Anyone who’s a fan of the Marvel Cinematic Universe—or “MCU” if you’re one of the cool kids—is probably familiar with the show. What if.. . ? The entire premise of the series is telling a story that explores the possibility of things happening differently in alternate universes. It sounds like a great idea and there’s no reason why Marvel should be the only one doing it! Join us as we head into an alternate reality, where Toyota has decided it’s going to ditch the Supra, GR86 sports car and Corolla hot hatch for its performance-minded GR line. the way Even after that.
How about a 2024 Toyota GR Tundra Sport Truck? Please think. Imagine if Gazoo Racing put all the racing and performance magic into a full-size Tundra. You actually don’t have to imagine too hard because Abimelech Designs has created a rendering of what this type of Toyota would look like.
If you’re getting strong Toyota Tacoma X Runner vibes, then well! The X Runner was an incredible midsize truck with a six-speed manual transmission and low-set sports suspension that should still stand out in Toyota’s lineup today — but so what? No! The highest order of heresy we say. The Tacoma X Runner was originally a sports car in truck form. What’s not to like about that? It’s hard to resist the appeal of road-hugging, low-stance pickup trucks, especially if you grew up in the sport truck era of the 1990s.
Why did we choose to recreate a retro-modern X Runner in a larger format? Mostly because the Tundra’s powertrains offer a little more runway to produce more power than the current Tacoma’s ancient 2.7-liter I-4 and new-but-average 3.5-liter V-6 engines. The 2023 Toyota Tundra is available with an i-FORCE MAX twin-turbo 3.4-liter V-6 hybridized with 437 hp and gobs of torque. We bet Toyota could bump the displacement up to 4.0 liters as a nod to the Tacoma X Runner, keep or drop the electric motor (dealer’s choice!), and increase the boost pressure to crank out a nice round 500 horsepower. Also, there is no way this truck has three paddles and a shifter. Toyota’s “intelligent manual transmission” with rev-matching would be great here, but alas, this is a modern pickup. The stick shift is probably a pipe dream, even for a GR-fied truck.
Reimagining the Tundra’s mechanicals for sports truck duty, it needs styling cues that clearly say “GR.” How about a fake carbon fiber roof inspired directly by the Circuit Edition GR Corolla piece? Our GR Tundra’s forged carbon continues on the front fascia with an integrated splitter. The polygonal grille is taken directly from the GR86. Finally, the GR Tundra is finished with imposing but aggressively attractive wide fenders.
The interior should have comfortable yet nicely bolstered seats to keep the driver and front passenger safe during sport trucking. Sure, there are technically rear seats, but in sport truck tradition they should be virtually useless to anyone taller than five feet – extended cab for the win! Wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto are already standard on the Tundra, but should be paired with a speaker system that sounds as good as possible without adding more weight; We think higher trim levels will do better with the JBL system. A flat-bottom steering wheel should be standard with integrated shift lights available as an option. However, when passengers open their eyes in the cabin, they should immediately trim the carbon fiber or face some terrible mistake.
Will the Ford and GM truck people scoff at the GR Tundra and call it a “boy racer truck?” Maybe, but you’ll know in your heart that their mocking masks are burning with envy — after all, the F-150 Lightning is now an EV, and we don’t see a modern Cyclone anywhere. Are we going a little overboard? Yes, but this is A “what if” scenario after all. If we’re lucky, some ambitious product planner at Toyota will read this and be inspired. After all, if a GR Tundra could actually May be produced, it would make a great addition to the lineup, an anchor point at the opposite end of the performance spectrum from the burly TRD off-road version. Let’s hope, if it comes to fruition, it looks like this.