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The Brand New 2024 Toyota Tacoma

The Brand New 2024 Toyota Tacoma

Words: Staff

Photos: toyota

With over two decades of domination in the mid-size truck market, the 2024 Toyota Tacoma is here to continue the legacy. Off-road enthusiasts will be thrilled with the abundance of exciting features, including a fully redesigned multi-link coil rear suspension that elevates the ride and handling to new heights. Power is unleashed with two potent turbocharged four-cylinder powertrains, including a top of the line i-FORCE MAX hybrid, delivering 326 horsepower and a massive 465 lb.-ft. of torque. And that’s not all! Say hello to the trail-conquering Trailhunter, an overlanding rig purpose-built to dominate the great outdoors, straight from the showroom floor.

Designing and Developing a “Badass Adventure Machine”

The new fourth-generation Tacoma’s design was led by Toyota’s CALTY Design Center in Newport Beach, California, and Ann Arbor, Michigan. CALTY Design Center also played a key role in designing the Tundra and Sequoia models launched last year.

Kevin Hunter, president of CALTY Design Research, states that the primary design goal for the 2024 Toyota Tacoma was to authentically cater to customers’ rugged outdoor needs. Inspired by the truck’s DNA and Toyota Baja race trucks, the design captures the spirit of off-road adventure with its high lift, large tires, slim body, and powerful athletic stance, known as “Tacoma-ness.”

The CALTY design team focused on creating a “Badass Adventure Machine,” highlighting Tacoma’s toughness and athletic attitude. Each Toyota truck aims to have a distinct personality while sharing a family resemblance. The Tacoma’s narrow body, wide upper grille, aggressive skid plates, high-mount headlamps, side functional air intakes, hexagonal grille motif, and integrated roof and tailgate spoilers are signature design elements.

Engineering research and development took place at Toyota Technical Centers in Michigan, Arizona, and California. The engineering teams embraced the concept of “Tacoma-ness” and tirelessly developed the next-generation Tacoma as an exceptionally capable multipurpose vehicle. Improvements were made across all grades, enhancing the Tacoma’s off-road capabilities, from rock crawling to desert racing. The new Tacomas excel in various environments, offering unique experiences tailored to each grade, whether it’s a luxurious night out in the Limited grade or conquering challenging trails like Black Bear Pass in the Tacoma TRD Off-Road.

The Details

The new Tacoma is built on Toyota’s TNGA-F global truck platform, shared with the Tundra and Sequoia. It features high-strength steel and aluminum to increase rigidity and reduce weight. The chassis is reinforced to carry overlanding gear, and the roof has integrated attachment holes for adding roof rack rails. The steering gear box has a new front cross member for enhanced rigidity and steering input. A high lift jack point is integrated into the rear frame end.

The Tacoma now offers a newly available multi-link rear suspension that enhances ride and handling. This system replaces the leaf springs of the previous model with coils, providing improved performance. However, leaf springs are still standard on the SR, SR5 XtraCab, and TRD PreRunner grades. In addition, the Tacoma now comes with four-wheel disc brakes, delivering enhanced braking performance compared to the previous model. TRD models and higher trims feature a larger front brake package, while TRD models equipped with i-FORCE MAX have a larger rear brake package. An electronic parking brake enables low-speed radar cruise control and a brake hold function. Furthermore, the Tacoma is now equipped with electric power steering to enhance steering feel and accommodate additional safety and convenience features.

The Tacoma now offers trim specific tuned suspension. For example, the TRD Sport features red TRD sport-tuned shocks for a more responsive feel. The TRD Off-Road grade is equipped with Bilstein remote reservoir shocks for extended wheel travel, heat dissipation, and includes an end stop control valve (ESCV) for increased damping force. The TRD Pro comes with FOX’s QS3 three-way adjustable internal bypass shocks and FOX Internal Floating Piston (IFP) rear bump stops for improved high-speed off-road performance. The Trailhunter includes the Old Man Emu (OME) 4×4 Suspension by ARB, optimized for off-road control and load carrying. The Limited grade introduces the Adaptive Variable Suspension (AVS) system, which continuously adjusts damping forces based on road conditions. This system, with built-in actuators in the shock absorbers, ensures a smooth and luxurious ride for the new Tacoma.

