Toyota: 2017 Tacoma TRD Pro ‘dirtier than ever’

Michael Wayland
The Detroit News

Chicago — Toyota Motor Corp. is giving its Tacoma midsize pickup an off-road makeover for the 2017 model year.

The Japanese automaker on Thursday unveiled the 2017 Tacoma TRD (Toyota Racing Development) Pro at the Chicago Auto Show.

“Aimed squarely at extreme off-roading enthusiasts who challenge themselves and their trucks and SUVs in some of the harshest conditions, the new 2017 Tacoma TRD Pro will raise the bar on TRD Pro performance,” Toyota said in a statement.

Toyota Division Group Vice President and General Manager Bill Fay unveils the 2017 Toyota Tacoma TRD Pro off-road midsize pickup Thursday at the 2016 Chicago Auto Show.

When it arrives in dealerships this fall, the Tacoma TRD Pro will be powered by a 3.5-liter V-6 direct-injection engine and a six-speed automatic or manual transmission. The pickup features more aggressive exterior and several off-roading features, including 16-inch all-terrain tires and an aluminum front skid plate.

The front grille is one of the biggest differences between the TRD Pro and the truck on which it’s based, the Tacoma TRD Off-Road 4x4 Double Cab Short Bed. The TRD Pro prominently features a retro-inspired “TOYOTA” with blacked-out hood scoop.

Trucks equipped with automatic transmissions will feature a “Crawl Control” feature that automatically modulates the throttle and brakes on five low-speed settings to help drivers navigate difficult terrain. It also has five different driving modes that help regulate wheel spin by automatically adjusting the engine throttle and traction control.

Toyota did not announce fuel economy or pricing for the Tacoma TRD Pro. The 2016 Tacoma it is based on starts at about $31,000.

The new off-road model debuted hours after Ram Truck showed off a new off-road package for its Ram 2500 and the 2017 Power Wagon.

mwayland@detroitnews.com

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