The updated Tacoma is here. It brings loads of interesting novelties, such as new styling details, new features and mechanical upgrades. However, it looks like some truckers were expecting more. Therefore, it’s no wonder that we can hear a lot of stories that this modest update actually indicates that the next generation could arrive a little bit earlier than most of us would probably expect. The fact is that Toyota is developing a new modular platform, which will be used for all body-on-frame models in the company’s lineup. Therefore, switching to a new architecture won’t be as complicated as building a new one would be. So, it wouldn’t be a surprise if we see a concept version first, maybe already like the 2020 Toyota Tacoma Concept.
This model would should the direction of the new model and would be one of the stars of the upcoming major car shows in the next year. However, keep in mind that this is nothing more than a rumor. Words from the officials on this subject are yet to come. Therefore, take this article with a big reserve.
What would 2020 Toyota Tacoma Concept present to us?
Without any doubt, the 2020 Toyota Tacoma Concept would have a lot of things to show. If we presume that the new model is about to hit the market in the next couple of years, we may expect a lot of design solutions and technologies that have the potential to be in the production model.
Of course, the first thing that comes to mind is the styling. This-year update hasn’t brought too many styling novelties. A new grille design and LED headlights are practically the only aesthetical changes, along with new color options. Therefore, we may presume the 2020 Toyota Tacoma Concept would show as a new styling. It would be boosted up with loads of new styling details. Many of them would be futuristic but we presume that Toyota won’t go far away and that most design solutions would be production-friendly.
Of course, the 2020 Toyota Tacoma Concept would also present a new cabin design. The recent update has brought a lot of interesting tech updates. There is a new infotainment system, power-adjustable seat and new camera-based driver aids. Most of these features will carry on in the next generation. Also, we could see a couple of brand-new things as well.
More importantly, this concept seems like a perfect opportunity to introduce a new approach to interior design. Pickup trucks aren’t just working machines anymore. Many of them already feature pretty upscale cabins, so we could expect the same from the 2020 Toyota Tacoma Concept. It would be a perfect opportunity to get opinions from truckers, before launching a production model.
2020 Toyota Tacoma Concept Hybrid Powertrain
Another thing we should see in this concept is a new powertrain. This is a perfect opportunity to show new technologies, including new engines and drivetrain systems. Therefore, a hybrid powertrain in 2020 Toyota Tacoma Concept sounds very likely.
Despite that many reports are suggesting hybrid powertrain already for the next year, we are pretty sure that this won’t happen before the redesign. Still, we could see its premiere in this concept model. At this point, we are getting all kinds of reports about the new powertrain and there are actually two possibilities that come to our mind.
The first one is a familiar four-cylinder-based hybrid system. In this case, we would see the same setup that can be found in models like RAV4 and the new Highlander. Of course, the Highlander’s, more powerful version would be our first pick. This system consists of a 2.5-liter gasoline engine and two electric motors, giving a total output of 240 horsepower. It seems like a decent output for a mid-size pickup truck, but the biggest strength of this hybrid model would be an excellent fuel economy. According to most reports, as well as to our estimations, this Tacoma would be able to achieve more than 30 miles per gallon with ease, which is far better than anything we can see on today’s mid-size truck.
V6 Hybrid, Why Not?
The above-mentioned system is impressive in many aspects. However, there is one potential issue. With such powertrain, the new Tacoma probably would be able to tow as some diesel-powered rivals. Despite the huge advantage in terms of fuel economy, this is still the most important thing about a pickup truck and the new generation should be able to tow at least 7.500 pounds.
Therefore, there is a big chance to see a more powerful, V6 hybrid system. This would mean something similar to a system that powers Lexus LS 500h. It delivers a combined output of 354 horsepower and the same system is expected in the new Tundra (though with a significant power boost).
When to expect the next-generation Tacoma?
The 2020 Toyota Tacoma Concept may hit some of the major shows in the next year but the next generation definitely won’t come that soon. Most likely, we will have to wait for a couple of more years. Still, a modest 2020 facelifts clearly indicate this won’t last for ages.