When Toyota overhauled its Tacoma last year, missing from the lineup was the awesome TRD Pro off-roader. This led to concerns that the vehicle wouldn’t be returning. It turns out it was only taking a little break as a new Tacoma TRD Pro has just rolled into the 2016 Chicago Auto Show.
The truck will hit showrooms this fall, as a 2017 model, and it will come complete with a full set of factory-installed off-road equipment designed by the engineers at Toyota Racing Development. Buyers will have three colors to choose from (Cement, Barcelona Red Metallic, and Super White), as well as the choice of a six-speed manual or six-speed automatic.
In developing the truck, TRD engineers started with the Tacoma TRD Off-Road 4x4 Double Cab Short Bed model. They then added things like 16-inch black alloys with Goodyear Wrangler All-Terrain Kevlar-reinforced tires; aluminum skid plates; LED fog lights; black detailing; and color-coded bumper inserts.
For the off-road performance, they added FOX 2.5 Internal Bypass shocks with custom tuning; new front springs that provide a 1.0-in lift; and custom-tuned progressive-rate leaf springs at the rear.
2017 Toyota Tacoma TRD ProEnlarge Photo
There’s also a part-time four-wheel-drive system with an electronically-controlled transfer case. An electronically controlled locking rear differential is also standard to help distribute engine power evenly to both rear wheels.
Under the hood is the new 3.5-liter V-6 introduced last year. It makes 278 horsepower and 265 pound-feet of torque. It boasts noticeably better passing power and smoothness than the unit in the previous truck.
In the cabin, you get a number of features you wouldn’t expect in an off-roader like this. There are leather-trimmed heated front seats with four-way adjustment, blind spot and cross traffic warning systems, and several TRD-badged items such as the floor mats and shift knob.
As mentioned, sales start this fall. Pricing will be announced closer to the on-sale date.
For more from the Chicago Auto Show, head to our dedicated hub.