We give Toyota credit where it’s due. The automaker has done a very good job of keeping the new Tacoma midsize truck under wraps. We mean that literally and figuratively, as this is only the second time we’ve seen a test vehicle in public. And it’s still well concealed under heavy camouflage.
Actually, they are well concealed. The folks over at TFLnow happened upon a fleet of Tacomas, each covered nose to tail while taking a break from testing in the mountains. With cameras rolling, we get a close view of one prototype turning around in an empty lot, showing a side-exit exhaust at the rear of the truck similar to the Toyota Tundra. The camera also zooms in on another prototype, catching a portion of the grille that bears considerable resemblance to the Tundra. However, the smaller wheel/tire combo and cab proportions scream Tacoma.
If there’s any doubt about these being Toyota vehicles, multiple commenters in the video call out the automaker’s distinctive locking beep heard around the 1:13 mark. Unfortunately, other aural clues such as engine or exhaust noise are impossible to hear. A Jeep Grand Wagoneer and Chevrolet Suburban appear to be part of the fleet, and we primarily hear the Jeep’s engine as the vehicles exit the lot. It’s not a hasty exit, which is good for getting a clear look. The trade-off is that we don’t hear what’s under the hood.
Gallery: Toyota Electric Pickup
Engine options are a well-kept secret at this point. The current Tacoma offers a choice between a 2.7-liter four-cylinder making 159 horsepower (118 kilowatts) or a 278-hp (207-kW) 3.5-liter V6. It’s believed a new turbocharged four-cylinder will join the fray, but it’s unclear if it will join the existing mills or be the Tacoma’s sole powerplant. Further complicating things is a strong rumor that the new Taco will use Toyota’s TNGA-F platform. It’s already in use with numerous models including the Tundra, and it’s expected to underpin Toyota’s global Hilux and Fortuner vehicles. An electric model could eventually arrive as well.
The current-generation Tacoma arrived for the 2016 model year and received a facelift for 2020. With that timeframe in mind, we could see the next-gen truck debut as soon as 2023.
Source: TFLnow via YouTube
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