The Toyota Tacoma has led the competitive mid-size pickup truck market in sales for 16 straight years thanks in large part to its durability and impressive off-road prowess. So when Toyota collaborated with Kurt Williams, owner and founder of Cruiser Outfitters in Murray, Utah, to build its vision of a highly capable yet approachable overlanding rig, they naturally chose the versatile Tacoma SR5 pickup as the foundation.
The Tacoma Overlanding Concept was unveiled today during Toyota’s press conference at the 2021 Specialty Equipment Market Association (SEMA) Show. It joins a bevy of on- and off-highway performance concept vehicles in the Toyota exhibit (Central Hall, Booth No. 24800).
“It’s great to be back at SEMA,” said Lisa Materazzo, group vice president – Toyota Division Marketing. “We’re eager to show off our SEMA concept vehicles, including the Tacoma Overlanding Concept that caters to an adventure-focused segment historically rich with Toyota trucks and SUVs.”
The goal of this project for Williams and the Cruiser Outfitters team was not to attack it with an unlimited budget. Instead, they looked to create a great all-around package that accentuates the Tacoma’s capability while keeping it functional and attainable for weekend warriors.
“We chose modest yet approachable modifications¹ to create a really great long-weekend adventure truck that doesn’t detract from being an everyday driver,” Williams said. “Not everyone can buy, let alone find, a TRD Pro, so we wanted to build on the SR5 platform since it’s a great starting point to customize.”
To tackle the trails, the Tacoma Overlanding Concept is fitted with an Old Man Emu BP-51 suspension system. This adjustable suspension system provides the Tacoma with a 3-inch lift and boasts internal bypass shocks fitted with external reservoirs to house additional fluid to maintain performance in demanding terrain. To complement the additional suspension travel, Old Man Emu upper control arms are added to the front suspension with Dakar leaf springs added to the rear suspension.
All four corners gain new 17 x 8.5-inch gunmetal Icon Alloy Alpha wheels wearing 285/70R17 Goodyear Wrangler DuraTrac tires. For protection when the trail gets tough, the team added an ARB Summit Combo Bar with fog lights, an Expedition One dual swing rear bumper system, an Expedition One Ultra HD skid plate system and Expedition One rocker protection/rock sliders.
When darkness falls, whether on the trail or in basecamp, the Tacoma Overlanding Concept is equipped with ARB Intensity Solis front lights, Rigid Radiance Scene LED light pods in the rear bumper and an ARB LED roof rack light bar. And its Warn Zeon 10-S Platinum winch, Maxtrax Recovery Devices, ARB Premium Recovery Kit, Hi-Lift jack, shovel, axe and an ARB Safari 4×4 Snorkel raised air intake system help ensure obstacles and water crossings do not ruin the fun.
There are plenty of places to secure all gear and provisions thanks to the Mule Size Mid-Size MAP and Baki Rack System. Under the bed rack is an ARB Outback Solutions dual drawer system with a fridge slide, holding the ARB 63-quart Zero Dual Zone fridge freezer. And for airing back up after a serious off-pavement excursion, the team added an ARB twin air compressor using ARB’s bedside compressor mounting system. And finally, up top is the penthouse suite, a Yakima rooftop tent.
This well-sorted, efficiently packaged rig proves it can carry explorers, provisions, gear and backwoods toys while serving as a basecamp for day hikes or setting up a more permanent camp. And everything can be quickly stowed away when the open trail calls for more adventure.
¹Vehicle is a special project vehicle using non-genuine Toyota parts and accessories that have not been tested or evaluated for quality, durability, reliability, or safety. Vehicle modifications may void the warranty, impact performance/safety, and may not be street legal.