Customizing trucks has evolved into big business. Toyota's been keeping an eye on what owners do with their compact trucks and has released its own version, the S-Runner, for '01.
To create the S-Runner's sport truck look, Toyota lowered a 4x2 Xtracab pickup truck by an inch and fitted performance-minded Tokico gas shocks. Other S-Runner suspension mods include increased-rate springs, front and rear anti-sway bars, and modifications to the power steering to increase effort and feel. Toyota's 3.4L/190-hp DOHC V-6 is bolted to a five-speed manual gearbox, and its exhaust system is tuned to evoke musclecar memories.
The monochrome paint is available in two hues, Radiant Red and Black Sand Pearl, a color that works sunlight well. The S-Runner rides on P235/55R16 Bridgestone Potenza RE910 stickies that complement the massaged underpinnings to keep the truck well planted. All said, it's a ball to drive. Pickups often get twitchy in the rear during cornering and on bumpy pavement, but the S-Runner's tail stays planted.
MSRP is $19,400, and the S-Runner is at dealers now. Toyota's building only 200 per month, so if you like what you see, you'd better get in line.