What is the sound of one piston slapping?
What is the sound of one piston slapping?

Welcome to Ridiculous Rebadges, a series of articles in which I go through and examine the details and circumstances surrounding some of the more infamous and some of the more esoteric vehicular rebadges throughout automotive history.

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Ridiculous Rebadges is back after a six month hiatus! I got busy with school and AP testing in the meantime and so had to wait until summer to get a chance to restart the series. In that time, however, I discovered (or I should say rediscovered) that Demuro’s old blog Plays With Cars also had a series called Ridiculous Rebadge. Therefore, I will attempt to continue this legacy by not repeating any of the vehicles highlighted in his articles found here.

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Anyways, today’s Ridiculous Rebadge focuses not on cars but trucks. Small pickups of the ‘80s and ‘90s, in fact. The vehicles in question are the Toyota Hilux and the Volkswagen Taro. This corporate partnership was the result of Volkswagen recognizing a need for a small pickup in their line-up and the fact that Toyota realized that by providing this service to Volkswagen they could further gain market share in the European pickup segment. The deal was arranged and the first Taros rolled off the VW Commercial Vehicle Plant (VWCV) of Hannover in February of 1989. The only available engines were the standard Toyota four cylinder petrol and diesel variants producing between 82 and 110 bhp. In 1994, the 4WD extended cab variant of the Taro was released, also in Hannover. However, this was eventually produced in Japan at the Tahara Plant with an even more pathetic 78 bhp diesel. The Taro went out of production in 1997 after anemic sales resulting from the fact that no one wanted a truck named after an Asian root vegetable (actually named after the Japanese word for older brother/son). Eventually the Taro would be replaced by the Amarok in 2010. As for the Hilux, I’m sure we all know where that went: Top Gear and ISIS.

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Toyota Hilux RN80 (US Edition)

Illustration for article titled Ridiculous Rebadges: Small Pickups Edition
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Illustration for article titled Ridiculous Rebadges: Small Pickups Edition
Illustration for article titled Ridiculous Rebadges: Small Pickups Edition
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[First two images courtesy of Wikimedia Commons]

[Third image courtesy of gtcarlot.com]

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Volkswagen Taro

Illustration for article titled Ridiculous Rebadges: Small Pickups Edition
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Illustration for article titled Ridiculous Rebadges: Small Pickups Edition
Illustration for article titled Ridiculous Rebadges: Small Pickups Edition
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[First two images courtesy of Wikimedia Commons]

[Third image courtesy of all-volkswagen-images.info]\

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Sources:

[https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Volkswage…]

[https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Toyota_Hi…]

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