With shorter first and second gear ratios.
At the recent launch of the Toyota Tacoma, CarBuzz found out that the upcoming 4Runner might also get the six-speed manual transmission available on lower trim levels of the pickup truck.
Sheldon Brown, Chief Engineer at Toyota Motor North America - Research and Development, said that the six-speed manual could fit into any of the models that use the TNGA-F platform with the 2.4-liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine, which includes the Tacoma and likely the upcoming next-generation 4Runner.
"It is basically the same manual as the old Tacoma, but it has a different bell housing to fit the electric motor," said Brown. "First and second gear are also now a little shorter."
As you might have seen from the Tacoma's reveal, the i-Force engine mated to the manual transmission is a little less potent than models equipped with the eight-speed automatic, and that's because the engine loses a few RPMs.
When mated to the manual, the i-Force 2.4-liter turbocharged four produces 270 horsepower and 310 lb-ft of torque. With the eight-speed, these outputs increase slightly to 278 hp and 317 lb-ft of torque. All models deliver maximum torque at an impressively low 1,700 rpm, but maximum power is reached at 5,400 rpm in the manual. Automatic models only reach peak power 600 rpm later.
The six-speed manual comes standard with automatic rev-matching, and anti-stall technology is available. Not only will enthusiasts across the board be happy that Toyota still offers a manual gearbox as an option (the Japanese automaker is starting to become a rare outlier in this particular field), but off-road enthusiasts who enjoy doing their own rowing will love the shorter first and second gear.
Naturally, the new Tacoma has all sorts of electronic nannies that will spill over to the 4Runner, These include a terrain response system with various modes, a crawl assist, and hill descent control. Still, there are a group of people out there who enjoy doing things the old-school way.
That means putting the car in first or second and relying solely on engine compression to maintain the speed when going downhill. This author respects the various downhill control systems, but nothing provides ultimate security like a manual gearbox.
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