With the Detroit Auto Show is around the corner, it’s shaping up to become one of the most exciting in terms of new model releases — not strictly due to the rarity or performance prowess of many of the models (last year was the venue for the Chevrolet Corvette Z06, for example), but because of the everyday significance of many of the models slated to bow beneath the spotlights at the North American International Auto Show next week.
Among them is the new Toyota Tacoma. Many — Toyota fans especially — would argue that the new truck is a contender for the most desperately-needing of a complete redesign, and earlier this week, Toyota showed off what it has come up with. Notably, it was accompanied by exactly zero details — we’ll learn those at the show next week — but Toyota did release a barrage of images to whet our appetites.
The Tacoma, as you can see, has been given a far more rugged exterior, notably in the front and the back. Up front, a big, bulky grille, with a chunky front fascia to give it some aggressive, trail-worthy chops with which to combat the segment’s newest entrants, the Chevy Colorado and GMC Canyon twins. The raked paneling beneath the bumper implies that the Tacoma should be well-to-do when the going gets rough, and the sculpted hood and angrier headlamps give it a new sort of Big-Rig vibe.
The middle, however, seems to be pushing on a point of contention with followers and fans: The passenger cell part of the vehicle looks relatively identical to the outgoing model, so much so that many are questioning whether Toyota has truly retooled the truck entirely or just given it a heavily needed cosmetic update.
There’s no denying that those flared fenders give the Tacoma a new, more chiseled look. Around the back, Toyota has embossed “TACOMA” into the tailgate, as it has done with the 2014 Tundra. The rear-bumper forms a new wider step for ease of bed access, and some new tail lamps round out the refreshed backend.
Aside from the new visual cues, there’s little else that can be definitively said about the new truck — its suspension, chassis, engines, and so on. A V6 option will be definite (evidenced by the “V6″ badge on the pictured model), but there’s no indication what form it will take, and same for the likely four-cylinder that will undercut it.
Furthermore, we don’t have any interior shots to show you, but it’s likely you can expect it to be business-as-usual for the segment; lots of hard plasticky bits in the lower-end trims, and more comfort, convenience, softness, and tech as you move up the pricing ladder.
Chances are the prices won’t be drastically changed from where it sits now, at $20,765. This is because it must do battle with the new Chevy Colorado ($20,120), and a rehash of the TRD Pro edition is a near-guarantee for the new model — that trim ($35,525) hasn’t been on the market long enough for Toyota to let it go just yet.
We’ll have more details about the Tacoma when it makes its official debut in Detroit next week, at the NAIAS.