Toyota’s all new US Tacoma is said to be the Next Hilux


Toyota yesterday revealed its new Tacoma bakkie in the US. What has that to do with the South African market, you may ask? Well quite a bit, actually. The new Tacoma is in essence the next Hilux and almost identical in design to Auto’s revelation in our first Hilux scoop renderings well over a year ago.

Both ‘mid-sized trucks’, as they call them in the states, the Tacoma and the Hilux will share the same architecture for the first time in several generations. So, while taking a look at this US version, keep in mind that this is the bakkie that the New Ford Ranger will need to keep abreast of, both here and in the US, and the rest of the world. Let’s take a peek.

Tacoma TRD Pro

Best Tacoma changes are under the bonnet

The most interesting changes to the Tacoma come under the bonnet. Remember that engine line-ups are likely to differ with other markets like ours still favouring diesel bakkies in markets on advantages like farmer subsidised diesel. But remember, diesel is also under pressure, so keep an open mind on this one!

Toyota is offering four different Tacoma engines at launch starting with the 170 kW 330 Nm 2.4-litre four-cylinder base model SR now with an eight-speed automatic transmission versus our current GR6 6-speed. Did you know that the 6 in GR-6 stands for six-speed?

Tacoma Limited

240 kW 630 Nm Tacoma I-Force Max hybrid

Next up is the more powerful SR5 version of that same four-pot producing 200 kW and 420 Nm with an automatic rev-matching six-speed stick-shift manual transmission. That engine gets 205 kW and 430 Nm. with the eight-speed automatic

The flagship Tacoma offers an I-Force Max hybrid for the first time. It adds 35 kW electric motor join the turbo 2.4-litre for a creamy 240 kW and 630 Nm Packing a 1.9-kilowatt-hour battery pack.

Tacoma Trailhunter

Many new off road tricks

Rear-wheel drive is standard, but Tacoma adds a limited-slip differential. Four-wheel-drive models get an electronically controlled two-speed transfer case with high and low-range and an upgraded Active Traction Control system. The top-of-the-line Limited hybrid I-Force Max has full-time four-wheel drive with a centre-locking differential.

Taking its styling off Toyota’s 2022 electric bakkie prototype as expected, the Tonka tough looking new Tacoma has slim headlights and a simple black grille, while tip models get chrome slats and matching chrome wheels.

Longer and more rugged than expected, it remains to be seen how much of the garnish carries over to Hilux, and how similar the bodywork will be. Tacoma’s new TNGA-F platform most probably will carry over to Hilux. Carrying high rigidity high-strength steel throughout the chassis and lightweight aluminium higher up in the structure.

Tacoma TRD Sport

Towing ability down, payload up

The SR5 double cab and TRD Sport lose the conventional leaves for a new coil sprung multi-link rear suspension, each with unique tuning. The TRD Pro gets Fox shocks, while the TRD Off-Road gets Bilstein dampers, and the TRD Sport has TRD units for better on-road feel.

One downside is that Tacoma loses a bit of towing capacity at a braked 2,950 kg, but payload improves to 775 kg. Tacoma also gets new advanced trailering features like a trailer brake controller, a trailer backup guide, and a digital rear-view mirror.

Tacoma family

Special attention to off road ability

Being bigger and longer, Tacoma’s approach, departure, and breakover angles are touch down but new options like stabilizer bar disconnect and a multi camera Multi-Terrain Monitor help elsewhere. The Multi-Terrain Select drive mode function now extends to 4WD High as well as 4WD Low, with three Mud, Dirt, and Sand modes adjustable on the fly.

A new Crawl Control off-roading function now comes with five adjustable speeds. Toyota’s IsoDynamic Performance Seat is part of a new Trailhunter trim with forged monotube Old Man Emu shocks, new steel bumpers, more-robust rear recovery points, and rigid mount points for rooftop tents, and the rest.

Tacoma TRD Pro

Step inside to a new Tacoma world

Step inside to a standard new 8-inch touchscreen, with an optional 14.0-inch display on premium models. Both come with Toyota’s CarPlay and Auto compatible interface with wireless Apple and Qi wireless charging. Add a removable JBL Bluetooth speaker with the 10-speaker upgrade. Standard 7.0-inch dials step up to a 12.3-inch digital instrument cluster

Toyota Safety Sense 3.0 is standard. That includes things like pre-collision with pedestrian detection, full-speed adaptive cruise control, lane-departure alert with steering lane tracing and road sign assistants. A new Toyota system debuts using Tacoma’s camera and radar systems for advanced adaptive cruise control, providing braking, throttle, and steering inputs even on mildly curvy roads.

Tacoma TRD Sport

So much Tacoma to look forward to in Hilux

So there’s plenty to look forward to in the new Hilux. Of course, this it the American market Toyota Tacoma. How it translates to Hilux, and what spec South African, Australian and European Hilux versions adopt out of Toyota’ various global plants ultimately arrive with, remains to be seen.

And remember where you saw the new Tacoma, and most probably Hilux look first on TheAuto.Page!

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