Toyota builds Tacoma TRD Pro for tough conditions

The 2017 Toyota Tacoma TRD Pro is expected to arrive in the fall.

CHICAGO — Toyota is expanding its Tacoma midsize pickup lineup with a high-performance off-road version.

The TRD Pro, unveiled at the Chicago Auto Show, is based on the four-wheel-drive, double-cab, short-bed model of the Tacoma. It is packed with heavy-duty suspension hardware and electronic aids that enhance performance in grueling conditions, such as thick sand, steep unpaved hills and rocky terrain.

The vehicle is powered by a 3.5-liter V-6 engine with several features. It includes both port and direct fuel injection systems and it runs in Atkinson cycle, which keeps the intake valves open slightly longer to improve efficiency. The engine is rated at 278 hp, and is combined with a six-speed automatic or six-speed manual transmission.

Improved shocks are part of the pickup’s suspension system developed by Toyota Racing Development engineers.

Toyota Racing Development — TRD — is the company’s in-house performance division. TRD engineers developed the truck’s suspension system. It has improved shocks with internal bypass and different front springs that raise the ride height by an inch and redesigned rear leaf springs.

The truck is expected to arrive in the fall. No prices have been announced.

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