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Toyota Hybrid Pickup Is Still Possible

toyota tacoma

The recently concluded State Fair of Texas proved to be the perfect venue to introduce and possibly even tease the future of pickup trucks. Japanese automaker Toyota is looking to star in the perfect headline by, as of today, studying the possibility of making a hybrid pickup.

Right now, what we’re sure of is what Ed Laukes, the group’s vice president of marketing, told Automotive News that the new Toyota Tacoma will feature upgraded powertrains. That will be part of the superb performance and marketability of the incoming Tacoma.

But when asked about the possibility of hybrid pickup trucks, Laukes was also quick to answer: there was no reason why hybrid pickup trucks shouldn’t be considered. Remember, there is also the need to meet CAFE standards. CAFE stands for Corporate Average Fuel Economy and refers to the regulations in the United States that aims to improve average fuel economy of cars and light trucks.

Even the president of Toyota Canada believes that there is room for hybrid pickup trucks in the future. Earlier this year, Larry Hutchinson said that “we’ve looked at it seriously” even if there’s little to no demand for hybrid trucks today.

Although the statements came from top Toyota officials, these shouldn’t ring true unless a concept is pushed through. Come to think of it, that may even remain as a mere concept since there is a long road between an idea and the presence of the truck in an actual showroom.

And yet, we want to believe that this particular gossip is true for the simple reason that hybrid pickup news has a prolonged stay in the rumor mill. This is one speculation that just won’t go away. You can’t blame people for being pessimistic about this. There is a history of disappointments that started with the Toyota A-BAT concept hybrid pickup in 2008 and the scrapped collaboration with Ford in 2011.

Still, back then, the two biggest automakers in the industry promised to bring into fruition a hybrid pickup truck. Toyota, at least, seems to have confirmed that studies are being made already.

Top 3 Cool Things About The 2017 Toyota Tacoma

2017-toyota-tacoma-trd-pro-5

Toyota rocked the midsize pickup truck segment last year when it introduced the all-new Tacoma. It will shake things up once again since Tacoma will be welcoming the new 2017 TRD Pro, along with revised value-loaded optional amenity packages for SR5 models.

Here are the three important features of the new Toyota Tacoma:

Brute Strength

The TRD Pro has the strongest foundation seen on any midsize trucks. Thanks to the use of high-strength steel in the frame and body, the TRD Pro can battle it out in terms of durability and performance. It also boasts of a “refined setup,” which means a double wishbone coil-spring front suspension and leaf spring rear suspension with staggered outboard-mounted gas shocks.

There are two available powertrains: the entry-level 2.7-liter DOHC four-cylinder with VVT-i that produces 159 horsepower and 180 lb.-ft. of peak torque and segment-first Atkinson-cycle 3.5-liter V6 featuring the Toyota’s innovative VVT-iW technology. The latter can produce 278 horsepower and 265 lb.-ft. of peak torque.

Stylist and Functional

The new Tacoma TRD Pro has a stylish yet functional design. It did not go away with its traditional ruggedness as can be seen on the overfenders, the hexagonal grille and tall, muscular hood. The Tacoma sits well above the ground clearance with the wheels ranging from 16 to 18 inches in diameter.

The Tacoma’s exterior palette is available in Black, Blazing Blue Pearl, Barcelona Red Metallic, Inferno, Quicksand, Magnetic Gray Metallic, Cement (TRD Pro only), Silver Sky Metallic, and Super White.

Inside, you can enjoy a host of new features that include: Qi wireless charging, smart key with push-button start, leather-trimmed seats, power tilt/slide moonroof, dual-zone automatic climate control, enhanced touchscreen audio, and blind-spot monitor with rear cross traffic alert.

Tacoma has Six Model Grades

You can choose from these six: SR, SR5, TRD Sport, TRD Off-Road, Limited and Off-Road TRD Pro. It also has 31 models based on two cab types—either the extended Access Cab or the four-door Double Cab, each of which are available in 4×2 and 4×4 configurations.

2017 Toyota Tacoma TRD Pro Will Sell For $41,700

toyota tacoma

Everybody knew that the 2017 Toyota Tacoma TRD Pro will cost much, but it doesn’t make it easier now that we’re hearing just how much it really is.

First announced at the 2016 Chicago Auto Show, the 2017 Toyota Tacoma TRD Pro will sell for $41,700, the Japanese automaker said this week to a source.

But that’s only the entry price for this off-roading pickup powerhouse, which will have a 6-speed manual transmission with plated skid and reinforced Kevlar tires. It will also have amazing suspension system and all that rock-crawling goodness combined in a sturdy off-roader.

If you want an automatic transmission, you will have to shell out $2,000 on top of the entry-level price.

No one’s doubting the off-road credentials of the Tacoma TRD Pro. Ever since it was introduced at the Chicago Auto Show, experts have been looking into the upgrades Toyota fitted their pickup with.

Though we find the entry level price a bit unsettling, it might just be fair because apparently, this midsize Tacoma TRD is closely priced to the all-new Ford Raptor.

That one has a twin-turbocharged V-6 that produces somewhere around 450 horsepower, reports said.

The Raptor is being paired with a 10-speed automatic too, and it has sophisticated chassis wizardry. The new Ford off-roader will start at $49,520 for a Super Cab and $52,505 for the double cab.

These two models are in direct competition with the Wrangler Unlimited Rubicon Hard Rock off-roader, which is being sold for $42,790. That off-roader suits all kinds of terrain, as expected.

The Tacoma TRD Pro will go on sale later this month, so we’ll expect to see its driver scaling some mountains after taking this out from the dealership. No further details have been released by its maker about the start of deliveries, but we are sure the next few weeks will reveal more.

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