This will please advocates of the three-pedal setup.
In the build-up to the reveal of the all-new Tacoma, Toyota's latest teaser tells us the newest iteration of America's favorite midsize pickup will be available with a six-speed manual gearbox.
Rivals such as the new Chevrolet Colorado are not offered with a manual gearbox, and while the new Ford Ranger is offered with three pedals in other markets, it's unclear whether local buyers will be given this option. That means the new Tacoma has a unique trick up its sleeve, providing would-be owners the choice to row their own gears.
Modern automatic transmissions are seriously impressive, but many consider a manual more capable when traversing off-road. Keen adventurers will appreciate the simplicity and control afforded by the stick-shift variant.
It will be interesting to see whether this is an all-new transmission or the same six-speed 'box employed by the current model. As for the engines, we expect the Tacoma hybrid will gain motivation from the turbocharged 2.4-liter four-cylinder currently found in the Crown. As such, we can expect as much as 340 horsepower and 400 lb-ft of torque for the top model with hybrid assistance.
Whether Toyota plans to mate the manual with this hybrid powerplant remains to be seen. It's an uncommon pairing and electrified vehicles traditionally use a CVT or automatic transmission. It wouldn't be impossible; Honda has previously demonstrated this with the CR-Z compact sports coupe.
We don't see this happening, though, and expect the manual gearbox option to be exclusive to the non-hybrid models.
There have been plenty of teasers over the last few months, but Toyota still hasn't said when the new Tacoma will break cover. While we've been patiently waiting, the automaker has previewed the TRD Pro derivative and even shared a glimpse of its impressive Fox shocks and disc brakes.
But that won't be the only rugged Tacoma to make a splash later this year.
Toyota has plans to introduce a Trailhunter trim which could be positioned above the TRD Pro within the Tacoma lineup. Rumored to cater to the overlanding crowd, this model will leave the factory decked out in desirable accessories from ARB and boast model-specific design touches.
With the Colorado/Canyon twins on the scene - and a new Ranger arriving imminently - there's no better time for Toyota to release a new Tacoma. With each passing teaser, we're getting closer to the final product, which will resemble the vehicle pictured in the leaked patent images below.
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