Next-gen Toyota Tacoma (2023 launch) could be another hybrid pickup

  • Toyota's hot-selling mid-size pickup truck getting a full redesign in the coming months
  • All-new Tacoma to be available with the company's new Hybrid Max powertrain
  • Could start arriving at U.S. dealerships in H2 2023
  • First-ever Tacoma Hybrid expected to be priced from around USD 33,000

Update: ‘Leaked patent pictures’ sub-section added to ‘Design.’

Toyota started testing the next-gen Tacoma (2023 launch) on American roads just a month after announcing the new Tundra Hybrid. The local media expects the next-gen Toyota Tacoma to come with a hybrid powertrain option, as Toyota aims to increase its share of electrified vehicles in the U.S. market.

Design

2024 Toyota Tacoma Hybrid render
The next-gen 2024 Toyota Tacoma (rendered) could feature a multi-link suspension with coil springs at the rear.

In October 2021, TFLtruck.com reader Jordan spotted a camouflaged pickup in Las Vegas, and it was allegedly a prototype of the next-gen Toyota Tacoma. The heavy camouflage obscured everything except the two horizontal grille bars and an amber light below the headlamp. The unusual extension of the camouflage below the tailgate suggested Toyota was hiding a new rear suspension system. One change we are certain of is that the tailpipe would move to the left side with the lifecycle makeover.

Based on the details we’ve seen in spy media and drawing inspiration from the Toyota Pickup EV concept that debuted in December 2021, we created a render of the 2024 Toyota Tacoma. The front-end looks more confident than the current model, thanks to the unified grille, which has a significantly bigger footprint and features angular cuts, the flatter hood, the bigger, swept-back headlamps, and a chiseled bumper.

Video Source: YouTube/TFLnow

Spotted with orange cables

On December 15, 2022, spy shots of a heavily camouflaged 2024 Tacoma pickup surfaced in a MotorTrend article. In the new photos, bright orange cables can clearly be seen sticking out of the rear right window. Typically, these are associated with the high-voltage connectors found along with the Power Control Unit or PCU in EVs and Hybrids. According to the photographer (and the clearly visible side-mounted tailpipe), this development prototype might be housing Toyota’s Hybrid Max powertrain, which we’ve detailed later in the story.

Leaked patent pictures

A few weeks after TopElectricSUV.com presented the rendering of the next-gen Toyota Tacoma, patent images allegedly leaked online through patent images. The new design is nearly identical to the Toyota Pickup EV concept. Toyota has just replaced the closed upper grille with a functional unit. Even the new grille features a honeycomb pattern, but a little different from the concept’s grille. The gas-powered pickup truck has simpler-looking headlamp clusters and mirror caps, and different wheels. Unlike the electric truck, it features a shark-fin antenna and a fuel-filler flap. Everything else, including the vertical tail lamps with four light guides each, looks the same.

Interior

U.S.-developed infotainment system

Toyota Audio Multimedia System Tundra 1794
The next-gen Toyota Tacoma would get the new Toyota Audio Multimedia System that was developed in Texas. Image Source: Toyota

The next-gen Toyota Tacoma would have the new infotainment system developed in-house in Texas and announced in June 2021. Called the Toyota Audio Multimedia System, the infotainment system is available with touchscreens measuring between 8- and 14-inches diagonally.

The new system offers pinch and zoom functions like smartphones and tablets, wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto compatibility, cloud-based navigation, savable user profiles, OTA updates, and more. A physical volume controller is also a part of the package, and it’s a large, easy-to-grip dial. The new infotainment system can give a panoramic overhead view of the vehicle’s surroundings by stitching the feed obtained from a 360-degree camera system.

Video Source: YouTube/TFLnow

On June 29, 2022, TFLnow released a new 2024 Tacoma spy video showing prototypes on a test. At the 2:31 mark, we get a peek inside the second prototype. This test mule also has a new screen in the center, and it’s certainly different from the screen of the 2022 Tacoma. While the current model has an 8-inch unit tucked into the dashboard, the upper edge of the future model’s screen lies above the dashboard, meaning it could be taller or placed closer to the eye level of the driver.

Digital driver display

The 2024 Toyota Tacoma may come with an optional digital instrument cluster that displays the driver information on a 12.3-inch LCD. The digital driver display may have customizable layouts for a personalized touch. In addition to vehicle diagnostics, the virtual instrument cluster should give the driver access to off-road and safety features, towing functions, navigation, and audio controls.

Platform

With a few changes, the TNGA-F platform that debuted in the new-generation Land Cruiser will likely underpin the next-gen Tacoma. Also called GA-F platform and Global F-Platform, it’s part of the TNGA family and underpins the latest Tundra, Sequoia, and Lexus LX. Designed for body-on-frame vehicles, the platform offers weight savings, improved ride quality, quietness, and collision safety performance in these models.

