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Toyota Hilux Bruiser recreates classic Tamiya radio-controlled car in full size [video]

  • Authentic replica of 1980s r/c Hilux
  • Lives up to Bruiser name with 35-inch tyres
  • Custom-built by Toyota and Arctic Trucks

Toyota has turned its latest Hilux pickup into a full-size homage to the classic Tamiya Hilux Bruiser radio-controlled car from the 1980s. Because there is absolutely nothing about that idea that isn’t awesome.

You can watch the 2017 Toyota Hilux Bruiser in action alongside its original miniature counterpart in the video below – but first a few juicy details.

How has Toyota turned the Hilux into a Bruiser replica?

Obviously, the modern Hilux looks rather different to the 1980s model the r/c version is based on. Yet thanks to the judicious application of some rather cunning modifications, the appearance of the full-size Bruiser is surprisingly authentic.

Toyota Hilux Bruiser - driving

The major modification is down to legendary off-road specialists Arctic Trucks, which has applied an ‘AT35’ kit (as used by the Isuzu D-Max AT35) to give the real Hilux a suitably big-wheeled look like the toy.

This includes wider bodywork, massive 35-inch tyres, upgraded off-road suspension and changes to the gearing. Chromed wheels are the finishing touch.

The Hilux was then wrapped in Diamond Blue vinyl and hand-liveried to match its radio-controlled counterpart, complete with authentic Hog Heaven graphics and domed gel Toyota lettering on the back, intended to make it look like the name is stamped into the metal.

Toyota Hilux Bruiser - rear window

More graphics wizardry is used to make the back of the full-size Extended Cab Hilux look like the model, right down to the louvered rear window, which is represented by a two-dimensional print that’s said to look ‘just like the real thing, even at close quarters.’

Radio-controlled details

Taking things further still, Toyota turned to expert model-maker Robert Selway to give the 2017 Hilux Bruiser even more r/c car style.

Toyota Hilux Bruiser - on/off switch

As such, there’s a replica on-off switch in the load bed; giant, magnetically-mounted bodyclips that will be familiar to anyone who’s ever had a radio-controlled car; plus rock-slider side-bars and bumpers made from stainless steel exhaust tubing wrapped in white vinyl.

A big radio antenna completes the transformation – although this isn’t strictly in keeping with the original.

Toyota Hilux Bruiser - rear driving

You won’t be surprised to learn that the full-size Bruiser still requires a human behind the wheel – but it is road legal, and powered by the standard 150hp four-cylinder turbodiesel engine.

Can I buy a full-size Hilux Bruiser?

Sadly not – this is just a one-off, designed to celebrate the Hilux and Toyota’s on-going relationship with Tamiya.

As you may remember, Toyota also completed a number of ‘Little and Large’ video challenges earlier in 2017, which pitted the modern Hilux against its classic radio-controlled counterpart.

Watch the new Toyota Hilux Bruiser video below:

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