Thrilled to share the full details of the upcoming Toyota Tacoma, which packs all-new engines and transmissions, a full redesign outside and in, and even a new range-topping Limited trim level.
The biggest news for the best-selling Tacoma is the addition of six-speed automatics for the base four-cylinder trucks and the top 3.5-liter V6. The new transmission promises a quicker sprint time as well as a near 15-percent jump in fuel economy all by itself.
But it is not working solo. The new V6 is very special indeed, with a truck-first combination of direct and port fuel injection – a la the Scion FR-S – that optimizes itself for max power of misery gasoline thirst. The up-rated V6 has a throaty growl and can be mated to a six-speed manual transmission as well as the auto mentioned above.
Inside, a new Tacoma Limited really gets into a sharing/caring mood with the big 4Runner — with Entune touchscreens, cosy leather and extra insulation from whatever environment you can throw at your trusty Toyota.
The wheels of the new Tacoma also take a leap in size along with new suspension tuning and a much-stiffer ladder-frame and rubber-isolated chassis. A max diameter of 18-inches is now possible, with two levels of TRD off-road trims in the cards.
The trim range of the 2016 Tacoma will be:
Athletic TRD Sport
Tough-as-nails TRD Off-Road
Top of the line Limited
We expect the new truck to join the mid-size segment relatively soon — with arrival times and pricing still TBD from the Big T. If we were guessing, we’d hope the first 2016 Tacoma’s arrive by July with pricing very near the current $18,000 – 32,000 prices of the existing model.
Perhaps a big more for the loaded Limited trim shown above with its new moonroof option…. but still much cheaper and 2X more park-able than any full-size pickup, but able to do 90-percent of the work of the big boys.
The full batch of 2016 Tacoma images are now all online – with the truck looking fresh and butch up front.
A large grille and more deeply-stamped creases and curves give the new Tacoma a bit of the 4Runner’s style kudos, plus new headlights with an LED accent not even the 4Runner enjoys.
2016 Toyota Tacoma Limited Interior
2016 Toyota Tacoma Limited Exterior
DOMINATE DIRT…OR ROCKS…OR PAVEMENT IN THE
ALL-NEW 2016 TOYOTA TACOMA
Toyota Tacoma Rebuilt Inside and Out
New Engine, Transmissions and Suspension Tuning
Legendary TRD Off-road Toughness
Best-selling Mid-Size Pickup for 10 Straight Years
Designed, Engineered and Assembled in North America
DETROIT, January 12, 2015 – Whatever the terrain, Tacoma is king of the hill. Rebuilt inside and out with an all-new powertrain and enhanced suspension tuning, America’s bestselling mid-size pickup for ten years running is Lord of the Rigs for dirt stomping adventurers.
With a legacy of off-road victories and over seven million units sold since 1964, Toyota revitalizes the midsize truck segment with the introduction of the all-new 2016 Tacoma.
“For the past 50 years adventure-seeking Americans have relied on Toyota trucks to take them places, on and off-road,” said Bill Fay, group vice president & general manager, Toyota Division. “The all-new homegrown Tacoma is a tough truck designed, developed and built for lifestyles of the young and young-at-heart.”
Built from the Ground Up
The new 2016 Tacoma was primarily developed by the Toyota engineering team at Toyota Technical Center in Ann Arbor, Mich. Starting with the frame, they added high strength steel to enhance rigidity and overall strength. Ultra-high strength steel was integrated into the body shell using a new hot stamping process that reduces weight.
To create a truck to meet the needs of active drivers on a variety of tamed and untamed surfaces, the suspension was fine-tuned to help deliver a smoother on-road ride, while making it even more capable off-road.
Get Your Motor Running
The new Tacoma will be powered by a 2.7-liter four-cylinder engine and an all-new, segment-first 3.5-liter Atkinson cycle V6 equipped with Toyota’s D-4S technology, featuring both direct and port fuel injection.
Both engines will be paired to a new six-speed automatic transmission with electronic shift delivering quick and easy shifting. The V6 can also be mated to a new six-speed manual transmission. The new powertrain makes the Tacoma more powerful and fuel efficient than ever before.
Doing It with Style Inside and Out
Serious, yet fun! This is the Toyota truck design DNA. The Tacoma and Tundra are amazingly capable trucks that are designed to reflect their capability. The Tacoma shares big brother Tundra’s more chiseled face, with a hex grille. From there, Tacoma expresses its own identity.
