Hackers uncover Tacoma. Is this the next Toyota Hilux?


This is the best look yet at Toyota’s next generation Hilux. As extensively previously explained on Auto below, the new Hilux is expected to en main share most of the bakkie with the next US Tacoma for the first time in in several decades in their next generation.

Now hackers have allegedly found their way into an unpublished Toyota USA web page. They unearthed this photo of the new Tacoma pickup two weeks before the 18 May 2023 reveal. Auto has long predicted the new look based of an EV prototype shown by Akiyo Toyoda last year, and verified by leaked Tacoma patent images that appeared on the web in January.

This latest leaked image appears to reveal the flagship TRD Pro. Now all that needs to be confirmed is if the Tocaoma and the next Hilux will be the same. Time will tell!


2025 Toyota Hilux render

Toyota USA previusly confirmed that the 2024 Tacoma will get an i-Force Max hybrid powertrain, as it also shared a new teaser image. It is widely predicted that the new US bakkie and the next generation Hilux will be the same bakkie, when the Eastern Hemisphere follows, likely in 2025.

Toyota Tacoma Teaser

Tailgate teaser shows blocky design

The teaser image reveals a blocky tailgate pressed out with the words TRD Pro. For Hilux, that would translate to Gazoo Pro. But the big news is that not only will the new bakkie offer a sophisticated new hybrid powertrain, but it will also be based on the bigger ‘full size’ US Tundra pickup’s platform.

The new platform should improve noise, vibration, and harshness, while also significantly enhancing crash safety. The more efficient hybrid powertrain will also deliver improved efficiency as well as performance. That considering the Tundra i-Force Max blends a 3.5-litre biturbo V6 powertrain with an electric motor-generator hybrid unit.

2025 Toyota Hilux

Powerful biturbo V6 hybrid confirmed for USA

That 325 kW 790 Nm combination turns a 10-speed automatic gearbox but expect it to be detuned in the smaller Hilux or Tacoma. We’d expect a variety of other power options including possibly also a hybrid version of a latest generation Hilux 4-cylinder turbodiesel in its traditionally combustion markets.

Those countries are likely to gravitate towards hybrid before pure EV for many obvious reasons. That said, Tacoma, and as such Hilux are also likely to come as full EV bakkies, especially considering their expected new commonality with the Tundra, which is expected to receive a battery electric model before the end of 2025.

2024 Tacoma Patent Render

Other Hilux engine possibilities

There is also little doubt that next Hilux will also get a subtly detuned version of the Land Cruiser 300’s splendid 230 kW 690 Nm 3.3-litre turbodiesel V6 tuned around 200 kW and 600 Nm. The current Hilux engine bay is too tight to accept a contemporary turbodiesel bent six with all its ancillaries attached. So, Toyota fans must also wait for the new one.

The next Hilux will also be bigger, broader, and taller to stave off that Ford and VW attack. The existing bakkie’s forthcoming widebody encore is all the evidence we need to make that prediction. And Hilux will continue to be built in Prospection, Durban for local and international consumption.

2024 Tacoma Patent Image

Will Hilux, Tacoma look the same?

Should Hilux indeed be the same vehicle as the forthcoming Tacoma, we expect it will look the same too. The exclusive Auto images on this page were based on Toyota’s EV bakkie concept shown a year ago and far more recently confirmed by Toyota patent application files (above).

There is of course still plenty life in the current Hilux, which of course only just received its 165 kW 550 Nm flagship GR-S model. The widebody version out of Australia likely to arrive here as another Gazoo step in the not too far future. – Michele Lupini

Sketches: Michele Lupini

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