Recently, Toyota has been applying its TRD (Toyota Racing Development) treatment to more models, even adding a “Pro” grade to its Tacoma, Tundra, and 4Runner.
The results have been firmly in the Japanese automaker’s favor thus far, with fans asking for more. And, according to the company’s latest announcement, that’s precisely what’s in the works.
Speaking with Automobile Magazine at the Chicago Auto Show, Toyota general manager Bill Fay described a TRD performance RAV4 that will almost certainly see production. Inspired by the rally car version built for Rhys Millen, the consumer RAV4 TRD would contain, “that TRD racing magic,” according to Fay.
What that “racing magic,” might mean in terms of practical upgrades it not yet clear, but other TRD-branded Toyotas have received suspension, powertrain, braking, and exterior design updates in the past — all of which are possible for the RAV4 crossover.
We shouldn’t expect the motorsport RAV4’s all-terrain tires, long-travel suspension, 500-pound diet, and full roll cage to carry over, but we might see some tweaks to the standard vehicle’s 2.5-liter four cylinder (rated at 176 horsepower and 172 pound-feet of torque).
As with other TRD’s, Toyota presumably plans for the performance-oriented version to sit atop the trim range, including the new SE variant, which starts at $29,265. Considering we’re still waiting on an official announcement of the model, don’t look for a production model to appear until next year.
In the mean time, you’re free to get excited about the 2016 Tacoma TRD Pro, which looks more menacing than its predecessor and includes some serious off-road hardware like Fox 2.5 internal-bypass shocks, TRD-tuned front springs with a 1.0-inch lift, TRD-tuned rear suspension bits, the 4WDemand four-wheel drive system with an electronically controlled transfer case and automated limited-slip differential, and a towing package. The new Tacoma TRD Pro goes on sale this Fall.