Toyota unveiled today at the 2011 Texas State Fair the pre-production Tacoma Toyota Racing Development (TRD) T|X (Tacoma Extreme) limited edition pickup, a vehicle inspired by firm’s Baja racing heritage. Set to make its debut in Spring 2012, the Tacoma TRD T|X Limited Edition will be built exclusively at Toyota Motor Manufacturing in San Antonio.
Although the vehicle is not quite ready, it appears that the Tacoma T|X Baja Series will be powered by a 4.0-liter V6 engine with either six-speed manual and five-speed automatic transmissions.
As expected, the model comes with an electronically-controlled locking rear differential, Active Traction Control (A-TRAC), Hill-Start Assist Control (HAC) and Downhill Assist Control (DAC) currently equipped on the TRD Off-Road package.
Moreover, we find the BF Goodrich T/A KO tires (LT265/70R16) and bead-lock style off-road wheel with a Gun-Metal Gray finish, TRD Cat-back Exhaust, an increased front ride height of nearly two inches and unique Baja Series graphics.
According to the manufacturer, the front suspension was upgraded in order to include Ø60mm piston Bilstein race shocks with TRD coil springs, while the rear suspension is equipped with Ø50mm piston Bilstein race shocks with a remote reservoir to increase shock oil capacity.
The Toyota Tacoma boasts of featuring dynamic control technology that’s the most advanced compared to others in its segment. Fitted as standard for all models of the Tacoma is the Toyota Star Safety System. Two such components are the Traction Control, or TRAC, and the Vehicle Stability Control, or the VSC. The latter operates in line with the TRAC and improves the vehicle’s traction whether off-road or on-road, allowing the vehicle to maintain its course.
When cornering, the VSC is able to detect a slide in the wheels on the front and rear. It therefore tries to manage this situation through throttle intervention or even applying the brake on the individual wheels. Another component of the safety system is the Automatic Limited-slip Differential, or Auto-LSD, which is standard on all versions of the Tacoma.
With the use of sensors, this feature lowers the rear wheel’s tire slippage, giving it that limited-slip effect. Then there is the Electronic Brake-force Distribution or EBD. What this does is to make sure that the brake pressure, at each of the wheels, is optimized. It does so independently allowing for better control when braking, an important aspect especially during cornering. Meanwhile the Brake Assist is tasked with verifying if the driver is currently trying to engage the emergency brakes.
In most cases, it is the anti-lock braking system (ABS), another safety feature, that takes care of this but should the driver be unable to press the brake pedal firmly enough so as to activate the ABS, the BA takes over and applies the needed braking power until such time the pressure on the pedals is released. For the 4x4 version with the V6 engine and the automatic transmission, Toyota will be making available the TRD Off-Road Package and with it the Hill-start Assist Control (HAC) and the Downhill Assist Control (DAC).
The HAC controls the brakes at each of the Tacoma’s wheels independently, as needed, and stops the vehicle rolling backward. It can also prevent slipping sideways when transitioning from a stopped position to climbing. For the DAC, this system utilizes the engine braking in order to manage the vehicle’s downhill speed.
By also being able to control independently the brakes at each of the four wheels, it enhances directional control. Once the driver puts pressure on the accelerator or depresses the brakes, the DAC is immediately deactivated. The same is true if the DAC button is pressed or the transmission is shifted to neutral.