By on February 6, 2018

Tacoma TRD Teaser CAS 2018

Toyota not-so-subtly confirmed that the Tacoma TRD Pro will soon be available with a factory snorkel via a teaser photo on Tuesday. The automaker wants to remind everyone that new Toyota Racing Development 4×4 models will appear at the Chicago Auto Show later this week.

Mounted high enough for the Tacoma to drive through miles of bumper-deep volcanic ash or water without suffocating the engine, the snorkel showcases Toyota’s commitment to off-roading — or at least the associated trappings.

Other than that singular detail, the Tacoma TRD doesn’t appear to have changed much in the teaser photo. However, we’re sure there will be more off-roading niceties on offer for the Tacoma, with possibilities for the same on the Tundra and 4Runner.

Ideally, we’d like to see the Japanese 4x4s get a boost in performance that can be enjoyed both on and off the pavement — especially the Tacoma. You know, something that might give Ford Raptor shoppers reason to take pause. We’re not expecting 450 horses, but a bump up from the Tacoma’s current 278 hp would be nice.

We’ll have our fingers crossed this week, as details on the new TRD models will unfold in Chicago on February 8th.

[Image: Toyota]

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44 Comments on “2019 Toyota Tacoma TRD Pro Teased Ahead of Chicago Debut With Factory Snorkel...”


  • avatar
    TW5

    There is nothing more satisfying in this life than knowing your vehicle can drive through water that is deep enough to drown the driver.

    What a time to be alive!

  • avatar
    jfb43

    Toyota being Toyota, the Tacoma won’t get a significant update for another 8 years or so. Their laurels must be really exhausted from being rested on so much.

    • 0 avatar
      highdesertcat

      That’s true. Toyota has the philosophy of “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it” And they do sell a bunch of them. Enough to drive the olde Dakota, Canyon/Colorado and Ranger into the grave.

      If I ever buy another Tundra, I’ll wait until the redesign and update. When I still had my 2016 Tundra it was not any different from my 2011 Tundra.

      That said,my youngest son bought a 2016 Tacoma, and it was quite a bit better and different from his 2006 version.

      • 0 avatar
        JohnTaurus

        If sales could drive a truck into the grave, the Tundra would have been dead and buried long ago, buried under the dust created by Ford, GM and Ram trucks as they soared by it.

        • 0 avatar
          highdesertcat

          JohnTaurus,

          The Tundra and the Titan exist as an alternative buy for those who do not want to buy Ford, GM or RAM again.

          Besides, the Tundra sells for a lot more money than the offerings from Ford, GM and RAM.

          That should be a deterrent in itself. A person buying a Tundra is willing to pay more for better. That’s determination. But most of all, it’s freedom of choice!

          But it all boils down to personal choice. As I wrote, if I ever needed a 3/4-ton or heavier pickup truck, there’s only one that would get my vote.

          And that’s the Ford F-series.

          For those buyers unwilling or unable to spend the premium for a Tundra there exists the Titan.

          And I do see a lot of those on the road.

          Keep in mind that every Tundra and Titan sold is one less sale for either Ford, GM or RAM.

          That must gnaw at the folks from Ford, GM and RAM.

          • 0 avatar
            DenverMike

            I highly doubt the Big 3 are licking the wounds over Titan and Tundra “lost sales”. Figure most of those buys are from folks that would never set foot on Big 3 dealer lots, no matter what, come hell or high water. Why else would they shoot themselves in the foot like that?

          • 0 avatar
            Big Al from Oz

            HDC,
            I believe Toyota and Nissan with their full size pickups are a thorn in the side of the “Big 3”.

            For every Tundra and Titan sold is a Big Three full size not sold.

            I would like to see Toyota import the 70 odd Series pickups with the V8 diesels we have. Live axles all round, front and rear diff locks. A real 4×4. It would be used to drag Wrangler that are stuck out of the wilds, and would tear a full size 4×4 in half.

          • 0 avatar
            Bazza

            JT has a hard time reconciling why any red-blooded ‘Murican would buy a Tundra over the F-150 by conveniently ignoring the elephant in the room: whether used as an actual work truck or merely as an underutilized daily driver/grocery-getter it’ll deliver more dependable service day-in, day-out. It’s boring like that, and that’s why it commands a premium in resale which is the true measure of market sentiment concerning its troubling (to JT) existence.

