Even just in silhouette form, the 2024 Toyota Tacoma sends a clear design message.
In the past few months, we’ve gotten some useful insight on Toyota’s probable design language for its fourth-generation midsize truck, by way of patent documents. Now, the automaker posted an official teaser to its Instagram page. Granted, there’s not really much you can see (that’s by design, of course), but even a dark photo like this basically confirms what we’ve already seen.
That is, the 2024 Toyota Tacoma will be an evolutionary design, so don’t worry — the Taco hasn’t undergone a radical overhaul here. Instead, the truck has generally gotten a bit edgier in its design at every extreme. Be it the front end, the roof line, the tailgate or the bumpers, this silhouette still reveals hallmarks that mirror the full-size Tundra. Whether that’s a good or a bad thing depends on your take of the larger truck’s redesign. I’ll admit it took me a minute to warm up to it, but Toyota certainly made a statement with the new Tundra. To that end, we expect it to make a similar (and obviously smaller in stature) statement with the 2024 Tacoma.
Since we’re talking about broadly familiar exterior cues, the interior also shouldn’t bring too much shock. Rest assured, we’ll still see a far more substantial update than we saw between the second- and third-generation trucks. On the whole, though, you can probably make an educated guess what it will look like by way of the Tundra, complete with a new digital instrument cluster and the company’s up-to-date infotainment system. The latest bells and whistles that comprise Toyota’s Safety Sense suite should also make an appearance here.
On the safety note, the new Tundra is the only current (2023 model year) full-size truck to earn the IIHS’ Top Safety Pick+ award. No gasoline-powered midsize truck currently holds that distinction, so we could see Toyota actually make a play here. That would be another feather in its cap, considering it is by far the best-selling truck in its segment.
What about powertrains?
Obviously, Toyota itself did not make any official comment on the 2024 Tacoma other than this tacit acknowledgement that it’s coming soon. It hasn’t yet fessed up to the design, nor did any spokesperson specifically confirm its powertrain. While it’s technically a rumor, we can reasonably assume at this point that the 2024 Toyota Tacoma will pack a brand-new engine from its 3.5-liter V6 forebear.
Looking around the lineup, the most likely culprit is the 2.4-liter turbocharged engine from the Highlander SUV. In its entry-level form, that powertrain puts out 265 horsepower and 310 lb-ft of torque, which would give the Taco roughly equal (if not slightly better) performance than the outgoing V6. To that, the 8-speed automatic transmission should also play a beneficial role.
However, one card Toyota could have up its sleeve is a hybrid powertrain option. That 2.4-liter mill also has a wingman in some applications like the Grand Highlander and the Lexus RX Hybrid, where it makes up to 366 total system horsepower. That may sound a bit aspirational, but keep in mind that the new Chevrolet Colorado manages up to 310 horsepower and 430 lb-ft of torque. The 2024 Ford Ranger also promises a potent option in the upcoming Raptor, which is rated up to 392 horsepower and 430 lb-ft of torque in Australia. Toyota needs a higher-performance version to compete with the Big Three and a hybrid system may well be their answer — and it’d probably give the Tacoma a fuel economy edge, to boot.
When will we actually see the 2024 Toyota Tacoma?
With this week’s Instagram teaser, you know to expect the new Tacoma very soon. We really can’t say with certainty when the automaker will finally come clean, though I’d wager we’ll know more within the next couple months. Again, consider the fact that the Chevy Colorado/GMC Canyon twins are pretty much here and and new Ranger is on the way, and that more or less railroads Toyota into a late spring/early summer reveal.
Whatever happens, you know we’ll have fresh updates right here at TFLtruck.com the moment we have more information to share with you. Stay tuned!