The 2014 Chicago Auto Show public show is well underway, and one of the big announcements at the show was the Toyota TRD Pro line of off-road vehicles. We speculated that TRD Pro would give the Ford Raptor a run for its money, and now that we’ve seen the new vehicles and took a ride in the TRD Pro Tundra, we now know more about what TRD Pro is, and what it isn’t.
TRD Pro Modifications
The major changes for a TRD Pro vehicle is the re-working of suspension pieces. Vehicles will be equipped with Bilstein shocks for better performance. The shocks in the rear feature a remote reservoir. As the shocks warm up, the remote reservoir helps keep the system cool for better performance. Each TRD Pro vehicle will feature an additional 2 inches of suspension travel and ride height.
In order to make the suspension more capable off-road, the front suspension is actually softened. The added benefit is improved ride quality. We had an opportunity to ride in the TRD Pro Tundra on Toyota’s off-road course, and we can attest that the TRD Pro Tundra is more comfortable off-road than a standard TRD Tundra.
Additionally, there is a front-mounted skid plate to protect the underside of the truck when the going gets tough. Lastly, exclusive to the Tacoma, is a set of beadlock wheels to protect the tires when rock crawling.
Options and Availability
We had the opportunity to speak with Chris Gomez, Product Marketing Planner for Tundra, Land Cruiser, and Sequoia about TRD Pro and what options will be available at launch. Even though these vehicles are pre-production and options haven’t been finalized, they seem to have a lot of it figured out.
TRD Pro will be a specific model of vehicle. It will not be an option box that is checked in addition to other features. The more advanced technology features, such as Toyota’s Entune and satellite navigation, should be available. We wouldn’t expect these vehicles to be luxurious in the way the 1794 Edition Tundra is; the goal is to improve the off-road capabilities first and foremost.
Chris tells Motor Review that the Ford Raptor wasn’t really considered when developing the vehicles. Whereas the Raptor is a full-sized truck capable of off-roading well, the Tacoma will be Toyota’s off-road monster. The Tacoma is a mid-size truck and smaller than the Tundra and Raptor.
Additionally, we learned there will be other TRD parts available for these trucks at launch, including a factory supercharger kit for the Tundra. Even though they claim to not have benchmarked the Raptor in production, a supercharged Tundra with some serious off-road hardware could definitely give the flying Ford a run for its money.
TRD Pro vehicles will only be available in three colors; the orange that you see in the pictures, white and black. Also, each TRD Pro vehicle features a unique front grille that provides a retro look. We believe if the Tacoma had a black paint scheme with a light bar and KC lights on top, it would be a modern interpretation of Marty McFly’s Toyota from Back to the Future. We think that’s pretty cool.
The target for launch is Q4 of this year, and we hope to have them on hand to sample during this year’s Texas Truck Rodeo to give them a proper off-road review. Until then, sound off in the comments about what you like and don’t like about the new TRD Pro line of vehicles, and stay tuned for more information as the launch grows closer!