Feeling guilt at being besotted with what you see here, having considered yourself an enemy of the campervan scene? Well, worry not, because it’s not a campervan. Toyota informs us the Tacozilla is ‘a backwoods overlanding-ready micro-house rig.’ So there you go.
Based on the present-day Tacoma, it pays tribute to Toyota campers of the ’70s and ’80s. It’s starring on the brand’s SEMA show stand and is described as ‘100% custom,’ with a stack of TRD branded parts as well as a bespoke rear shell thrown at it.
“Our goal was to build a vehicle that is engineered correctly but also made to look really cool,” designer and builder Marty Schwerter says. “Being around race cars my whole life, racecars are cool-looking. I want campers to be cool-looking, too.”
Have retro graphics and rounded-off edges done the trick? Either way, it’s no mean feat making a camper out of a pickup—the goal was to make it so a six-footer can walk around inside, and Schwerter assures us they’ve done it. However cramped the on-board toilet looks.
“Its tapered shape also made it challenging to fabricate the camper’s rear door,” we’re told. “The team could have fitted a flat door but decided the result would not look as integrated. All in all, the team spent well over 100 hours designing the rear door alone.”
Attention to detail has been top of the list, then, It’s designed to properly off-road, too, with chunky all-terrain tires, a snorkel strapped to the A-pillar, and a hardy looking winch. Based on a Tacoma TRD Sport, all four wheels are driven by a 278hp 3.5-liter V6 engine. Making it one powerful micro-house, huh?
NOTE: This article first appeared on TopGear.com. Minor edits have been made.