You won’t be allowed to play with it, unfortunately.
Back in 1985, Japanese toy company Tamiya produced a radio-controlled scale model replica of the Toyota Hilux truck. It proved to be hugely popular and was advanced for its time, featuring a four-wheel-drive system and leaf spring suspension. In short, it was the ultimate off-road toy for kids. Over 30 years later, Toyota UK has created a full-size replica of the original RC car dubbed the Hilux Bruiser. Based on the new Hilux Extra Cab model, the one-off truck was built by specialists at Arctic Trucks and looks practically identical to the original toy.
To match the RC car’s big-wheeled look, Arctic Trucks installed its AT35 conversion featuring wheels with massive 35-inch tires. Some engineering changes were required too, including a modified suspension, new gear ratios, and larger flared wheel arches. The wheels are finished in chrome to replicate the original model, and the bodywork has been wrapped in a high-metallic Diamond Blue vinyl by Funkee Fish. Elsewhere, the Bruiser’s “Hog Heaven” livery and decals have been digitally reproduced by hand, resulting in a faithful reproduction of the original 1980s RC car. It also has a louvered rear window just like the original model.
An expert-model maker was enlisted to recreate some of the model’s cosmetic details in 1:1 scale such as the on/off switch in the load bed, R-shape body clips and tubular bumpers and rock sliders. The bumpers and rock sliders have been fabricated from stainless steel exhaust tubing and wrapped in white vinyl to make them look like the model’s plastic parts.
While Hilux is all about capability, owners and all fans of pick-ups and big trucks know a big part of the experience is also about having fun," said James Clark, Toyota GB Press Relations Manager, "In that spirit, we wanted to do something truly original to celebrate the latest Hilux and carry forward the great relationship we have with Tamiya." Under the hood is a 148-horsepower four-cylinder diesel engine that sends power to all four wheels through a six-speed manual transmission. You won’t be able to buy the one-off Hilux Bruiser, sadly, but Toyota will be showing it off at various media events around the UK.
This isn’t the first time Toyota has paid tribute to the Hilux Bruiser RC car. In a unique publicity stunt, the automaker used 15 1:10 scale Hilux RC cars to tow the full-size model replicating the original stunt from the 1980s.