The much-teased Toyota HiLux Tonka concept has been revealed this morning… an adult-sized toy truck.

TOYOTA HAS REVEALED its one-off Toyota HiLux Tonka concept car today ahead of our first drive this afternoon. Designed by the Australian Toyota design team, the drivable adult-sized toy truck celebrates HiLux becoming Australia’s best selling vehicle and coincides with Toyota’s 80th and Tonka’s 70th anniversary.

Clad in yellow and black tiger stripes the Toyota HiLux Tonka concept is a highly modified HiLux that goes well beyond the sandpit duties most Tonka trucks are confined in.

Based on the top spec HiLux SR5 dual cab, the Tonka is powered by a 2.8-litre four-cylinder turbocharged diesel. Ground clearance has increased thanks to the 35-inch tyres, some 75mm or so taller than standard, and Marks 4WD Adaptors portal axles (live rear and independent front) to increase the ground clearance from 225mm to 375mm, and modified suspension at the front. There are also heavy duty springs and adjustable remote reservoir shock absorbers from King springs to deal with the greater unsprung mass.

Approach angle has increased 4 degrees to 35 degrees and departure angle is up 4 degrees to 30 degrees total.

The SR5’s stock 17-inch alloy wheels have been changes for 17 x 8.5-inch Method NV alloys and the original 265/60 rubber replaced with 35 x 12.5-inch Toyo Open Country M/T-R.

A laser cut, TIG welded 6mm alloy bashplate with front overriders protects the HiLux’s guts and side rails protect the body and chassis.

Exterior visual enhancements include a new front bar (compatible with current safety systems) with LED lights and more LED lights in the added roof pod.

Out the back there’s a new tailgate wrapped in carbon fibre with spoiler and air vents, and with strap release instead of a handle. The tub is a removable tubular frame which holds diesel fuel cans, recovery gear and a fire extinguisher.

The whole kit adds 325kg to the HiLux Tonka, which now has a tare weight of 2400kg.

“We have taken Tonka out of the sand pit and reinvented HiLux from top to bottom and from nose to tail,” said Nicolas Hogio, Toyota Australia product design chief.

“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 HiLux Tonka Concept is dramatic evidence 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.”

The Tonka will not be going into production, however, adults and kids alike can look forward to experiencing the Tonka at its national tours, 4WD shows, field days and expos.

Practical Motoring is visiting the Toyota HiLux Tonka today and will be reporting back on our ride in the mini monster truck, let us know any questions you might want answered while we’re with it.

Full specifications:

HiLux Tonka Concept

HiLux SR5










Final drive ratio



Kerb weight



Approach angle

35 degrees

31 degrees

Departure angle

30 degrees

26 degrees

Ground clearance



Front track



Rear track




17 x 8.5-inch Method NV alloy

18-inch alloy


35 x 12.5-inch Toyo Open Country M/T-R

265/60 highway

Front brakes



Rear brakes



Park brake



4WD Portal Axles

  •   Hub-mounted reduction gearbox supplied by Marks 4WD Adaptors


  •   Heavy duty springs and adjustable remote reservoir shocks from King Springs

Front Bar:

  •   Steel, airbag compliant, maintains cooling requirements, includes winch mount
  •   Faceted surfacing
  •   Integrated LED lighting protected by the steel skin

Bash Plate:

  •   6mm alloy with front overriders protect sump and front sub-frame
  •   Laser cut and TIG welded
  •   Integrated ventilation slots for cooling engine and front differential


  •   Carbon-fibre skin is lighter than original steel bonnet
  •   Front and rear openings for air flow
  •   Raised centre “power bulge”

Roof Pod:

  •   LED light bar
  •   Fresh-air cooling ducts for vehicle occupants

Rock Rails:

  •   Tubular surfaces protect body and chassis


  •   Carbon fibre skin
  •   Two airflow ports
  •   Integrated spoiler
  •   Release strap


  •   Removeable tubular frame
  •   Diesel fuel cans
  •   Storage boxes for off-road recovery gear
  •   Fire extinguisher, axe, shovel and hi-lift jack


  •   Custom yellow called “Sun Fusion”

There are no dangerous roads. Just dangerous drivers. Bring on driverless cars.


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About Author

Alex Rae

Alex Rae brings almost two decades’ experience, previously working at publications including Wheels, WhichCar, Drive/Fairfax,, AMC, Just Cars, and more.


  1. I’m also a little confused as to why the portal axles are described as being in the rear only…

    Normally they are fitted front and rear on a 4WD because the gear reduction inside them would make matching diff ratios difficult if one was fitted to the rear only, not to mention matching the ground clearance…

    1. Hi Andrew that was my editing error. It has portals front and rear, which is unusual as the front is independently sprung. Usually portals are fitted to live axled vehicles only. The exceptions I can think of offhand are the Pinzgauer and the H1. Marks also do a kit for the GU Patrol and the 79 Series Cruiser.

      If you re-engineered the independent front suspension it would match a live rear axle for clearance, and then either use 1:1 gears on the portal or change the diff ratio for the front diff only.

      1. Cheers Robert…..Makes sense that the vehicle could be designed either way, my assumption was that going portals front and rear would be simpler as there would be less re-engineering to get the extra clearance (4in or so) under the front diff and regrar the vehicle to suit the larger tyres….

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