Text: Marcus De Guzman / Photos: Newspress USA, Toyota | posted February 12, 2016 11:49
Toyota Tundra TRD Pro arrives in force in the Windy City
After debuting the new-generation Tacoma during last year's North American International Auto Show, Toyota gives the midsize pickup a much needed upgrade to take on the harsh elements. Called the Tacoma TRD Pro, Toyota claimed it is 'squarely aimed at off-road enthusiasts' who challenge themselves, their trucks and SUVs in some of the harshest conditions.
Set to raise the bar of TRD's (Toyota Racing Development) capability, the new Tacoma gets an array of factory-installed equipment for better and safer off-road trekking. Up front, the Tundra TRD Pro gets a heritage-inspired grill finished in black. Hues of black also make their way towards the hood scoop, headlight bezels, air dam and wheel arch flares.
Immediately apparent on the side are the 16-inch TRD black alloy wheels wrapped in Goodyear Wrangler All Terrain Kevlar-reinforced tires. Sitting behind those wheels are aftermarket shock absorbers from FOX. Factory-tuned by TRD, the front axle gets coil overs with TRD coil springs while the rear axle sits on TRD off-road leaf springs.
Other chassis improvements done on the Tacoma include: better suspension travel and bottom out resistance, 1-inch lift kit, position-sensitive damping, front skid plate made from 1/4-inch aluminum, and hardened, oversized shock shafts with dust protection.
Inside, a blend of sport and comfort envelope the cabin of the Tacoma TRD Pro. It gets heated front seats with TRD stitching on the headrests and power adjustability, TRD shift knobs and floor mats, leather-wrapped steering wheel with Bluetooth and audio controls and an Entune Premium audio system.
It also has a 4.2-inch multi-information display and a GoPro mount placed on the windshield.
Under the hood, it is driven by a 3.5-liter 24-valve DOHC V6 that benefits from direct injection and VVT-iW. It cranks out 282 PS along with 360 Nm of torque. It can be connected to either a 6-speed manual or automatic gearbox and runs on a 4WD system with an electronic limited slip differential (LSD).
Helping drivers stick to terra firma comes courtesy of the Active Traction Control (A-TRAC). Accoridng to Toyota, this 4WD traction control system uses the 4-channel anti-lock brakes system (ABS) to control power delivery to the front and rear wheels. This negates cutting throttle input, allowing drivers to maintain traction. This is excuslively available on manual models only.
Automatic models, on the other hand, get driver aids like Multi-Terrain System and hill start assist to keep the truck stable and mobile.
To be available in autumn 2016, the truck will be manufactured at Toyota Motor Manufacturing, Texas Inc. and will be available in three colors: Cement, Barcelona Red Metallic and Super White.