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Toyota Launching Tacoma, 4Runner, and Tundra TRD Pro Models

Motor Trend logo Motor Trend 2/6/2014 Edward A. Sanchez

For as many accomplishments as Toyota has racked up in motorsport, both off-road and on-track, the company is having a tough time shaking its ho-hum image, the legacy of about a decade's worth of mass-market oriented models designed to keep corporate coffers full and dealers happy, but which did little to raise the pulse of enthusiasts. But it seems the enthusiast embers at Toyota are being fanned once again. Aside from the surprisingly aggressive new Lexus models, there's the FT-1 concept, that hints at the revival of the beloved Supra. And now, Toyota is showing off its line of TRD Pro Trucks and SUVs, giving dirt hounds something to get excited about.

Show Floor Update:Alright -- I know Toyota's new TRD Pro trucks are kind of gimmicky, but I must admit I really like them. Toyota's been playing the part of the middle-aged mom trying to prove to her kids she's still "cool" lately, and while there've been a few misses (like the new Corolla, Yaris, and all of the Scion brand save for the FR-S), I think the TRD Pro trucks will be a hit, especially among the bro crowd in California.

The Toyota Tacoma, Tundra, and 4Runner TRD Pro models split the difference between Ford's bespoke F-150 Raptor and Jeep's Wrangler Rubicon, and the do-it-yourself Mopar Ram Runner kit. The TRD Pro models get meaningful upgrades, designed to improve off-road performance, while (likely) not ruining drivability. The TRD Pro models will look the part, too, with FJ40-inspired grilles, black wheels, and aggressive (and functional!) skid plates. Toyota says the TRD Pro models will go into "limited production" this year, with an "affordable" price tag, whatever that means. - Christian Seabaugh

Although perhaps not as extreme or extensive as some other factory efforts such as the Ford F-150 SVT Raptor, the Wrangler Rubicon, and the Ram Power Wagon, the upgrades to the TRD Pro models show a sincere effort by Toyota to do more to appeal to off-road enthusiasts. Colors for this action-oriented trio are black, super white, and Inferno (burnt orange).

Toyota Tacoma TRD Pro

The Tacoma TRD Pro stands out from its more subdued stablemates with a unique "TOYOTA" block-letter grille, black "TRD Pro" badging, and a front skidplate. Functional upgrades include Bilstein remote-reservoir shocks, TRD-tuned springs with 2 inches of front lift and a decreased spring rate for a smoother ride over uneven terrain, unique 16-inch beadlock-style wheels, BFGoodrich All-Terrain tires, and a TRD exhaust. The interior gets TRD-logo floormats, and a shift knob.

2015 Toyota Tacoma TRD Pro© Provided by MotorTrend 2015 Toyota Tacoma TRD Pro

Toyota 4Runner TRD Pro

The functional upgrades to the 4Runner TRD Pro are fundamentally similar to the Tacoma, with some minor differences. The front springs give the SUV 1.5 inches of lift, and increase wheel travel by one inch, and the wheels are 17 inches. Like the Tacoma, the 4Runner gets a unique block-letter grille, and front and rear black bumper accents.

© Provided by MotorTrend

Toyota Tundra TRD Pro

If you can't see who Toyota's aiming for with this full-size brute, you must not be looking very hard. The whole block-letter grille thing? Toyota wasn't the first to do it. Unlike the Raptor, the Tundra TRD Pro doesn't have bespoke suspension arms, but does get unique reduced-rate springs with 2 inches of additional front lift, Bilstein remote-reservoir shocks, and a front skidplate. The interior gets unique red stitching and an instrument panel decorative insert.

© Provided by MotorTrendClick here for more coverage from the 2014 Chicago Auto Show floor.

2015 Toyota TRD Pro Series© Provided by MotorTrend 2015 Toyota TRD Pro Series

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