Today October 21, 2015, is the very day that Michael J. Fox, playing Marty McFly in the Back to the Future film trilogy, traveled to the future. And do you know what that means? The once futuristic films are now…dated. As in, their future is officially now our past. Whoa. Heavy.
In honor of this iconic day, Toyota has released a custom Tacoma, an homage on wheels to the Back to the Future franchise and Marty’s sought after dream truck. Not to mention it’s highly-anticipated Toyota Mirai, a hydrogen-fueled vehicle, which translates from Japanese as “The Future.” Of course, it does…
Although your Toyota car dealerships won’t offer either model in the immediate future, we can expect the Mirai soon, and cross our fingers on the actual production of the Tacoma. If Toyota does manufacture it, I’ve got some idea of what it might look like.
Change the past, change your ride. Now that’s an idea I can get on board with…
Dreams Revisited Thirty Years Later, Courtesy of Toyota Innovation
We always imagine the future as far more distant than it actually is. Why else do we routinely bemoan the loss of time or make the same tired observation about how fast “time flies.”
Well, fly it did. And perhaps there is no better – or more fun proof of this than the conversation shared by the franchise’s stars, Michael J. Fox, and Christopher Lloyd.
In the following commercial, a teaser for the imminent release of Toyota’s innovative Mirai, the pair discuss which of the predictions they made as Marty and Doc have since come to pass.
A particularly poignant moment comes when Lloyd mentions self-tying shoelaces, and Fox, now a prolific spokesman for Parkinson’s Disease, of which he is afflicted, replies, “I’m waiting for those.”
It gets a laugh, a nugget of dark comedy, and the remainder of the advertisement is entertaining. Take a look…
We’ve come a long way, but there is still a long way to go…
To that end, Toyota has used its innovation to revisit the past and recreate Marty’s pickup truck, but this one should exceed even his imagination.
Back to the Future in Today’s Toyota Tacoma
Marty McFly, played by Michael J. Fox, the unassuming dreamboat of the 1980s, pined after 1985’s 4×4 Toyota SR-5 pickup truck with tube bumpers, a rollbar, and KC HiLites.
Before I show you what Toyota created in honor of the film’s 30th anniversary, check out some clips which spotlight Marty’s beloved 4×4…
And yes, that is Flea, the drummer from the Red Hot Chili Peppers playing the role of Needles.
Notice that in the first clip, Marty is checking out the truck as it rolls into Texaco gas station (now owned by Chevron) on a flatbed, advertising: “Another Custom 4×4 for Statler Toyota.”
Well, Toyota has returned to the film’s Hill Valley, and just released this throwback, yet future-driven commercial, set at the Statler Toyota dealership.
And just in case you missed it, here’s a reminder:
Given the fact that the Hilux hasn’t been Stateside in more than two decades, production ran from 1972-1995, so Toyota had to recreate Marty’s beloved pickup truck using the Hilux’s replacement, the Tacoma.
According to Back to the Future co-creator and producer, Bob Gale, “Toyota stands apart for their nod to the future and the past with the auto technology depicted in the movies. When Toyota approached us about helping tell a bigger story about the future and innovation with the Mirai, we loved the direction – and who can resist Marty’s retro Toyota truck?”
Not I! And I can’t wait to see the full reveal.
Apparently, three special custom Tacomas will roll out sometime today at Hollywood & Highland in Los Angeles, as well as New York City’s Times Square. Dallas will also get a sneak peek.
In order to appreciate the custom Tacoma, let’s check out what we’re starting with…
The 2016 Toyota Tacoma – The Future is Now
Sporting a significant redesign, the 2016 Toyota Tacoma features higher strength steel for improved rigidity, as well as a revised suspension for better road manners and enhanced off-road prowess.
It’s no flux capacitor, but I love the standard GoPro camera mount on the windshield, ideal for capturing adventures, whether the traditional or time travel variety. No matter where you roam, you’ll stay connected thanks to the available wireless phone charging pad. Now that’s some technology not even Marty dreamed of in his 1985 Hilux.
When it comes to power, you’ve got two choices. The truck’s standard operation comes from the 2.7-liter four cylinder engine, with a new 3.5-liter V6, able to produce 278 horsepower and 265 lb.-ft. of torque at 4,600 rpm, complete with fuel injection and an Atkinson power cycle, which mimics the fuel efficiency of a hybrid.
Equipped with the V6, industry experts expect the 2016 Tacoma to be a class leader, perhaps even THE class leader in the V6 segment for fuel economy, EPA-estimated at 19/24 mpg.
Either engine can be paired with a six-speed automatic transmission; however, the six-speed manual is exclusively offered on the V6.
All-terrain capability is made possible by the multi-terrain system on TRD trim levels, which makes it possible for drivers to modify the drive based on conditions like mud, rocks, and sand. Activating “Crawl Mode” adjusts the throttle and brake system for maneuvers at lower speeds. For added off-road performance, Toyota has made a locking rear and limited-slip differential available, too.
Timeless Trim Levels in the 2016 Toyota Tacoma
Building off last year’s “Most Awarded Pickup Ever,” this year’s Tacoma comes in either crew cab or access, often referred to as “extended,” bodies, across five available trim levels, including the SR, SR5 (Hello, Marty!), TRD Sport, TRD Off-Road, or Limited models.
As the entry model, the SR is a work truck, the SR5 gets improvements both inside and out for extra edge, and the TRDs boast boosted suspension and all-terrain dominance. At the high end of the trim level, expect to find the Limited fully loaded.
New convenience details include a 120-volt power outlet, similar to those found in your home, along with a damped tailgate opening.
Stand-alone options for the entire 2016 Tacoma line exist as LED running lights, dual-zone automatic climate control, an available sunroof, leather interior, push-button start, a blind spot and rear cross-traffic warning system, and a three-piece tonneau truck bed cover.
Although Marty chose the 1985 SR5 4×4 Hilux in black, the new 2016 Toyota Tacoma is still available in black, but also includes seven other enviable shades, including Blazing Blue Pearl, Super White, Silver Sky Metallic, Magnetic Gray Metallic, Barcelona Red Metallic, Quicksand, and Inferno – a fiery orange color.
For the Back to the Future Tacoma, Toyota remained true to Marty’s wishes and kept the shade that glossy, classic black, making sure to include the HiLites, of course, which are now contemporary LED lights. One notable difference I can see so far is that Marty’s original pickup perched on Goodyear tires, but this custom creation features TRD wheels wrapped in BFGoodrich beauties. My favorite detail so far might be the vintage 1985 mudflaps.
Pricing on the new 2016 Toyota Tacoma runs the gamut, starting with the base SR, priced at $23,300 and ranging up to the Limited’s initial MSRP of $34,745.
Check back with me as more details are released on Toyota’s new custom Back to the Future 4×4 pickup truck. For now, I’m outta time…