            Now, I wouldn’t mind seeing an update, but in the meantime there’s the new RAM. Between Tundra and RAM, there’s more than enough reasons to steer clear of Ford and GM, now and forever.

          • 0 avatar
            Fordson

            Come up with some evidence that Toyota Tundras are more reliable or longer-lived than an F150, Silverado, etc.

            This should be interesting.

        • 0 avatar
          Big Al from Oz

          John,
          I think Toyota are making and have made good money from the Tundra.

          It would be nice to see a new Tundra, I agree.

          • 0 avatar
            DenverMike

            Just in shear numbers, the Big 3 have way more chances to get it right or wrong. If an issue is cropping up on 0.001 percent of F-150s, by god we will all know it.

            But then industry and professionals don’t have time to sit around, hold hands and ponder resale values, or even transactional prices, as long as the things are deadnuts reliable.

            By virtue, there’s no way Tundras and Titans are nearly as reliable as Big 3 fullsize pickups.

            My personal anecdotal? My mom’s low mileage ’07 Tundra has been fairly reliable, and the thing’s the most babied and coddled pickup there’s ever probably been. But even she’s astounded my beat to death, abused, high mileage ’04 F-150 has kept running, with minimum maintenance (usually less than) and has yet to let me down, unlike her Tundra.

          • 0 avatar
            DenverMike

            “Good money”?

            @BAFO – Maybe “OK money”. Clearly it can’t be cheap to put out fullsize pickups, even with SUVs and such sharing the platform. One good indicator is how long it takes between new Tundra/Titan generations.

          • 0 avatar
            highdesertcat

            ” Maybe “OK money”. ”

            Back in 2007 when this version of the Tundra first came out, the Detroit 3 were voicing their complaint that Toyota was “dumping” the new Tundra on the US market, at below their cost to build them.

            That faded once it became known that much of the costly stuff was actually Hino parts, and that the 5.7L 32-valve DOHC all-aluminum V8 was actually a copy of the Olds 350 block cast in aluminum and the heads were copies of the Lexus 4.6L, along with the beefed-up Lexus 6-speed automatic.

            Looks more like Toyota took the best that was out there and didn’t do a lot of R&D.

            Well, except for the F150, Silverado and RAM they bought, took each of them apart and incorporated the best of each into the 2007 Tundra.

          • 0 avatar
            gtem

            “and that the 5.7L 32-valve DOHC all-aluminum V8 was actually a copy of the Olds 350 block cast in aluminum”

            Any source on this claim? Smells beyond fishy.

          • 0 avatar
            highdesertcat

            gtem, I don’t know of any source but when the 2007 Tundra first came out this was discussed extensively on ttac, complete with criticisms that the 2007 Tundra basically consisted of all the best ideas from the Detroit pickups at that time with a few uniquely Toyota-only goodies thrown in like the 6-speed auto, huge floating caliper brakes, 10.5″ Ring Gear, which Detroit did not offer at that time.

          • 0 avatar
            DenverMike

            I’m sure Toyota was just as frightened when the Tempo and Celebrity came out.

            Except there’s still a hope the Tundra can take out a good chunk of the Big 3’s stranglehold on the domestic fullsize pickup truck scene. OK just kidding!

            Either way, Toyota (and Nissan) can definitely afford to go where not too many OEMs can venture, taking a huge initial loss (for many years at a time, most likely) just to get a real piece of the pickup truck American Pie.

            If you consider it an “investment” (or tax dodge) there’s no doubt worse places to lose (throw away) money.

            Plus they provide “a service” for those wanting a fullsize 1/2 ton (and not particular about its specs/options), but refuse to buy from GM, Ford or Ram, or simply have to be that dude or chick that has to take the road less ventured, and or just have to be “different”.

  • avatar
    Heino

    I saw a Hilux owned by a Luftwaffe employee based at IAD. It looks really nice, not angry like this thing. It was a stick, diesel, but in white.
    I wonder why the rest of world gets it and we don’t. Sad!

