And it's called Tacozilla. No, really.
America's love for trucks is matched only by its love for the great outdoors, and Toyota has crafted its SUV and truck offering around this concept for decades. Today, the Japanese automaker is a serious player in the truck market, and the Toyota Tacoma is one of the best-selling trucks in the midsize segment. The aftermarket scene has taken a big liking to this Japanese off-roader and we've seen some insane modified versions in our time. From hardcore off-roaders to fully-kitted camping machines, people really seem to love this platform, and now Toyota has released a YouTube series showing fans how a real Tacoma adventure camper is built. Meet the Tacozilla.
In the late '70s and early '80s, Toyota partnered up with a company called Chinook to build a special camper vehicle called the Toyota Chinook. Fast forward to 2021, and Toyota's marketing team thought it would be a good idea to recreate this camping legend. We agree. The modern camper is based on a TRD Sport Tacoma with a manual transmission, and the team behind the build has already come up with some amazing renderings, as well as begun work on the engineering drawings. The living compartment, or 'micro house,' as team manager Marty Schwerter calls it, has a distinct '70s feel and we love the retro brown and orange livery going up the sides of the camper in the digital renderings.
The renderings show the sleeping quarters above the cab of the truck, with the standing area housing a sink, some table and cooking space, a toilet and a small seating area. The exterior design has been optimized to eliminate as much approach angle as possible in order to retain most of the Tacoma's excellent off-road ability. “It's going to be a beast,” says Schwerter. “People are going to know when you show up, and it's going to stick up four feet above any other vehicle in the parking lot. I just hope that it can be half as cool as the original Chinook was.” We'll be following the progress on this build closely, so stick around for more updates.