The Taiyo Hilux Surf was a radio controlled car manufactured by Taiyo (Japan) based on the actual Toyota Hilux Surf, otherwise known as the Toyota 4Runner in the USA, it was released in the Japanese market in the year 2000.
Known around the world as one of Toyota’s most durable vehicles, the Hilux Surf / 4Runner was introduced in 1995 and would have been in its 3rd generation by the time of the 2000s era Taiyo release.
Sequel to the 80s classic?
This isn’t the first Toyota Hilux that Taiyo have made into a radio controlled car, with the classic 1984 Taiyo 4WD Toyota Hilux being one of the earliest 4WD RC toys that Taiyo ever made, and one of several ‘Super Roader’ designs that were so popular they lasted into the 90s.
Features and Performance
Unfortunately, I have not had the opportunity to drive a Hilux yet, so I’ll stick to the facts as we know them, and hopefully someone who owns one can comment on actual performance.
As with practically all the Taiyo RC cars from the late 90s onwards, the highest power they’d put into a toy was the humble 6.0V Jet Turbo battery pack, which was anything but fast. Basically an enclosure for 5 x rechargeable Ni-Cd AA batteries, it provided plenty of go with a light car, however the Hilux is one big chunk of plastic and rubber at 1/12 scale. It’s not a small model.
With a top speed of just 12km/h or 7.5mph it may fail to beat you walking, though I’d expect the gearing was focused on acceleration to get that weight moving quickly, and up and over obstacles.
Performance aside, it’s one darn good looking model though. Look at it!
I really need to know – if any owners are out there – are the wheels rubber like on a Tyco Rebound 4X4? Or just hard plastic? Rubber would be epic!
Availability and Collectability
The Hilux Surf pops up rarely on Japanese auction sites, and even less on western online stores. And while it may not be especially desirable to the general population, these cars disappear pretty quickly when they do come up, and I can tell you that I’ve convinced myself that I need one of these in the time it took me to write the article, so they’re fairly convincing once you get a good look at it!
If anyone out there does have the Hilux Surf and has some photos they can share, we’d all very much appreciate it!