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Add Another Small Sporty Pickup to the Endangered List — NYTimes.com

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Toyota Sports X

Add Another Small Sporty to the Endangered List

By EZRA


Published: September 27, 2013

IS IT? The sole remaining sport pickup truck optimized for as opposed to off-road, performance.

HOW $27,590 base, $28,075 as with TRD performance air filter bed mat ($119) wheel locks and carpet floor mats and sill protector ($195).

MAKES IT RUN? Four-liter 6-speed manual transmission, drive.

IS IT THIRSTY? Rated at 16 city and 21 highway, the X-Runner’s economy is more in line that of a full-size truck.

I’m a big fan of little trucks. Ever Michael J. Fox scored a sweet Toyota SR5 in “Back to the Future,” harbored a vague longing to own a pickup. You’d think be plenty of people like McFly and me, who prize wieldy and don’t need a bed that serve as a dry dock for a nuclear

Unfortunately, times are tough for haulers. The Ram Dakota expired 2011, the Ford Ranger is and the Chevy Colorado and GMC Canyon are on That leaves the Tacoma, the Frontier and — for real freethinkers — the Ridgeline .

The dilemma is that trucks are no longer terribly in some cases overlapping trucks in fuel economy, and price. So why not just buy a full-size The dearth of nongigantic pickups to answer that question.

Well, here’s one argument for the pickup: the Tacoma X-Runner. else are you going to find a that can reach 60 m.p.h. in than seven seconds, in excess of 0.9 lateral G and tow 3,300 There’s also a 6-speed gearbox and Toyota Racing tempting menu of goodies.

The drives like a restomod, one of vintage muscle cars has been fitted with a suspension and powertrain. Since it is a the chassis has more in common a 1978 Camaro than contemporary performance cars: out the solid rear axle leaf springs and drum

Toyota Sports X

The V-6 makes 236 horsepower at 5,200 and reaches its redline a few hundred later. The shift throws are so that going from gear to third makes you like Doug Flutie a Hail Mary pass.

Yet the has a screwed-down cohesiveness that to deceptive speed. As I took the down a 20-mile stretch of country road, I frequently at the speedometer to find myself far quicker than anticipated. that would challenge cars were serenely the big engine’s 266 pound-feet of torque rapid progress without

While the X-Runner includes a sport-tuned suspension (it’s the Tacoma with a rear bar), I’d say its unlikely cornering are mostly attributable to the 255/45/18 Potenza RE050A tires. The is a high-performance summer tire, a of which was original equipment on the Enzo supercar. So the next you pull alongside an Enzo at a you can chat about all the things vehicles have in common, as the tires.

While the V-6 is certainly enough, it would really its hood scoop with the of the dealer-installed TRD supercharger kit ($4,500), raises output to 304 horsepower and 332 The full factory warranty is as long as a Toyota dealer the work. That would be a Tacoma.

The day after I pressed the X-Runner sports-car duty, I remembered it was a and used it to haul a load of a gas can and a pressure washer. I didn’t tow pounds, but I could have.

For $28,000, the X-Runner combines an odd of attributes. I don’t want to get too far sycophantic hyperbole, but in terms of and ability it’s rather a modern El Camino SS.

Alas, the is being canceled. The good is that you’ll be able to get a Tacoma with a 6-speed and a V-6, but it will be a 4-wheel-drive Marty McFly, at least, approve.

Toyota Sports X
Toyota Sports X
Toyota Sports X
Toyota Sports X

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