Toyota claims its new hopped-up pickup has more cornering grip than the 350Z, plus the ability to move a couch, or, if necessary, some golf clubs, tasks that befuddle the cramped Z-car. And while not as fast as the Z in a straight line, it does have genuine sporting aspirations with a 4.0 liter 245-hp V6 hitched to a six-speed manual and pumped through the rear wheels, yielding a sub-seven 0-60 trot. The X-Runner uses a special X-brace out back to keep cowl shake to a minimum, and a limited slip differential helps put the power down. The X-Runner comes with a bunch of silly ground FX (like a hood scoop that doesn't actually do anything), and optional equipment includes a (front) Big Brake Kit, which strangely is paired with rear drum brakes. AutoWeekers were impressed with the truck's handling, but felt the gearchanging maneuvers left a bit to be desired, especially due to a narrow footwell and reluctant shifter. The Tacoma X-Runner will go on sale in October for an estimated base price of $23,000.
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