Watch a Driverless Toyota Tacoma Easily Conquer a Car-Sized Boulder
Who said autonomous cars are a sham?
Off the bat, Toyota packs its trail-ready Tacoma with more off-road gear than any other truck this side of a Ford Raptor or pricey Chevy Colorado ZR2. Order it in top-spec TRD Pro trim and you have yourself a $45,000 midsizer that's capable of fording streams, conquering trails, and climbing daunting obstacles. However, if you want your Tacoma to be especially capable when it comes to that last bit, there's a must-have upgrade known as a crawl box. With one of these fitted to an adequately equipped platform, you'll be able to traverse rough terrain at low speeds and have what is perhaps the best party trick up your sleeve.
As demonstrated by the four-wheeling specialists at Marlin Crawler, this mod can make all the difference when the going gets technical, particularly if you opt for a triple transfer case setup like they have in their 2016 Tacoma. This complex configuration provides seemingly endless gearing combinations when paired with the truck's 5.29:1 ring and pinion rear end. In all, the Toyota in the video below has an astounding 56 speeds—48 forward and eight reverse.
Marlin Crawler has built this pickup, which features in-house-built parts that are available via the company's website, to climb steadily at idle even without someone behind the wheel.
Idling in first gear at an almost-unimaginable 580:1 ratio, the Tacoma can lurch along at just 0.11 miles per hour. Keep in mind that this is with a manual transmission and no one finagling the clutch along the way.
Of course, the 'Yota we see here is far from stock. It rides on 40-inch Cooper tires, Fox 2.5 Factory Series shocks, custom long-travel suspension, and air lockers—among other upgrades—to help it dominate off-road. That said, the majority of these parts are available off-the-shelf for customers to purchase.
Unlike some other setups, Marlin Crawler has worked to incorporate the factory Toyota transfer case. This means the truck retains the factory 1:1 ratio and is capable of traveling at highway speeds without turning massive RPMs, save for the increase in gearing that's brought on by the rear-end.
Collectively, it's a do-it-all setup that's good for on-road and trail use while doubling as a less-problematic counterpart to Tesla's Summon feature. Now, who wants to see it again?
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