2019 TRD Pro Lineup

2019 TRD Pro Lineup

Get Toyota Cruisers & Trucks Magazine on the Google Play Store!Get Toyota Cruisers & Trucks Magazine on the App StoreToyota was gracious enough to invite TCT Magazine to the TRD Pro Press Event. Other members of the TCT staff have attended these events because the locale was usually closer to the staff members residing out West. Oh,how things have changed now that Toyota built a brand spankin’ new HQ just 7 miles south of my house. We don’t have BLM land in TX, and the nearest mountains are 11 hours southwest. Fortunately,Toyota learned about the local favorite off-road park, Northwest OHV in Bridgeport, TX.

Toyota obtained exclusive access during a weekday and built multiple courses for the automotive journalists to try out these trucks, and how glorious it was when the day arrived...just days after a multiple days of rain. Local off-roaders know when it rains, the Northwest OHV Park transforms into a far more challenging playground.

Toyota rolled out the red dirt carpet for the press corps with lavish dining in a large heated tent(it was prematurely chilly for Texas).We stood before 6 shiny new TRD Pro trucks (2 of each model) andlistened intently as the marketing and product experts walked through the new features. Next, they explained the various off-road courses, then they cut us loose without any supervision! I hopped in a Tundra and headed straight to the Baja style course. 

2019 TRD Pro Lineup

While the TRD Pro 4Runner, Tacoma, and Tundra have been out for a while, each of the 2019 models received some enhancements, especially in the suspension area. Toyota partnered with Fox to design and build 2.5-inch aluminum shocks specially tuned for each truck.

Fox Shocks Details

For 2019, the entire TRD Pro family rides on 2.5-inch TRD Pro-exclusive Fox Internal Bypass shocks. Tuned specifically for each vehicle by the engineers at TRD, the aluminum-bodied Fox shocks offer impressive performance and supreme damping for a wide variety of driving situations. High-speed desert running, slow-speed rock crawling, or simply driving to and from work –drivers and passengers will be as comfortable as they are confident.

Whereas off-road race vehicles traditionally have external bypass tubes on their shock bodies to fine-tune damping pressure, each high-tech Fox shock compactly incorporates bypass zones inside of the shock. These multiple bypass zones offer a cushioned, plush ride during typical operation but get progressively stiffer through the shock stroke to provide excellent bottoming resistance.

The front shocks are paired with specially-tuned TRD springs designed for excellent ride comfort and to also produce additional lift, giving each TRD Pro an aggressive, heightened stance for improved trail-conquering capability. A combination of high-temperature shock fluid and nitrogen gas pressureare employed inside each Fox shock to improve bump compliance and to help maximize seal life.

Every TRD Pro model features rear 2.5-inch Fox shocks that utilize a piggyback reservoir to house additional oil volume, which assists in maintaining peak damping performance during extreme use. Tundra relies on the beefy rear leaf springs also equipped on the TRD Off-Road grade, 4Runner utilizes the TRD Off-Road grade rear coil springs, while Tacoma features progressive-rate off-road leaf springs out back to allow more compression suspension travel to aid performance over rough terrain. TRD dust boots are utilized front and rear to offer added protection to help keep dust and dirt out, and 4Runner utilizes unique roost shields to help protect the inverted rear shock.

T U N D R A  P R O

Toyota amped up the features for the Tundra. My personal favorite featureis both functional and aesthetically pleasing:  lighter weight, fully forged wheels made by BBS. The Fox front shocks with their 46mm pistons and 2-inch lift, as well asrear shocks with 2-inch lift and 2.5 piggyback reservoirs, were tuned to work specifically with this BBS wheel, equipped with Michelin P275/65R18 all-terrain tires. When thinking about wheel weight, unsprung mass for acceleration is usually what comes to mind, but this weight also affects the suspension.

2019 TRD Pro Lineup

Rigid fog lights are a welcome addition for improved visibility. Headlights are also an upgrade to LED, with LED accent lights and a unique black treatment. For a more aggressive appearance, a hood scoop was added along witha newly designed grille. The truck I drove was equipped with the optional action cam mount.

2019 TRD Pro Lineup

2019 TRD Pro Lineup

The distinctive interior is loaded with red stitching accents for the dash, seats, and armrests, and complement the TRD Pro floormats, shift knob, and a center console emblem. A moonroof is now also an option.A new skid plate with red Toyota insignia helps distinguish the truck as a TRD Pro. Another feature I enjoyed was the dual exhaust (with black chrome tips) configured to provide a V8 growl. It was an addictive sound.

T A C O M A   P R O

Repeat after me:  it is NOT a snorkel. So,what is it? Desert AirIntake. The key point here, folks: having this DAI on does not change the river fording specifications of the Tacoma. By ingesting air at an elevated position, the air is cleaner and preserves engine health. The 46mm piston front shocks provide a 1-inch lift, and the rears are paired with 2-inch piggyback reservoir.

2019 TRD Pro Lineup

Some exterior features resemble those of the Tundra Pro:  skid plate, cat-back exhaust with black chrome tip, Rigid Industries LED fog lights, and LED daytime running lights.A larger sway bar improves steering and completes the new suspension.

C O N C L U S I O N

As I tore across the Baja course, the V8 rumbled, the larger sway bars tamed the body lean in the corners, the suspension absorbed the terrain, and the acceleration out of the apex was thrilling. I lined up at the start line to run again, this time with the traction control turned off. Thanks to the rain, drifting was a breeze. It was all about cornering and control. I did one more run, this time in 4WD high, and still no traction control. The front tires bit into the corners and reduced understeer. I could do this all day, but there were other trails awaiting me, and 2 more TRD Pro models to enjoy.

Technical trails in all 3 models made me a believer in the new Fox suspension arrangement. I cannot express how impressed I was. At one point, I rode in the backseat of the 4Runner while another press guy tried to off-road (I ended up getting out in the rain to spot him through a few sections...darn rookie). The ride was comfortable for the type of terrain I endured.

When the fun came to an end, I asked myself which one I preferred. While the 4Runner dominated in ride comfort and seemed to fair better on the technical trails, and the Tundra was a V8 blast to drive while sitting in a spacious interior, it was the Tacoma that won my heart that day. Start button, large nav/entertainment screen, superb audio system, great looks, Rigid Industries fog lights (one less mod I’d have to do myself), and an amazing new suspension, I’d take the Tacoma and I might even opt for the Desert Air Intake.  I don’t plan to get rid of my old V8 4Runner, but that daily driver Camry sitting in my driveway could easily be replaced with a TRD Pro Tacoma.

2019 TRD Pro Lineup

 

 

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