The Taco will get a turbo and a hybrid.
It may be one of the oldest vehicles in its segment, but the 2023 Toyota Tacoma dominates other mid-size trucks in sales. Perhaps the Taco's age isn't really a bug, but a feature. So what's going to happen when Toyota finally reveals the next-generation model? There are some big changes coming to the Tacoma, including a switch to the same TNGA-F platform used by the Tundra and Sequoia. Along with the new architecture, the truck will get some new engines.
Speaking with The Fast Lane Trucks, a Toyota "insider source" confirmed that the next-gen Tacoma will be offered with a choice of two powertrains: a 2.4-liter turbocharged four-cylinder and a Hybrid Max option.
Let's start with the former, as it will serve as the base engine and a replacement for Toyota's aging 3.5-liter V6. This is the same engine used in the facelifted Toyota Highlander where it produces 265 horsepower and 310 lb-ft of torque. For reference, the current Tacoma V6 produces 278 hp and 265 lb-ft of torque, so the power figure would likely have to increase for a truck application. Toyota's 2.4-liter turbo engine can be tuned higher, as evidenced by the Lexus RX 350, which is rated at 275 hp and 317 lb-ft of torque. In all previous applications, the 2.4-liter engine comes paired with an eight-speed automatic transmission.
If the next-gen Tacoma matches the RX on power, it would still fail to match the max output of the Chevrolet Colorado and GMC Canyon. That's where the hybrid comes in.
Like the larger Tundra, the Tacoma will position its hybrid powertrain as the performance option rather than a play for fuel economy. The Hybrid Max powertrain pairs the 2.4-liter turbocharged engine with a hybrid system to deliver more power and performance. It delivers 340 hp and 400 lb-ft of torque in the Toyota Crown, while the Lexus RX 500 F-Sport Performance gets 366 hp and 406 lb-ft. Both come mated to a six-speed automatic. Either of these outputs would beat GM on horsepower, but not on torque.
These new engines are expected to arrive under the hood of the 2024 Tacoma along with a new Trailhunter trim that was teased at SEMA on the Tundra. The Trailhunter will be built with Overlanding in mind, and will likely expand to multiple models. If this latest engine rumor is true, we anticipate the next-generation 4Runner will get same options.