Yuichiro Obu had a difficult task. The former chief engineer of the Toyota Camry Solara coupe had to change his mind-set to pickups to redesign the 2005 Tacoma. Obu spoke about the challenges with Staff Reporter Mark Rechtin at the truck's press launch in Alaska.
Q&A: Tacoma chief: V-6 is enough
We needed the product to be wider and longer, and not just a little bit longer. And every customer said it needed to be much wider.
We were the best in our competitive set, but we were making the vehicle bigger. So other than towing capacity, our target was Dakota. We couldn't beat Dakota in towing because it has a V-8, but we almost did it with our V-6.
The platform accommodates a V-8 because it is shared with the 4Runner. But the Tacoma is much lighter. We thought a V-6 would be enough for our customers.
Hino did the body development and shell development, as well as the seats, interior parts and exterior parts like the lights and bumpers. Basically, they did everything above the rocker panel. Toyota did all the platform work, such as integrating the engine. But the rear axle and rear differential are from the Hino plant.
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