Inspired by desert racing, CALTY designers in Newport Beach, Calif. and Ann Arbor, Mich. made the new Tacoma all about recreational action and athletic agility. To achieve this, the new Tacoma’s wheel flares are strong and muscular for greater wheel travel and the high-lift image reflects its purposeful capability. Four new wheel designs range from 16 to 18 inches.
The front end portrays an aggressive attitude with its bold upper grille and a taller, more muscular hood. Mounted high above the clamp-shaped bumper sits slim, high technology headlights that feature projection beam lamps with available LED Daytime Running Lights. From behind, the new locking tailgate emphasizes Tacoma’s wide stance and tough image. The tailgate features an integrated spoiler for improved aerodynamics and a stamped Tacoma logo. The tailgate also adds an easy lowering feature, which allows it to slowly retract, preventing it from slamming down. For the first time ever, Tacoma is available with a tri-fold hard tonneau cover for securing gear when you’re away from the truck.
Tacoma’s tough exterior is complemented by an interior that conveys a sport truck image reflecting an athletic, go anywhere, off-road feel. Once inside, drivers will notice a “handlebar” design theme in the instrument panel for a more driver-focused experience. Soft wrapped trim and metallic accents set the stage for a high-quality look and feel that is a starting point for an array of available premium features, including:
Qi wireless charging
Smart key with push-button start
Dual-zone automatic climate control
Enhanced touchscreen audio
Blind-spot monitor with Rear Cross Traffic Alert
And much more
In addition to offering more premium features, Toyota engineers also made the new Tacoma quieter than ever. To accomplish this, all seals were enhanced and a multi-layer acoustic windshield and sound-absorbing headliner were added. Finally, a floor silencer pad further reduces road noise.
Making the Grades
The new Tacoma will be available in five grades in both 4×2 and 4×4 configurations. Each grade will have its own personality and unique look. Tacoma grades include:
Athletic TRD Sport
Tough-as-nails TRD Off-Road
Top of the line Limited
The two TRD grades are inspired by Toyota Racing Development’s more than 35-year history in desert off-road racing and a heritage of vehicles that have helped off-road enthusiasts conquer the toughest terrains in the most remote locations around the globe. Tacoma buyers will now have the opportunity to capture their global adventures on video as every Tacoma will come standard with a GoPro® mount located near the rear-view mirror.
Traveling Off the Beaten Path
Tacoma off-roading adventures will reach new levels of fun in the TRD Off-Road grade thanks to the addition of incredible technology. A Multi-Terrain Select system allows the driver to choose between different types of terrain such as loose rock, or mud and sand. Each input regulates wheel spin by adjusting throttle and brake pressure to provide maximum traction on almost any terrain.
Additional off-road technology includes Automatic Limited Slip and Locking Rear Differential, Hill Start Assist Control (HAC), Clutch Start Cancel (manual transmission only), Active Traction Control, and Crawl Control. Engaging Crawl Control allows the driver to select a speed of 1-5 mph. The Crawl Control system takes over the acceleration and braking, allowing the driver to focus solely on steering.
All Tacoma’s will continue to come standard with the Star Safety System.
A North American Story
Tacoma is assembled at Toyota Motor Manufacturing, Texas (TMMTX) in San Antonio and Toyota Motor Manufacturing, Baja California (TMMBC) in Baja California, Mexico. Both facilities play a major role in carrying on Tacoma’s legendary reputation for quality, durability and reliability (QDR), which has been instrumental in establishing its segment-leading owner loyalty rating. It’s QDR has also helped establish Tacoma as the highest rated vehicle in its class for resale value according to Kelley Blue Book. The all-new Tacoma builds on this tradition with improvement in every aspect over the current Tacoma including, design, ruggedness, and performance improvements in horsepower and fuel efficiency.
50 Years and Counting
Backed by 50 years of unwavering capability, an unbreakable attitude, and an off-road racing heritage, the all-new Tacoma is hungry for adventure and ready to tackle almost any challenge that it encounters. It is the ultimate tool for the outdoorsman that likes to get out there and go places.
Tom Burkart is the founder and managing editor of Car-Revs-Daily.com, an innovative and rapidly-expanding automotive news magazine.
He holds a Journalism JBA degree from the University of Wisconsin – Madison. Tom currently resides in Charleston, South Carolina with his two amazing dogs, Drake and Tank.
Mr. Burkart is available for all questions and concerns by email Tom(at)car-revs-daily.com.