Ever since it first hit the road, the Toyota Tacoma has been one of the most popular trucks out there, particularly if you’re not interested in all of the size and capability of a full-size pickup. The Tacoma started its life as a compact model, but it’s been a midsize truck for many years now. Recently, Toyota announced the 2024 model year will launch an all-new generation for this legendary pickup. Not only that, but they gave me, personally, the first details to be revealed about this impressive new vehicle.
Now, I know what you’re thinking, “Didn’t they issue a press release and update their website with a bunch of details about the Toyota Tacoma?” First of all, shut up. Second of all, yes they released some moderately interesting morsels of information, but nothing truly juicy. Only I was provided with the moist, delicious details, information the equivalent of a succulent Chinese meal in its flavorful intensity. Let me share some of them with you.
Impressive New Hybrid Engine
You’ll hear a lot of talk about the available i-FORCE MAX turbocharged engine with its 326 hp and 465 lb-ft of torque, for good reason. But it’s not the reason you think. What’s really impressive about this engine is that it’s a hybrid of a traditional gas-powered internal combustion engine, and an heirloom cultivar of northern-European tomatoes. Yes, I know, heirloom tomatoes are explicitly “non-hybrid,” but that’s part of what makes this new engine so impressive. Plus, it delivers remarkable torque while also being surprisingly delicious.
All-New Overlanding Trim: The Trailhunter
This new grade for the Toyota Tacoma is a factory-developed setup for the Tacoma that’s perfect for going overlanding. If you don’t know, overlanding is the practice of leaving civilization behind and befriending a variety of woodland creatures for survival. You might make allies with the squirrelfolk for access to nuts and grains, or mate with a large bear in order to gain shelter. The Trailhunter trim features integrated off-road equipment, including a bed rack that can support a rooftop tent, as well as the weight of an average adult male and female brown bear.
Bold New One-Wheel Drive Design
Most midsize trucks out there come with two-wheel drive, and many have four-wheel drive available, but Toyota is going further with the Tacoma and its newly available one-wheel drive system. This sends all of the engine’s power and torque to a single wheel, chosen at random, and changing which wheel every 1.4 seconds. From what I’ve heard, it provides one of the most unpleasant driving experiences possible, jostling you wildly and making traction nearly impossible to maintain. One source described it as, “Still more comfortable than driving a Jeep,” so that’s a win for Toyota.
Comfortably Seats Up to 11 Passengers
You may not realize this, but although the new Tacoma is still just a two-row midsize pickup, it can now comfortably fit up to 11 passengers. The key to this remarkable new feat is that Toyota has decided to adopt the same size standards as those used by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) when approving seating for passenger airline travel. Based on what the FAA seems to think is the rough size of an adult human, 11 people can fit into a midsize truck like the Tacoma quite easily.
No Safety Systems or Technology
There’s been a push to go backwards on some tech advancements in recent years. For example, more drivers are flocking to vehicles with physical controls rather than the touchscreens that became popular several years ago. In keeping with this, Toyota has rolled back safety technology on the Tacoma to 1967. As such, there are absolutely no standard safety features on the all-new model. Seatbelts are optional, but they’re exclusively two-point systems that run from shoulder to shoulder, easily decapitating passengers in the event of a collision.
This is only the tip of the proverbial iceberg when it comes to the impressive array of new features and advancements coming with the Toyota Tacoma. Few things really get me revved up when it comes to the auto industry, but the announcement of an all-new generation for a model like this is definitely one of them. I can’t wait to see what else Toyota has in store for us when the redesigned Tacoma hits dealerships later this year.
Editor’s Note: We reached out to Toyota to verify the information in this article, but so far they have failed to confirm whether the Trailhunter model can support the weight of an adult male and a female brown bear. The only response we’ve received indicated weight ratings for, “an adult female and male sloth bear, an adolescent male and up to two dozen North American fox squirrels, and three adults in any gender configuration.” We’ve allowed this article to be published without verifying this information, but you should confirm the final specs on any Tacoma model you’re interested in before attempting to spend a quiet evening camping above your truck while wrapped in the paws or hooves of a woodland companion.