Overlanding, a style of self-reliant camping that often takes drivers far into the wilderness, has been enjoying an upswing in popularity over the last couple of years. Given the current global situation and the desire of some folks to be as far away from others as possible, the activity has absolutely exploded. After all, how better to get away with a close-knit group than taking well-equipped off-road trucks into the woods for a week’s tenting?
Few machines are better suited for this task than the Toyota Tacoma. As part of the company’s SEMA360 virtual showcase, this overland-ready pickup was built by the crew at 4WD Toyota Owner Magazine and billed as the ultimate outdoor lifestyle rig featuring a slew of off-road performance upgrades.
Using a Tacoma TRD Pro as their base, the build team enlisted the help of Ryan O’Connell and ShmellFab to construct this go-anywhere overlander. Most of the stock suspension was binned, replaced with ToyTec BOSS Aluma 2.5 Series coilovers, shocks, and add-a-leaf package. With the suspenders at all four corners appropriately ‘roided out, a Toyota E-locker was stuffed into the rear diff, aluminum and steel skid plates were installed on the underside, and DOM steel tube rock sliders got pressed into service. Upper and lower control arms also got sent to the gym for a workout.
Many fabricators would have called it a day at this point, but someone on the build team clearly has a bit of a lead foot. Under the hood, a Roots-type blower from Magnuson Superchargers was plopped atop the 3.5L V6 engine, boosting output to 370 horsepower and 330 lb.-ft of torque. That’s an increase of nearly a hundred ponies and 65 units of twist. It retains stock brakes, six-speed automatic transmission, and the just-discontinued Desert Air Intake.
An overland truck isn’t of much use without the kit to self-sustain a couple of adventure seekers for a few nights. With this in mind, the editors fitted an air compressor, a four-gallon spare fuel jug and two-gallon water container, a Hi-Lift jack, and a Yakima SkyRise cargo bed tent. Your author has spent several nights in the latter in British Columbia backcountry and can attest to the comfort it provides, even for this 6’6″ human. Sleeping high off the ground is a treat.
Alert readers will have noticed by now this Tacoma has ditched its stock tires in favor of BFGoodrich KM3 Mud-Terrain meats measuring a brutish 255/85R16. Given this towering amount of sidewall, the chances of damaging one of the matte black Method wheels is very slim. That’s an aluminum front and steel rear bumper from CBI Offroad Fabrication, the latter from their Swing Arm series of products. Vegas-grade light bars and Yakima cargo accessories pepper the exterior.
Toyota also partnered with chef Adam Glick and the Last Line of Defense channel on YouTube to create some great content as they take the overland-ready Tacoma out on the road – and off it – in search of adventure.
Look for more from Toyota in the coming weeks, as they reveal the Tacoma Sport Trailer SEMA360 concept. Until then, get a sneak peek of it here:
For more on this build and the rest of Toyota’s SEMA360 machines, click here.