Redesigned for 2016, Toyota’s popular midsize pickup gets a major attitude adjustment this fall when the 2017 Toyota Tacoma TRD Pro model rejoins the lineup after a one-year hiatus. Revealed in

Chicago, the latest iteration of this hard-core on/off-roader once again boasts a wide selection of factory-installed functional and cosmetic featuress designed and engineered by Toyota Racing Development.

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Based on the Tacoma TRD Off-Road 4x4 Double Cab Short Bed model and available in Cement, Barcelona Red Metallic or Super White, the new Pro variant packs a 278-horsepower/3.5-liter V6 that can be backed by either a 6-speed manual transmission with a clutch start-cancel switch or optional 6-speed automatic. Key visuals include a heritage-inspired black grille, TRD Pro aluminum front skidplate, LED foglamps and DRLs, a custom hood with functional scoop, and 16-inch black-finish TRD alloy wheels wrapped in Goodyear Wrangler All-Terrain Kevlar-reinforced tires. Rounding out the package are blacked out and color-keyed trim items and TRD PRO badging.

Playing dirty

The heart of the new Tacoma TRD Pro lies in its chassis upgrades that will work with its 4WDemand part-time 4WD system, an electronically-controlled transfer case and an Automatic Limited-Slip Differential to give this Gen II version greater off-road prowess. Anchoring the remix are TRD-tuned FOX 2.5 Internal Bypass shocks, custom springs with a 1.0-inch lift up front and a progressive-rate, off-road rear leaf along with wider wheel offsets that increase track dimensions by an inch. TRD Pro models with manual transmissions come with Toyota’s Active Traction Control that regulates front/rear power flow using the 4-channel ABS system. Automatic variants come with Toyota’s 5-setting Multi-terrain Select system, a low-speed Crawl Control system that automatically modulates the throttle and brakes while negotiating more challenging off-road venues plus Hill Start Assist Control.

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Capability aside, the new Tacoma TRD Pro also will come with a long list of upscale comfort and convenience touches. Black leather heated front seats with TRD logos, leather-wrapped multifunction steering wheel on a tilt/telescoping column, Entune Premium Audio with Navigation and App Suite and various TRD-specific trim bits as well as Rear parking assist plus Blind Spot Monitor and Rear Cross-Traffic Alert. Pricing for 2017 Toyota Tacoma TRD Pro will be announced closer to its actual on-sale date.

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