2015 Toyota Tundra, Tacoma, 4Runner TRD Pro - First Drive
Truckin-Style Tourture Testing in the Nevada Desert
Recently, we had the pleasure of getting out of the office and into the desert outside Las Vegas to check out the latest offerings from Toyota Racing Development. The new TRD Pro package is available on the Tacoma, 4Runner, and Tundra, and we’re going let the cat out the bag early and tell you the coolest part right up front: all of the components that make up a TRD vehicle are available á la carte through your local Toyota dealer.
The TRD Pro can trace its roots back to 1983, when Toyota began to sponsor Ivan “Ironman” Stewart in Mickey Thompson’s Stadium Truck series. He ended up winning 17 stadium races with TRD, along with three Baja 1000 wins and four SCORE championships. If you are anywhere near our age, you no doubt spent countless hours playing Ironman’s Super Off-Road -- the graphics inside and out were TRD through and through. Ivan, along with the TRD engineers, was our host for an entire day of thrashing on the culmination of TRD’s 30 years of off-road experience.
We began our day atop the parking garage of the Hard Rock Hotel, where we photographed the trio of Inferno Orange trucks (the other offerings are black or white) before they were filthified and got to walk around with the engineers. One of the main themes we immediately started to pick up on was these trucks were not built with a bunch of bolt-ons as an afterthought. Most easily noticeable was that each truck has its own unique wheel design, albeit in black, and features a different tire line to complement each of them. These TRD Pro trucks were developed by TRD engineers working alongside Toyota engineers to get the absolute most from the factory design. On the Tacoma, for instance, they explained that the brake line mounts were modified for extra droop and upstroke, and that the suspension was built around the steering gear and drive axles. We also learned that each of the Bilstein remote-reservoir shocks and Eibach coils were custom-built and heavily tested for each application. Since travel has been maximized within the stock packaging and geometry, you can now buy a factory off-road package on a Tundra, 4Runner, or Tacoma that has been thoroughly engineered and tested to work together -- and it’s all covered by a three-year or 36,000-mile warranty.
Soon we were on the road, caravan style, out to the Pioneer Saloon in Good Springs, Nevada. Built in 1913, the saloon is world famous thanks to the countless movies it has been featured in and would serve as our home base for switching out trucks as well as a great place for a barbecue lunch. We took each truck out for a good couple of hours of off-road driving. At first, we thought we were going to be paced by the engineers, since they were leading us in groups of five on the trails, but we were stoked to see them take off like a bat outta hell in the fast sections -- and believe us when we tell you we were moving! In the Tundra, we were running at 65 mph on the power line roads on a regular basis and were comfortable every minute of it. The Tundra easily picked up our “suckin’ up the bumps at high speed” award. We were also presented with a whole assortment of technical sections, some of which even required some basic crawling skills. Here the award went to the 4Runner. It seemed to twist and roll over any obstacle we put in front of it.
By the time we had cycled through all the trucks and took a wild ride with the Ironman himself, we were sold on the fact that these factory offerings are some of the best Toyota, or anyone else, has dropped on the showroom floor. Price points and quantities have yet to be released, so only time will tell if the TRD Pro lineup will strike a chord with consumers like some other recent off-road packages have. Now, if we could only get them to offer the TRD supercharger as standard equipment!
|2015 TRD Pro Tundra|
|Configurations:||Double Cab 4x4 or CrewMax 4x4|
|Suspension:||2.5-inch Bilstein shocks with Eibach Red Coil springs and remote reservoirs (front), 2.5-inch shocks with remote reservoirs (rear)|
|Wheels & Tires:||18-inch Black Alloy wheels with P275/65/R18 Michelin LTX AT2 tires|
|Exterior:||TRD dual cat-back exhaust; TRD front skidplate; old-school, block-letter front grille; black door badging; “TRD Pro” stamped bedside|
|Interior:||TRD floor mats, unique seat color with red stitching, TRD shift knob, unique instrument panel|
|Truckin Pros:||Tons of power, super comfortable, and solid during high-speed, off-road driving|
|Truckin Cons:||Boring stance, not very off-road-looking overall|
|2015 TRD Pro 4Runner|
|Suspension:||2.5-inch shocks with Eibach Red Coil springs (front), and 2.0-inch shocks with remote reservoirs (rear)|
|Wheels & Tires:||17-inch Black TRD Alloy wheels with P265/70R17 Nitto Terra Grappler tires|
|Exterior:||Front TRD skidplate; black TRD Pro external hard badges; old-school, block-letter grille|
|Interior:||TRD floor mats, black seating with red stitching, and TRD shift knob|
|Truckin Pros:||Lift and stance are awesome, overall aggressive look (the Nittos help)|
|Truckin Cons:||Due for a power upgrade|
|2015 TRD Pro Tacoma|
|Configurations:||Access Cab (C-Cab) and Double Cab (D-Cab)|
|Suspension:||TRD-tuned 2.5-inch Bilstein 5100-series independent coilover shock (front), TRD-tuned Eibach springs, 2.0-inch shocks with remote reservoirs (rear)|
|Wheels & Tires:||16-inch TRD beadlock-style wheels with LT265/70R16 BF Goodrich All Terrain T/A KO tires|
|Exterior:||TRD cat-back exhaust, unique front grille, black door badging, black hard badge on the tailgate|
|Interior:||TRD floor mats, TRD shift knob|
|Truckin Pros:||Easily the most bang for the buck in a brand-new off-road truck; 2 inches of lift from the factory is pretty cool|
|Truckin Cons:||Outdated interior|