Toyota Tacoma points the way for new HiLux

The race to build the toughest off-road ute has taken another turn.

Toyota has unveiled its next-generation Tacoma, an American pick-up expected to share styling and tech elements with the successor to the Toyota HiLux.

The Tacoma has a long list of ingredients Toyota Australia would like to pinch for its HiLux, including a turbocharged 2.4-litre four-cylinder hybrid motor that makes 243kW and 630Nm.

An eight-speed automatic gearbox promises to make the most of the motor.

Toyota emphasised suspension development in its popular pick-up, which has an Australian connection in a new “Trailhunter” model.

The manufacturer says it “worked with renowned Australia-based ARB to co-develop Old Man Emu (OME) position sensitive 2.5-inch forged monotube shocks with rear external piggyback style remote reservoirs”, along with a steel rear bumper, robust rear recovery points, and a modular cargo mounting system.

Mid-grade models have rugged Bilstein suspension, while the top-grade TRD Pro variant – Toyota’s equivalent to the Ford Ranger Raptor – has adjustable Fox suspension with remote reservoirs.

The most interesting element of the new Tacoma might be a seat designed to “stabilise the driver’s field of vision to improve focus, comfort, and reduce fatigue while on rugged trails”.

Toyota says the IsoDynamic Performance Seat has adjustable shock absorbers that are “tuneable based on body mass and occupant preference”.

Yes, even the seat has shock absorbers.

Other clever touches include a 14-inch touchscreen with smartphone mirroring, and the ability for drivers to use their phone as the car’s key.

A 10-speaker JBL stereo includes a removable speaker that can be used as a portable bluetooth speaker around the campfire.

Australia’s best-selling brand will introduce the larger Toyota Tundra pick-up in V6 hybrid trim later this year.

Toyota does not plan to sell the Tacoma in Australia, but its features could hit at the direction for the next HiLux ute due to reach showrooms soon.

Originally published as Toyota shocks with new Tacoma pick-up

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