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Toyota Tacoma at the Detroit Motor Show: angular small truck

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Toyota Tacoma at the Detroit Motor Show
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T oyota has at the North American International Auto Show presented the new Tacoma in Detroit. The mid-size pickup, which is roughly the same size as the Toyota Hilux known in Europe, shows a lot of edge. This also gives new fuel to speculations about merging the two series Tacoma and Hilux.

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Tacoma and Hilux - are there still two models?

The Toyota fan base is looking forward to Detroit, because promises with the unveiling of the new Tacoma you can also get a statement about how things will go on with the two models Hilux and Tacoma. So far, the Toyota Tacoma built in and for North America and the Hilux sold worldwide have only shared a few design details; there are significant technical differences from the chassis to the engines and the body. But this question still remains unanswered.

After the first spy photos of the new Toyota Hilux, which will also come in a new version in 2015, it is at least questionable whether the body shape of the two models will converge. Instead, the new Toyota Tacoma looks as if the previous model had been cut with a razor. The protruding radiator grille stretches even further into the airstream, the wheel arch extensions modeled into the sheet metal look as if they were drawn with a ruler.

As with the predecessor, a deep-drawn fold is integrated as a design element in the lower door area. The rear side surfaces merge flush with the painted rear bumper, the rear view is dominated by very narrow taillights and a circumferential spoiler edge. Overall, the Tacoma looks less like a commercial vehicle than an off-road station wagon, which lacks the upper half of the trunk.

This impression is continued in the interior, which Toyota has made very homely. The cockpit of the new Tacoma could also slide into a Land Cruiser service, at least thatThe steering wheel is even identical (with the exception of the multi-function switch). In addition, there are the switch units known from various Toyota models. The large, chrome-rimmed air vents are stylish. Classic scales are used for the instruments, and there is a graphic information display in the middle between the rev counter and the speedometer. Nice gimmick on the side: Toyota integrates an adapter plate next to the interior mirror to which the popular action cameras can be attached. In addition to GoPro, other manufacturers are now using the coupling standard built into the new Tacoma.

New V6 engine

In addition to the tried and tested 2.7-liter four-cylinder petrol engine, Toyota will also be offering a new V6 petrol engine with a displacement of 3.5 liters for the first time in the Tacoma. It comes up with unusual technology: on the one hand, the D-4S technology combined with direct and manifold injection is used, which Toyota uses in the GT86 sports car. In addition, the V6 works according to the so-called Atkinson principle, in which the inlet valve remains open briefly during compression. Up to now, Toyota has installed motors with this operating principle in hybrid models such as the Prius, where the additional electric motor compensates for the weak torque of such motors. With the new generation of engines, which also includes the V6 offered in the Tacoma, the aim is to compensate for these systemic disadvantages of the Atkinson principle by means of higher compression. Toyota thus promises an efficiency that should be close to that of a turbo diesel. However, performance data have not yet been given.

The off-road package provided by TRD (Toyota Racing Development) is still available for off-road use. With the manual transmission versions, it allows starting with the gear engaged in order to be able to start up on steep slopes and comes with a rear axle differential lock. The electronic helpers (Crawl Control, Active Traction Control) known from other Toyota off-road models are also on board. The new Toyota Tacoma will continue to be built in San Antonio, Texas and Baja California, Mexico. There is no more detailed information about prices and the start of sales.

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