Athletes and SUVs go together like peanut butter and jelly. Whether you're a cyclist, camper, or, like Travis Rice, a championship snowboarder, there's nothing handier for getting you to your destination with your sporting equipment than an SUV. To emphasize the 2014 Toyota 4Runner's authentic, uncompromised SUV capabilities, Toyota has signed Rice as the latest athlete it's sponsoring.
Rice will appear as part of the 2014 4Runner's "Keep It Wild" campaign. In this 2-minute video, Rice talks about his life philosophy on facing fears and prioritizing what's important. In addition to Rice, motorsport veteran Andy Bell and kayaker Rush Sturges will appear in the series.
Rice is also working with DC Shoes at Toyota to create a snowboard-themed Tacoma that will be displayed at the 2013 SEMA Show next month in Las Vegas.
Rice was named "Best Male in Action Sports" by ESPN, and has two X-Games gold medals to his name. He also started the "Red Bull Supernatural" snowboarding contest.
The 4Runner is one of the few midsize SUVs remaining that offers low-range four-wheel drive and one of the only ones still built on a body-on-frame chassis. The Nissan Pathfinder and Ford Explorer have both transitioned to transverse-powertrain crossover platforms, and neither is available with low-range four-wheel drive. The Jeep Grand Cherokee offers low-range, but is built on a unibody chassis.
Source: Toyota via YouTube