4.5-inches and wrapped in 28x4.5x15-inch Goodyear Eagle Front Runners. The stock rear wheels where widened to 10.5-inchs for better traction and wrapped in 30x11.5x15-inch Goodyear Eagle Dragway Specials. The rear shocks where repositioned on the frame well to acuminate the wider rear tires. The X-Runner braking system was left untouched and ABS, stability control and traction control retain all functionality.
The interior was stripped of its audio system, air conditioning , power windows and rear seat to make the vehicle as light as possible. Tundra accelerator and brake pedals replace the Tacoma's and a removable TRD roll bar sits behind the front seats. We also hear there will be few more tweaks to the interior before making its SEMA debut.
After a few runs down the quarter-mile track, Antron Brown's best run came in at 12.018 seconds at 116.57-mph.
The RTR concept truck is a one of a kind in house built race truck to showcase Toyota's performance engineering by using only Toyota parts. It's set to make its public debut at the 2010 SEMA show.