Towing capacity is rated at 6,500 lbs on certain grades, and payload capacity is increased on the TRD Off-Road. The Tacoma offers various towing features, including a trailer brake controller, backup guide, and digital display mirror. The 360-degree cameras aid visibility around the truck and trailer. The bed volume has increased, and the aluminum tailgate has a power open and close function. Power outlets and an air compressor are available for convenience.

For convenient truck duty, the bed volume has increased by 7% for loading gear under an optional tonneau cover. The aluminum tailgate has a power open/close function with jam protection, and a quick release button integrated in the taillights. Gas grades offer a 400W AC inverter outlet in the bed and on the center console’s rear, while i-FORCE MAX grades have a standard 2400W AC inverter. Both the bed and cabin provide 12V DC power access. The Trailhunter includes a high-output air compressor in the bed for quickly inflating large tires after off-road adventures.

The Powertrains

Tacoma offers two powerful and efficient powertrains: a 2.4-liter turbocharged four-cylinder. The entry-level SR grades generate 228 horsepower and 243 lb.-ft. of torque, while other grades produce 278 horsepower and 317 lb.-ft. of torque with the new eight-speed automatic transmission. Enthusiasts can opt for a six-speed manual transmission with 270 horsepower and 310 lb.-ft. of torque.

The i-FORCE MAX hybrid powertrain is new to the mid-size pickup segment. Available on various grades, it combines the 2.4-liter engine with a 48-hp electric motor and an eight-speed transmission. This system delivers a total output of 326 horsepower and an impressive 465 lb.-ft. of torque, greatly exceeding the V-6 engine’s torque output. With i-FORCE MAX, Tacoma can effortlessly handle an 8-percent interstate grade. Fuel economy estimates will be announced later.

Rear-wheel drive Tacomas have an automatic limited-slip differential (Auto LSD), while four-wheel-drive models feature a two-speed transfer case with high/low range, Active Traction Control (A-TRAC), and Auto LSD. TRD PreRunner, TRD Off-Road, TRD Pro, and Trailhunter grades come standard with an electronic locking rear differential. The luxurious Limited grade includes a full-time four-wheel-drive system with a center locking differential on i-FORCE MAX models.

Built For Adventure

Tacoma’s new generation takes its legendary off-road capability to the next level, making it the ultimate adventure machine. A new front stabilizer bar disconnect increases flex at the push of a button, enhancing articulation by 10 percent compared to the previous-gen truck. This electronic stabilizer bar disconnect is compatible with Toyota-approved lift kits.

With up to 33.8-degree approach, 23.5-degree breakover, and 25.7-degree departure angles (TRD Pro without tow package), Tacoma conquers challenging terrain. TRD Off-Road, TRD Pro, and Trailhunter models are equipped with multiple cameras, providing a clear view of potential trail obstacles on the available 14-inch touchscreen. Standard front and optional rear recovery hooks and underbody protection ensure preparedness in difficult situations.

The Multi-Terrain Select offers adjustable settings for wheel spin control in Mud, Dirt, and Sand, available in both 4WD-High and 4WD-Low. Tacoma introduces a quieter CRAWL Control function, serving as a low-speed off-road cruise control. The electronically activated locking rear differential evenly distributes power to the rear wheels when traction is limited. Downhill Assist Control limits vehicle speed for safe descents. Manual-equipped Tacomas get a standard clutch start cancel that allows the truck to start in gear, which means the driver doesn’t have to press the clutch when facing challenging off-road driving scenes when starting.

Tech and More

The 2024 Toyota Tacoma boasts updated technology and information screens in its cabin. It features an 8-inch or available 14-inch multimedia touchscreen with Toyota’s latest Audio Multimedia system. The system supports wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto™ compatibility and pairs well with the Qi wireless charging pad. USB-C ports are conveniently placed, and higher grades come with a 12.3-inch digital gauge cluster.

All grades have a Smart Key System with push-button start. The available Digital Key connects with compatible smartphones to allow vehicle entry, tailgate access, and vehicle starting (4G network dependent). The Digital Key can also be remotely shared with others to give more control over vehicle access rather than giving someone the physical key. Additionally, a Smart Card key is available, which is a credit card-sized smart key that allows the driver to carry their key easily and conveniently with them wherever they go.

The cabin offers ample storage and organization options, including under-seat storage, foldable rear seatbacks, integrated shelf, MOLLE panels, and rubber grips. The dashboard features a hidden side pocket with a QR code for personalized accessories.

