An image of the next-generation Toyota Tacoma, the American cousin to the HiLux, has leaked online in the lead-up to its official reveal on May 19.
This photo was published on 4thGenTacoma by user 3QTRIG who claims to have found it by “playing around” with URL characters, numbers and patterns on a specific Toyota assets website.
The Tacoma in the photo looks like a hardcore TRD Pro variant, like a previous teaser image of a tailgate showing an i-Force Max badge.
The exterior design appears to be evolutionary, with the prominent hexagonal grille carrying over, as well as the bluff and muscular silhouette.
This model has an LED light bar embedded in the grille, gloss black flared wheel arches, a metal bash plate, and a contrasting black painted roof.
As previously reported, the next-generation Toyota Tacoma will be available with a hybrid powertrain like the larger Tundra and Sequoia. A manual transmission option, as well as a number of body styles will also be available.
Tundra and Sequoia variants with the i-Force Max hybrid powertrain use a 3.5-litre twin-turbo petrol V6 engine with a motor generator and a 288V nickel-metal hydride battery pack. Total system outputs are 326kW of power and 790Nm of torque.
It’s unclear if the Tacoma’s i-Force Max hybrid powertrain will be tuned to produce less power, because the current model’s non-hybrid 3.5-litre V6 petrol engine produces 207kW and 359Nm.
According to US reports, the next-generation Tacoma will also be available with a longitudinally mounted version of the Kluger’s 2.4-litre turbocharged four-cylinder engine. In the Kluger this engine produces 198kW and 420Nm and is mated to an eight-speed automatic transmission.
The new Tacoma will reportedly be based on the company’s TNGA-F body-on-frame architecture, which currently underpins the Tundra and Sequoia, as well as the LandCruiser 300 Series.
The same architecture will reportedly be used by the next HiLux and LandCruiser Prado.
The current-generation Tacoma was unveiled in 2015 and went into production in 2016, making it roughly the same vintage as the HiLux sold here.
Toyota has teased an electric version of the Tacoma with an pickup truck concept shown in December 2021 among a large array of electric concepts from Toyota and Lexus.
The latest Toyota HiLux has been styled to look similar to the North American Tacoma, which has never been offered in Australia, and it seems likely the next-generation model will follow suit.
The current HiLux was launched locally in 2015 and is due for a new generation within the next few years.
The carmaker also recently showed off the HiLux Revo BEV concept in Thailand which points toward how an electric HiLux might look.
Once the new Tacoma is launched, it will likely be followed by a new version of the 4Runner SUV which share its body-on-frame underpinnings. Toyota offers this model in North America instead of the LandCruiser Prado.