2022 Lexus LX TNGA-F platform GA-F platform
The next-gen Toyota Tacoma will likely sit on a version of the TNGA-F platform, which is designed to offer electrification. Image Source: Toyota

In the Land Cruiser 300, the TNGA-F platform brought additional enhancements in the form of a lower center of gravity and superior weight distribution. In the LX, an additional benefit of the GA-F frame was the possibility of relocating the shock absorbers to a better position, leading to excellent ride comfort and keeping the body roll in check.

Another TFLtruck.com reader sighted a purported 2024 Toyota Tacoma prototype in late-2022, revealing new information. The spy pictures provided a closer look, indicating a new cab configuration in the making. The current model is available in Access Cab 6-ft. bed, Crew Cab 5-ft. bed, and Crew Cab 6-ft. bed versions, but the spied pickup looked like none of them.

Like the Tundra, the Tacoma could adopt a multi-link rear suspension and switch from leaf springs to coil springs. Such a change could provide a more comfortable ride, increase straight-line stability, and improve overall handling dynamics.

Powertrain

A significant change in the next-gen 2024 Toyota Tacoma will be the availability of a hybrid powertrain. Toyota will offer a Hybrid Max powertrain that clubs a 2.4-liter turbocharged engine with two electric motors, one at the front and one at the rear, The Fast Lane Truck reported on December 12, 2022, based on the information it obtained from a company source.

Like in the 2023 Crown, Hybrid Max in the Tacoma Hybrid could come with a direct shift 6-speed automatic transmission. In the crossover-styled sedan, it produces 340 hp and 400.4 lb.-ft. of torque. The Tacoma Hybrid, being a pickup truck, could get additional power and torque from the same system to better serve its purpose.

Toyota has offered no guidance about the powertrain strategy for the future Tundra, though. The Tacoma is one of the last pickup trucks on the market available with a manual transmission. Toyota may offer the next-gen model exclusively with automatic transmissions.

All Toyota models confirmed with electrified variants by 2025

In an announcement on February 10, 2021, Toyota said that Toyota and Lexus models, globally, will have an electrified option by 2025.

Between now and 2025, Toyota and Lexus models, globally, will have an electrified option. Toyota is also developing a dedicated BEV platform, e-TNGA, that offers flexibility for all drive configurations.

Toyota’s announcement on Feb 10, 2021, via Toyota pressroom

Gill Pratt, the chief scientist of Toyota Motor Corporation and CEO of Toyota Research Institute, had then said that offering drivers powertrain choices that meet their needs and also lower carbon emissions is the fastest way to reduce greenhouse gases. The company can make more North American drivers switch to eco-friendly vehicles by offering a choice “at every price point and with multiple powertrains,” he added.

Toyota Tacoma TrailHunter

The next-gen Tacoma will be available in a new ‘TrailHunter edition,’ as per the Toyota source mentioned above. On November 1, 2022, at the 2022 SEMA Show, Toyota announced that it would launch a new Trailhunter grade of trucks factory-equipped for outdoorsy customers. These “overlanding rigs” will be trail-ready with the essential components and accessories necessary for off-the-grid expeditions. The future Tacoma Trailhunter, for instance, could come with a special suspension setup, roof rack, unique bumpers, distinctive skid plates, a rooftop tent, and more.

America’s best-selling small pickup

It’s been eight years since Toyota gave the Tacoma a comprehensive update, and yet it continues to blaze a trail in the U.S. market. 2022 was the 18th consecutive year the Tacoma was America’s no.1 small pickup. At 237,323 units, sales were 6.0% down from 2021 (252,520 units) but still impressive overall. Chevrolet’s Colorado witnessed a 22.2% year-over-year growth, but with just 89,197 units to its name (2021: 73,008 units), it wasn’t nearly as popular as the Tacoma.

Electrified vehicles already make up about a quarter of Toyota’s total sales volume in the United States. In 2022, 24.3% (448,854 units) of all the new vehicles (1,849,754 units) the company sold in the country had electrification. Its electrified vehicle line-up consisted of 14 models, including two ZEVs – Mirai and bZ4X.

New Toyota Tacoma release date & production

The next-gen Toyota Tacoma may debut by June 2023 and go on sale in the second half of the year. Expect production of the new Tacoma to begin at Toyota Motor Manufacturing de Guanajuato (TMMGT, Mexico) by mid-2023. We will update the story with more details when they emerge.

TopElectricSUV says

With a brand-new platform, a new suspension setup, a first-ever hybrid powertrain, a newly developed, U.S.-focused infotainment system, and many other changes, the 2024 Toyota Tacoma should be a big step up from the current model. The best-selling pickup mid-size truck is about to raise the bar further, and that’s exciting!

Also Read: Next-gen 2024 Toyota 4Runner likely to be another Hybrid SUV

Toyota Tacoma Hybrid FAQs

What is the Toyota Tacoma Hybrid release date?

The Toyota Tacoma Hybrid could start arriving at dealerships in the second half of 2023. Confirmation on the hybrid version is awaited.

What will be the Toyota Tacoma Hybrid price?

If launched, the Tacoma Hybrid could be USD 4,000-5,000 more expensive than the gas model & start at around USD 33,000.

Featured Image: TopElectricSUV’s rendering of the 2024 Tacoma.