LAS VEGAS -- Toyota Racing Development, mostly known for racing parts and accessories for street-legal vehicles, will offer factory-installed TRD Pro off-road kits on the Tacoma, Tundra and 4Runner.
Ready for extreme rock-stomping duty, the TRD Pro editions will carry the same 3-year/36,000-mile warranty as a stock pickup or SUV. They will be sold only in conjunction with four-wheel-drive versions of those light trucks, starting in the 2015 model year. Toyota engineers say this is the most advanced off-road package Toyota has ever offered in a retail setting.
"Toyota is king of the dirt," said Jack Hollis, Toyota Division vice president of marketing. "Focusing on authentic performance prevents us from getting into appearance-over-substance, which some of our competitors have gotten into."
Hollis noted that, because they carry a factory warranty, the TRD Pro parts are meant to have a level of durability that short-use racing parts do not.
Among the performance additions:
-- Bilstein monotube shocks with remote reservoirs add 1 to 2 inches of wheel travel, depending on the vehicle. The shocks' 60-millimeter pistons are substantially larger than the stock units, providing better damping capabilities.
-- Dual cat-back exhaust systems provide up to an additional 10 hp and a throatier exhaust note, just on the border of the 95-decibel legal limit.
-- Higher ride-height Eibach front springs add 1 to 2 inches of ground clearance, depending on the vehicle, and smoother off-road response.
-- Larger alloy wheels, some with knobbier tires for off-road use.
A 1/4-inch-thick aluminum skid plate is placed under the engine bay. The 4Runner TRD Pro also comes with Multi-Terrain Select, Crawl Control and a locking rear differential.
Pricing for the TRD Pro vehicles will be announced closer to the on-sale date this fall. For budget-minded consumers, TRD Pro parts will be available on an a la carte basis, installed by the dealer.