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Chicago show: Toyota unleashes Tacoma TRD Pro

Great white hope: The Toyota Tacoma TRD Pro has the style and the upgraded oily bits to out-tough some serious terrain, building hope that Toyota will do something similar in HiLux-addicted Australia.

Never say never to TRD HiLux in Oz says Toyota, as beefed-up Tacoma hits Chicago


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15 Feb 2016

TOYOTA’S North American division has unleashed a vehicle that would have many Aussie ute fans salivating – a TRD Pro version of its Tacoma pickup kitted out with beefed-up off-road suspension and tyres plus a mean-looking styling pack.

But despite the Tacoma TRD Pro’s Chicago show unveiling and positive reception from the public and media alike, Toyota Australia remains unhurried about launching something similar Down Under.

Toyota Australia product public relations manager told GoAuto the company would “never say never” to reprising the TRD (Toyota Racing Development) HiLux and said the TRD brand “fits well with Australian consumers”.

But despite pointing out that the limited run of less than 1000 HiLux Black editions launched in October 2014 with sporty TRD-branded accoutrements were well received in Australia, Mr Coughlan said “nothing is planned for the current vehicle at this time”.

Asked whether any TRD dealer-fit accessories were planned, Mr Coughlan again denied anything was in the pipeline.

The North American Tacoma is broadly equivalent to the HiLux sold in Australia in terms of size, and the TRD Pro variant features a number of factory-fit component upgrades developed by TRD to boost its off-road ability.

Applied to a four-wheel-drive Tacoma with short bed dual-cab bodystyle and a 3.5-litre V6 petrol engine with either six-speed manual or automatic transmissions, the TRD Pro’s suspension is upgraded and TRD-tuned with Fox 2.5 internal bypass shocks, a 25mm front suspension lift and progressive-rate off-road rear leaf springs.

The 16-inch black-painted alloy wheels are wrapped in Kevlar-reinforced Goodyear Wrangler all-terrain tyres, while the part-time four-wheel-drive system has a limited-slip centre differential and a locking rear diff.

Adding to the TRD Pro’s tough off-road look are the striking “heritage-inspired” gaping black radiator grille and aluminium front skid plate, black bonnet scoop, black-background head- and tail-lights and Rigid Industries LED foglights. There is even a GoPro camera mount.

Keeping everything from boiling over in tough conditions are an engine oil cooler and power steering fluid cooler, as part of a standard towing package also including a bigger 130-amp alternator and electronic trailer sway control system.

Automatic transmission variants also get a transmission fluid cooler, hill-start assist and Toyota’s off-road cruise control feature CRAWL, as seen on Australian market LandCruisers. Regardless of transmission choice is a standard five-mode terrain selector system.

Inside are TRD Pro branded leather front seats with heating and four-way adjustment, a TRD gear selector knob, TRD Pro branded floor mats, a leather-trimmed steering wheel and electronic safety features comprising rear parking sensors and blind spot monitoring with rear cross-traffic alert.

The Tacoma is the third Toyota off-roader to receive the TRD Pro treatment, after the fullsize Tundra pickup and 4Runner SUV.

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