NEWS: Toyota celebrates 35 years of TRD, revives 1980s Super Off Road video game

Toyota Chicago Auto Show

One a giant indoor dirt course at the Chicago Auto Show today Toyota Racing Development celebrated 35 years in the US by launching a new lineup of TRD Pro trucks. Though Toyota’s in-house tuning skunkworks has been responsible for everything from IMSA Celicas to NHRA top fuel dragsters, this was a celebration of their off-road racing heritage. 

TRD USA was officially established in 1979, the same year Toyota began importing 4×4 pickups to the US. Though Toyota’s official motorsports program began as early as 1968 with the Carroll Shelby-campaigned 2000GT, back then it wasn’t called TRD yet.

One of the most successful TRD programs was that of the off road division, which nabbed the fearless Baja runner Ivan “Ironman” Stewart as a driver and spokesman. Behind the wheel of his famously indestructible Toyota pickup, Stewart captured 11 Baja 500 and 2 Baja 1000 wins. Over the years, Toyota has racked up 303 off-road wins, 27 manufacturer’s championships and 28 off-road driver’s championships.

To celebrate, Toyota unveiled a new TRD Pro series of off-road packages for the Tundra, Tacoma and 4Runner. All TRD three come with Bilstein remote reservoir shocks matched with TRD springs, giving the Tundra and Tacoma a two-inch lift and the 4Runner a 1.5-inch boost. Underbellies are protected by TRD skid plates and the two pickups come with a TRD stainless steel exhaust. Black alloys — 18 inches for the Tundra, 17 for the 4Runner and 16-inch beadlocks for the Tacoma — are unique to the series.

Most importantly, Toyota has brought back the old school logo for the TRD Pro’s blacked out grilles. All three trucks now get a classic Helvetica “TOYOTA” instead of the three-oval logo. Only three colors are available for TRD Pro trucks: Black, Toyota’s trademark Super White and the new Inferno orangish-red. As usual, TRD logos are are plastered throughout, from tailgate to floor mat to shift knob.

Toyota TRD Pro Super Off Road 80s kids will most likely remember the exploits of Toyota trucks from the 1989 arcade game Super Off Road. In honor of the anniversary, Toyota has revived the game for smartphones. Only instead of Stewart’s stadium trophy trucks you get to drive your choice of the new TRD Pro triplets. Relive your wasted youth at

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8 Responses to NEWS: Toyota celebrates 35 years of TRD, revives 1980s Super Off Road video game

  1. wantyerknobby says:

    ironic the target 4runners consumer is afraid of dirt

    like the blunt front end look of it in any case

  2. Bob says:

    Ha! I definitely had (and probably still have, somewhere) Super Off Road. Awesome!

  3. Aaron says:

    I go to pieces thinking of 80’s stadium trucks, especially the trd liveried ones. Definitely wore that video game out as a youngster too.

  4. Yoda says:

    Are the red/orange/yellow decals available on a white truck? Because that would be awesome.

    BTW, the article on GRRM’s Mazda has a broken link – click from the main page and it takes you to the Shelby book article from a couple months ago.

  5. Steve says:

    I remember their first “office”, a two-story brick buliding on Western Ave in Gardena. I went to visit in, I think it was 1980. They didn’t seem really set up to sell retail because when I walked in to check out their “store” it was almost like they didn’t know what to do with/for me. Just a whole bunch of car parts scattered on the floor. I ended up ordering and buying a header flange for a 20R with which I never did finish my project (but i still have that flange). Ah, memories…


  6. Dave says:

    Love the game! Wish they would set it up as a downloadable app.

    Really digging this series, especially the 4Runner.

  7. Bart says:

    And too bad we don’t get a ‘real’ Landy here in the States…

  8. pete240z says:

    I am headed to the Chicago Auto Show this week – that orange will look good in my pictures.

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