Toyota Introduces All-New Tacoma

Toyota has introduced the fully redesigned Toyota Tacoma.

The new Tacoma utilizes a new high-strength boxed, steel-ladder frame and adds numerous off-road features, an available fully redesigned multi-link coil rear suspension, and offers two turbocharged four-cylinder powertrains including the i-FORCE MAX hybrid producing 326 hp and 465 lb.-ft. of torque. Tacoma will also introduce Toyota’s all-new Trailhunter grade, first revealed at the 2022 SEMA show as a Trailhunter concept, that’s a purpose-built overlanding rig.

“Our primary design goal for the all-new Tacoma was to be authentic to the way our customers use their trucks for rugged outdoor fun,” said Kevin Hunter, president of Toyota’s CALTY Design Research. “We looked at our truck DNA and the Toyota Baja race trucks for inspiration to capture the extreme spirit of offroad adventure. High lift, big tires, slim body, and a powerful athletic stance define the iconic Tacoma look, referred to as ‘Tacoma-ness’.”

The CALTY team of designers strived for its Toyota trucks to have a family resemblance, the automaker said. For Tacoma, its narrow body and wide upper grille are a nod to the original HiLux, with features like the aggressive skid plates aiming to express the ruggedness of Tacoma. Other signature design elements include the high-mount headlamps, side functional air intakes, hexagonal grille motif, as well as integrated roof and tailgate spoilers.

The new Tacoma utilizes Toyota’s TNGA-F global truck platform shared with the all-new Tundra and Sequoia. High-strength steel with blanking and laser welds is used throughout the chassis to increase rigidity over the previous generation, and aluminum is used on the upper body to reduce weight. Frame crossmembers are also strengthened to increase durability and carry Toyota-available overlanding gear such as rooftop tents and camp fridges, Toyota said. Additionally, the roof is equipped with integrated attachment holes to add roof rack rails on all models combined with a roof channel sealer to ensure a watertight seal. A new front cross member was constructed for the steering gear box, which adds rigidity via additional cross member support while enhancing steering input for the driver and handling dynamics, Toyota engineers said. A new high lift jack point is also integrated into the rear frame end.

Also available is a new multi-link rear suspension. This system replaces the previous model’s leaf springs in favor of a set of coils. However, leaf springs remain standard on SR, SR5 XtraCab, and TRD PreRunner grades. Tacoma also now gets four-wheel disc brakes for increased braking performance compared to the previous model, while TRD models and above are equipped with a larger front brake package, Toyota said. TRD models and above equipped with i-FORCE MAX add a larger rear brake package. An electronic parking brake allows for low-speed radar cruise control and a brake hold function. To provide improved steering feel and facilitate the incorporation of additional safety and convenience features, Tacoma will now have electric power steering.

Tacoma now features suspensions tuned specifically to each grade. For instance, TRD Sport has red TRD sport-tuned shocks for a more responsive feel. The TRD Off-Road grade is equipped with monotube Bilstein remote reservoir shocks for extended wheel travel and greater heat dissipation and includes an end stop control valve (ESCV) that provides increased damping force as the suspension comes closer to full bound stroke. TRD Pro comes fitted with FOX’s new QS3 three-way adjustable internal bypass shocks with remote reservoirs for improved high speed off-road performance and FOX Internal Floating Piston (IFP) rear bump stops to improve bottom out feel. Trailhunter includes a new Old Man Emu (OME) 4×4 Suspension by ARB. Limited grade features a new Adaptive Variable Suspension (AVS) system. The linear-solenoid-type AVS system features built-in actuators in the front and rear shock absorbers.

Toyota Introduces All-New Tacoma | THE SHOP

Maximum towing capacity for Tacoma is rated at 6,500 lbs. on SR5 i-FORCE and TRD PreRunner XtraCab grades, and maximum payload increases to 1,709 lbs. on TRD Off-Road. Tacoma is available with a variety of supporting features including a trailer brake controller, trailer backup guide, and digital display mirror.

Additionally, there is a 7-percent increase in bed volume and an available tonneau cover. Additionally, the aluminum tailgate features an available power open and close function with jam protection, and a quick release and close button is integrated within either taillight. Gas grades offer an available 400W AC inverter outlet in the bed and on the rear of the center console, while i-FORCE MAX grades come standard with a 2400W AC inverter. 12V DC power access is also available in both the bed and in the cabin. Trailhunter features an integrated high output air compressor in the bed.

Tacoma will offer two powertrains using a 2.4-liter turbocharged four-cylinder. For entry-level SR grades, this engine produces 228 hp and 243 lb.-ft. of torque. For all other grades, output increases to 278 hp and 317 lb.-ft. of torque when paired with the new eight-speed electronically controlled automatic transmission with intelligence (ECT-i). A six-speed intelligent manual transmission (iMT2) with automatic rev matching and anti-stall technology is available. Manual transmission models produce 270 hp and 310 lb.-ft. of torque.

New to the mid-size, body-on-frame pickup segment is Tacoma’s i-FORCE MAX hybrid powertrain, Toyota said. Available on TRD Sport, TRD Off-Road, Limited, and standard on the TRD Pro and Trailhunter halo models, i-FORCE MAX pairs the 2.4-liter engine with a 48-hp electric motor integrated into the eight-speed transmission feeding off a 1.87-kWh NiMH battery pack that creates a total system output of 326 hp and 465 lb.-ft. of torque, nearly doubling the torque output of the current-gen truck with the V-6 engine, Toyota engineers said.