For music enthusiasts, Tacoma offers a premium JBL audio upgrade with an external subwoofer and a versatile JBL FLEX portable speaker that can dock on the dash and operate wirelessly for up to six hours, even in water.

All 2024 Tacoma models come standard with Toyota Safety Sense 3.0, Toyota’s suite of active safety and convenience systems. New-to-Tacoma TSS enhancements are made possible by system sensors with improved detection capability. This suite of features includes:

  • Pre-Collision System with Pedestrian Detection
  • Lane Departure Alert with Steering Assist
  • Full-Speed Range Dynamic Radar Cruise Control
  • Lane Tracing Assist
  • Road Sign Assist
  • Automatic High Beams
  • Proactive Driving Assist

Trailhunter

Tacoma welcomes the new Trailhunter grade, a purpose-built overlanding rig designed for enthusiasts straight from Toyota. This factory-developed model combines Toyota’s renowned quality and durability with ARB’s expertise. The Trailhunter features co-developed Old Man Emu (OME) position-sensitive 2.5-inch forged monotube shocks, a steel rear bumper, rear recovery points, and a bed utility bar with removable MOLLE panels. It comes in 5- or 6-foot bed Double Cab configurations, with options for light- or heavy-duty versions of a full ARB bed rack for additional gear.

The Trailhunter gains a two-inch lift in the front and one and a half inches in the rear, thanks to the OME shocks and 33-inch Goodyear Territory R/T tires. It includes a high-clearance trail exhaust tip and a low-profile high-mount Trailhunter Air Intake. Robust protection is provided by rock rails and hot-stamped high strength steel skid plates.

Distinctive features of the Trailhunter include a bronze-colored “TOYOTA”  heritage-inspired grille with an integrated 20-inch LED light bar and color-switching RIGID LED fog lamps. The bed lighting is strategically placed to eliminate dark spots, and bedside scene lights assist with nighttime setup. A powerful 2400W AC inverter is available for cabin and rear deck power needs, and the vehicle is pre-wired for accessories with dashboard toggle switches.

Customers can further customize their Tacoma Trailhunter with Toyota Genuine parts and accessories, as well as through the Associated Accessory Products program (AAP). The AAP offers a wide range of accessories, including off-road recovery gear, storage attachments, and outdoor equipment carriers. These accessories can be conveniently included in monthly payments and are not limited to the Trailhunter model, making it easier than ever to personalize a Tacoma.

TRD Pro

While Trailhunter is designed for off-the-grid overlanding adventures, Tacoma TRD Pro takes its proven go-fast, desert running capabilities to new heights. It features red aluminum front TRD upper control arms for improved front geometry and reduced weight. The Fox internal bypass 2.5-inch QS3 shocks can be adjusted to three settings for precise compression damping. The new multilink rear suspension incorporates FOX IFP bump stops to handle rough terrains.

TRD Pro boasts an aggressive stance with a two-inch higher front and one-and-a-half-inch higher rear, along with a three-inch wider body compared to the Tacoma SR5. It rides on black flow-formed TRD wheels wrapped in 33-inch Goodyear Territory R/T tires. The i-FORCE MAX engine benefits from TRD performance air intake and dual-tipped cat-back exhaust. Enhanced lighting includes an integrated LED light bar and RIGID LED fog lamps for improved visibility. The rear features a high-clearance ARB metal bumper with recovery hooks, and the front is protected by an aluminum TRD skid plate.

Exclusive to TRD Pro is the innovative IsoDynamic Performance Seat, a segment-first. This patent-pending seat stabilizes the driver’s field of vision, enhancing focus, comfort, and reducing fatigue on rugged trails. The seat utilizes an air-over-oil shock absorber system for simultaneous vertical and lateral movement, damping body motion, and stabilizing the head and neck alignment with the spine. The dampening effect can be customized based on body mass and preference and can be bypassed if desired.

Check out this vid with Larry Chen checking out the newest adventure rigs:

“With even more off-road capability and the quality, durability, and reliability that our customers expect along with a host of options for every owner, we’re confident that Tacoma will remain the top choice for mid-size pickup buyers when it arrives later this year,” says Toyota group vice president and general manager Dave Christ.

The all-new 2024 Tacoma will go on sale later this year with i-FORCE MAX models arriving in early 2024. Manufacturer’s suggested retail pricing will be announced closer to the on-sale dates.

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