Toyota Unveils Souped-Up Tacoma TRD T/X

Toyota Motor Corp.
Toyota Tacoma TRD T/X Baja Series

In a bid to hang onto customersin the fickle midsize-pickup segment, Toyota revealed a new version of its popular Tacoma small truck called the TRD T/X Baja Series. The introduction took place at the Texas State Fair, which has become a battleground for truck makers in recent years.
The new Tacoma reflects Toyota's long history in Baja-style off-road and desert racing with a combination of suspension modifications and other special equipmentand graphics. The truck was developed by the car maker's Toyota Racing Development (TRD) unit and the T/X designation stands for “Toyota Extreme.”
The Tacoma is a longtimeleader among compact pickup trucks, but the market has been shrinking, which forces the company to work harder to maintain a decent sales level.
As the Detroit Three; Ford Motor Co., General Motors Co. and Chrysler Group LLCcontinue to offer entry-levelfull-size pickup trucks at lower prices, fewer consumers are interested in smaller models that tend to have less power and overall capability. Toyota sold 106,198 Tacomas last year and70,474through August of this year. In 2006 the company sold nearly 167,000 Tacomas.
Toyota says it is testing theT|X Baja Series package for its Access Cab and Double Cab models with four-wheel drive. The companyis also considering offering it for PreRunner models. Baja option includes a4.0-liter V6 engine with a six-speed manual or five-speed automatic transmission. The truck comes with special off-road wheels and tires, and its ride height is almost two inches higher than normal.
The Baja Series models are scheduled for launch in late spring 2012.



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