New models put the extreme in off-roading.
Sport truck and SUV enthusiasts appreciate that Toyota Racing Development (TRD) has been providing design and engineering muscle to various Toyota products for the past 35 years. TRD delivers a viable alternative to what the domestics offer by routinely putting forth a collection of special products to handle the toughest off-road tasks.
Toyota Racing Development Pro Series Models
To mark both TRDs anniversary and the opening of the 2014 Chicago Auto Show, three new TRD Pro Series models based on 44 versions of the Tundra, Tacoma, and 4Runner were introduced and are currently on display. Known as the TRD Pro Series, this trio of rugged models will roll out for the 2015 model year come this fall.
Toyota describes its collection of TRD-inspired models as terrain-conquering vehicles, based on its off-road racing heritage. That heritage includes the Baja 500 and Baja 1000 endurance races held in June and November respectively in Mexico. Toyota has had its share of victories in each race thanks to the work of TRD.
The three TRD Pro Series models come with factory-installed upgrades designed for extreme off-roading. Thats the type of punishment whereby each model tackles the most difficult terrain including rock crawling, mud and snow navigation, dune climbing, and water fording. Its the type of punishment that body-on-frame vehicles are best suited for especially when outfitted with the right upgrades.
Standard Package Offering
Those upgrades vary from product to product but include the following features across all three model lines: black wheels, unique Toyota badging on the front grille, TRD floor mats and shift knobs, and TRD Bilstein shocks with remote reservoirs. All three models will also benefit from specially-tuned front springs and a front skid plate.
For the Toyota Tacoma, affectionately known as the Taco Supreme amongst enthusiasts, the smaller of the two Toyota trucks gets several important touches. These include 16-inch black headlock-style wheels set within BFGoodrich all-terrain tires. The front springs will also get a 2-inch lift and the overall spring rate will be decreased. Each Tacoma will receive black TRD Pro badges and black front and rear lower bumper accents.
Toyota Tundra Upgrades
The Toyota Tundra gets a similar 2-inch boost up front with a corresponding decrease in spring rate. The TRD Tundra is also outfitted with 18-inch alloy wheels set within Michelin off-road-package tires. The big truck receives a TRD dual exhaust system, TRD PRO quarter panel bed stamping, an exclusive instrument panel insert, and a unique seat color with red stitching.
And as most people know the Toyota 4Runner is one of the few remaining traditional SUVs left with its body-on-frame design. The Ford Explorer, Dodge Durango, and Nissan Pathfinder have each made the switch to unibody contraction while the 4Runner remains true to its roots.
To that end, the 4Runner enjoys a 1.5-inch lift to the front of the SUV, an additional inch of wheel travel, and 17-inch all-black alloy wheels. This model also gets black TRD PRO badges as well as black front and rear lower bumper accents.
Special Colors and a Game
Buyers can choose from three colors when considering their TRD PRO Series models: black, super white, and the all-new inferno shown here. Pricing is expected to be announced closer to the release date for all three models.
In the meantime, Toyota invites fans to take the TRD Pro Tundra, Tacoma and 4Runner off-road and online by playing, Super Off Road™: TRD Pro Edition Presented by Toyota. This game allows players to choose their favorite model and put it through the paces to score points, challenge other participants and to compete on the leaderboard. Developed by Warner Bros. Entertainment Inc., the game can be played with your smartphone by visiting ToyotaSuperOffRoad.com for full details.
Toyota Racing Development photo courtesy of Toyota Motors.