  • avatar
    probert

    I’ve always wanted a factory snorkel!!

  • avatar
    Tele Vision

    What’s the hood vent for? Torpedoes?

  • avatar
    cgjeep

    I bet they didn’t move the axle vent tubes. Or the transmission and transfer case ones. Making the snorkel mostly for show. Sure your engine survives ( not the electronics) but your axles, transfercase and transmissions are toast. Was shocked how low all the vents are on my 4runner. Not hard to extend but should already be in an “off roader”

    • 0 avatar
      Tele Vision

      A neighbour down the street has an old Discovery with fore AND aft snorkels and a big exo-cage that looks both homemade and supremely ineffective for anything other than as a mounting point for huge PIAAs . It’s spent both Summers that we’ve been here on ramps in his driveway. Disco really IS dead.

    • 0 avatar
      gtem

      An oft-ignored factor, but FWIW they typically have 1-way breathers that dissipate built up pressure in the diffs to outside, but don’t allow water in. On my 3rd gen the front diff and t-case are routed to the engine compartment from the factory, the rear diff breather I extended up to where my gas cap is, with a factory fresh 1-way valve at the end.

    • 0 avatar
      Big Al from Oz

      cgjeep,
      Many people who fit after market snorkels will drain their diffs after water crossings.

      I don’t about US full size and mid size pickups, but most global mid sizers have fording depths of 30″ plus, standard.

  • avatar
    AJ

    That picture is a good example of cleaner air up top! I just wish snorkels weren’t so in your face, as it kind of looks like guys that drive around with d-rings on the 4×4’s front bumper. Anyway, I wish someone could design a better way to hide it, like behind the cab?

  • avatar
    VW4motion

    Great, the soccer mom snorkel edition.

  • avatar
    deanst

    But does it have bush guards to protect it after you go through that really deep puddle at the mall?

  • avatar
    carguy

    How the mighty have fallen. The Tacoma is now Toyota’s most unreliable product. How did they mess this up without really changing anything?

    • 0 avatar
      dukeisduke

      Oh, but they did, under the skin. A new engine and transmission, and a new frame. A lot more high-strength steel in the cab, too.

      The thing is, the engine is garbage, more suited to a Camry than a truck.

  • avatar
    Brett Woods

    Some fun editorial hyperbole? “Mounted high enough for the Tacoma to drive through miles of bumper-deep volcanic ash…” Just so no reader becomes disappointed moments before death – There is every likely hood that an engine sucking air would choke if you try to ford miles of volcanic ash no matter where the intake is placed.

  • avatar
    Sub-600

    It would be a better idea if that was a periscope and not a snorkel. Then the driver could see over the F-150s in the Walmart parking lot. “There’s an open space near the Lawn & Garden area, get the seven pound bag of birdseed, we can put it in the bed, just don’t scratch it.”

  • avatar
    pdq

    The snorkel won’t last long. I bet it’ll get broken off the first time you drive into a parking garage or even your garage at home.

  • avatar
    Big Al from Oz

    It good to see some effort is being placed in the mid size segment.

    Oh, I read here our Holden Colorado will be coming with one of those 3 litre twin turbo Caddy engines (343kw and 500Nm). This leads me to believe that the Ranger would be coming with the 2.7 or 3.5 EcoThirst.

    Toyota will be left in the dust with the Hilux. Globally the Hiluxes have always been a decade behind in tech with high tech pricing. This has allowed Ford to directly challenge Toyota’s dominance. Maybe Toyota will come into the 21st Century. VW, Mercedes, Ford and GM seem to be producing high power mid sizers.

  • avatar
    dukeisduke

    If there’s one thing that wheezy, gutless 3.5 doesn’t need, it’s strangling.

    • 0 avatar
      PrincipalDan

      The 3.5 V6 is a perfectly serviceable CAR engine but it is not a TRUCK engine.

      I don’t think many would call the Highlander, Sienna, or Camry “wheezy” or “gutless” with the 3.5.

      Perhaps if the torque peak was lower and the curve flatter it would work better in the Tacoma. Personally I think they could have just spent money modernizing the old 4.0 V6 and gotten the same mileage gains they did by going with lower displacement.


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