Tacomas with rear-wheel drive feature an automatic limited-slip differential (Auto LSD), and four-wheel-drive models have an electronically controlled two-speed transfer case with high/low range along with Active Traction Control (A-TRAC) and an automatic limited-slip differential (Auto LSD). An electronic locking rear differential is standard on TRD PreRunner, TRD Off-Road, TRD Pro, and Trailhunter grades. The Limited grade now features a full-time four-wheel-drive system with a center locking differential on i-FORCE MAX models.

An all-new front stabilizer bar disconnect is also available. With the front stabilizer bar disconnected, Tacoma’s articulation increases by 10 percent compared to the previous-gen truck, Toyota engineers said, will be compatible with Toyota-approved lift kits.

Tacoma has up to 33.8-degree approach, 23.5-degree breakover, and 25.7-degree departure angles on TRD Pro without the tow package. Running ground clearance maxes out at 11 inches on TRD Pro. TRD Off-Road, TRD Pro, and Trailhunter trims are equipped with Multi-Terrain Monitor, and Tacoma offers standard front and optional rear recovery hooks and underbody protection.

Additionally, Toyota’s Multi-Terrain Select is now functional in both 4WD-High and 4WD-Low, and accompanies an updated CRAWL Control function. Manual-equipped Tacomas get a standard clutch start cancel that allows the truck to start in gear.

Toyota Introduces All-New Tacoma | THE SHOP

The new Tacoma Trailhunter package also includes a variety of off-road and overlanding accessories. Toyota worked with Australian-based ARB to co-develop Old Man Emu (OME) position sensitive 2.5-inch forged monotube shocks with rear external piggyback style remote reservoirs, a steel rear bumper, robust rear recovery points, and a bed utility bar with removeable MOLLE panels. ARB engineering even worked on-site at Toyota alongside the project development team to co-develop Trailhunter. With either 5- or 6-foot bed Double Cab configurations available, the Trailhunter trim has an available light- or heavy-duty versions of a full ARB bed rack to support additional gear like rooftop tents, canopies, or a camp shower.

The OME shocks along with the 33-inch Goodyear Territory R/T tires lift Trailhunter models an additional two inches in the front and one and a half inches in the rear. A high-clearance trail exhaust tip is also standard along with a low-profile high-mount Trailhunter Air Intake that is routed up the passenger-side A pillar to source cleaner air to the i-FORCE MAX. Trailhunter protection includes rock rails and a multitude of hot-stamped high strength steel skid plates for serious off-the-grid-adventure capabilities straight from the factory.

Trailhunter is also equipped with a bronze-colored “TOYOTA” heritage-inspired grille with an integrated 20-inch LED light bar that’s complemented by white/yellow color switching RIGID LED fog lamps. Lighting in the Trailhunter’s bed is triangulated to help avoid dark spots, and integrated bed side scene lights help illuminate the area surrounding the bed. A 2400W AC inverter provides power to two locations in the cabin and the rear deck where both 12V and USBs can also be found to power other devices such as an ARB Fridge Freezer. Trailhunter also comes pre-wired for accessories with three auxiliary toggle switches on the dashboard.

In addition to Toyota Genuine parts and accessories, additional accessories are available through the recently announced Associated Accessory Products program (AAP) for customers to customize their Tacoma Trailhunter through Toyota’s participating dealerships. The AAP ecosystem will continue to evolve over time and currently includes over 100 accessories such as off-road recovery gear, rack attachment brackets for storage gear, outdoor sporting equipment carriers, and more.

The TRD Pro trim is highlighted by red aluminum front TRD upper control arms to optimize front geometry and reduce unsprung weight, while Fox internal bypass 2.5-inch manual modal Quick Switch 3 (QS3) shocks can be adjusted to three different settings via dials on the shock bodies. Built around the new multilink rear suspension, FOX Internal Floating Piston (IFP) bump stops can help knock the edge off some of the gnarliest terrain, Toyota engineers said.

The TRD Pro sits two inches higher in the front and an inch and a half in the rear and is three inches wider than a Tacoma SR5. Black flow-formed TRD wheels are wrapped in 33-inch Goodyear Territory R/T tires. TRD Pro’s standard i-FORCE MAX engine breathes more efficiently courtesy of a TRD performance air intake and TRD cat-back dual tipped exhaust. A new integrated LED light bar works in conjunction with the LED headlights, and a set of RIGID white LED fog lamps increase visibility during inclement weather. TRD Pro also gets a high-clearance ARB rear metal bumper with red recovery hooks and an aluminum TRD front skid plate.

Debuting exclusively on the new TRD Pro is a segment-first IsoDynamic Performance Seat. The goal of this patent-pending feature is to stabilize the driver’s field of vision to improve focus, comfort, and reduce fatigue while on rugged trails, Toyota said. The IsoDynamic Performance Seat uses an air-over-oil shock absorber system allowing for vertical and lateral seat movement simultaneously to dampen body movement and stabilize the head and neck to keep alignment with the spine.

Inside, a new 8-inch or available 14-inch multimedia touchscreen displays Toyota’s latest Audio Multimedia system. The system supports wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto compatibility, and pairs with the available Qi wireless charging pad with enhanced power output. A USB-C data and charging port is integrated on the right side of the display, and dual USB-C charging ports are included in the front row and available for the rear passengers. A 12.3-inch digital gauge cluster with four different styles is standard on higher grades while a 7-inch gauge cluster is standard on lower grades.

Toyota Introduces All-New Tacoma | THE SHOP

A.J. Hecht

A.J. Hecht is the managing editor of THE SHOP and host of the In Gear with THE SHOP podcast. Have an idea, a tip, or a question you’d like to see answered? Contact A.J. at ahecht@cahabamedia.com.

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