Imagine a twin-turbo V12 Tacoma!
The Toyota Hilux is a midsize pickup available across the world, closest in relation to the Toyota Tacoma. As such, it is used for off-roading, adventure, and general rugged work. It's not the sort of thing that you'd expect to see competing at a hillclimb event. But some such events just attract the unusual, and there's no better example than the Simola Hillclimb in Knysna, South Africa. The annual event took place earlier this month, with entries including the wildest Nissan GT-R you've ever seen and this, a twin-turbo V12-powered Hilux pickup. We've seen V12s in places they're not supposed to be before, but this build is something we could never have predicted.
The machine was built by Francois Fritz of FatBoy Fab Works, who was inspired by a story he read on a V12 Quantam minivan. Speaking with Double Apex, Fritz says that he "wanted to build something similar but it had to be completely usable as a [pickup truck]." Starting with a 2012 Hilux that originally sported a 3.0-liter turbodiesel engine, Fritz began modifying the truck with a twin-turbo compound setup. This produced around 284 horsepower and 501 lb-ft of torque. However, that wasn't quite doing it for Fritz, who says that he always dreamed of competing at the Simola Hillclimb "but in something really special." Thus, the diesel engine was sold (it's still running in a Mercedes van today) and work began to prepare for a V12.
A Toyota 1GZ-FE was chosen, and the 5.0-liter V12 got a rebuilt bottom end, a pair of Garrett GT35 turbos, and a Spitronics management system. The Toyota Century that donated its engine also provided the four-speed automatic transmission, while a custom propshaft was fitted to the stock rear end. As always, there were some headaches and struggles along the way, but the end result was that on just 10 psi, the Hilux now produces 539 hp and 715 lb-ft. Larger alloy wheels with stickier rubber were fitted too, and Fritz got to fulfill his dream of competing. Next up is a brake upgrade, but the Hilux has now been put up for sale, so if you're after something truly unique, you know where to look.