Toyota Reveals a New Tacoma TRD T|X Baja 4x4

By Mark Williams

It must be frustrating for the TRD guys, watching SVT and Mopar have all the fun. The SVT Raptor draws lot of attention every time a small change gets made to it, and with the Mopar Ram Runner stepping into the ring, there’s bound to be big buzz as those two battle it out.

But what about Toyota? It might be enough to give any engineering group an inferiority complex. But Toyota has more than 30 years of desert racing history behind them, and the team at TRD has put together its most extreme performance package to date, called the Tacoma TRD T|X Baja.

Toyota released the T|X and T|X Pro packages last year, but the engineers knew there was more performance to be had with just a few more changes. The special package uses longer and stronger TRD coils in front with heavy-duty Bilstein race shocks, while the rear end uses the same leaf spring pack but uses remote reservoir Bilsteins.

The result is about an inch of extra travel in front and about 1.5 inches more travel in back. But, as you might imagine, the setup is designed to handle significant downforce, like the force you might experience when “accidentally” taking a jump.

The T|X Baja Series Tacoma will have all the same interior and exterior styling changes we saw in the new 2012 Tacoma, with rear decals added. The Baja Series will be offered in Access Cab or Double Cab configuration and will include the 4.0-liter V-6 with a choice of a six-speed manual or five-speed automatic transmission.

As you might expect for a serious off-road package, it also includes an electronically controlled locking rear differential, Toyota’s A-TRAC traction control system, hill start assist, hill descent control and 265/70R16 BFGoodrich all-terrain tires. Pricing will be announced at a later date.

More pictures below.



















oh look, they even included Raptor decals lol

Shootout anyone?

Happy B-day Oxi!

Nice Raptors Stickers!!!!

Get back to me Toyota when you start selling the far superior and far better looking Hilux in the USA .

PUTC needs to do a shootout with this truck, the Raptor, and the Rum Runner...maybe throw in a more focused offroad vehicle like a Wrangler Rubicon for good measure. Compare/Contrast what works where...

Did they include the supercharger option since Toyota isn't planning on updating to the newer 4.0 for at least another year?

"Tacoma TRD T/X Baja" BAJHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!!!!!!! That's just as funny when toyota come out with the Ivan Ironman Stewart turdra, what joke.

Another product from Wall Street.

My 2001 double cab came with the same size tires as this, so not an upgrade, I now run 275/75/16's. To bad they did not fix that ugluy rear wheel well and fender.

I like it.

@mhowarth - since they are copying Ford - they'll upgrade to a bigger engine next year ;) LOL

@007 -
Wall Street?

Thanks for admitting that the Toyota trucks are made in the USA ;)

To those asking for a shootout...the Toyota would lose is a TERRIBLE way. This is little more than a lame attempt by Toyota to try and make the current gen Taco seem more competitive with what the Raptor and Ram Runner can do. I bet if you look at the pricing on the TX Pro package you could very easily put equivalent aftermarket hardware on the Taco for less money and get better results.

What Toyota really needs to do is put the more powerful 4.0L V6 in the Taco and then work on other upgrades. That would be worth it.

BTW, in case anyone thinks I don't like DD is a '98 Taco TRD. It's a great truck with over 166K miles on it. I just put an ARB Old Man Emu suspension in it. LOVE IT! The only thing it needs is more power...although I can't complain about averaging a combined 20+ mpg the way it is right now.

why does that bottom picture seemed so photoshopped to me? i'm not sure it is photoshopped, but whenever i look at it it just seems faked.

Toyota is going for Ford and Ram's throats now...Not! This thing looks kind of cute with it's failed attempt, rough and ready graphics, to look like the awesome Ford F-150 S.V.T. Raptor. The Toyota engineers need to leave their island of Japan, to visit the North American country of Mexico, to help develop their "Baja" package. A trip to the real Baja, Mexico would show them that it takes more than stickers to make a true performance pickup.

Toyota needs to take a page, not the decals, from Ford's (and Ram's) playbook. They might learn a thing or two about capabilities versus looks?

@Buy American .Wrong Country. TRD is based in the US for the Tacoma. Toyota did develop the their Global Landcruiser in Australia, but flew in Japanese engineers and a local companies expertise to do the suspension.
@Ken Old Man Emu shocks on a lot of Australian Off road vehicles and racers, as you would expect as ARB is the biggest off road parts supplier in Australia and now the world.

Go get a towel oxi

Robert Ryan-

Toyota Racing Development, was originally based here in Southern California. When Toyota Motor Company (Japan) acquired this small company it became a Toyota (Japanese) entity. There are two official branches of T.R.D.: T.R.D. Japan (also known as Toyota Technocraft) and T.R.D. U.S.A. Both of which being controlled, naturally, by Toyota Motor Company in Japan.

@ Buy American. I know that but each TRD entitiy does its own developments, not Toyota Japan. We had Toyota Australia at one point producing Ute versions of Toyota Vehicles. Toyota does give the local operations some leeway.

Ford needs to make a long-bed version of the F-150 S.V.T. Raptor. That way the owner of the Raptor can load-up this "mini-Raptor wannabe" into the bed, drive down to the local R/C car off-road track, and race this T.R.D. T/X Baja against it's competition. You know, the nitro-burning R/C pickups.

@ Buy American we had a TRD division here , with local staff developing a TRD Hilux. Due to budget cuts it was dropped. Toyota just recently developed a local Hybrid Camry/Avalon not related to the Japanese or any other Toyota models. They had an Australian government grant to do so. Toyota Australia will be helping develop new Landcruiser and Hilux variants for a global market, not local.

Not a big fan on any of the Toyota trucks on the market, but I can see the company trying to take steps forward in creating something that can compete with the other trucks. I personally would not buy this do to the very weak and sluggish 6 cylinder engine. Doesn't look too bad, its just not the truck for me. I would personally consider a Silverado, or GMC Denali crew cab way above this. The new Raptor is looking pretty nice too.

Toyota must still be dealing with the, sudden unintended acceleration on their products. Bugs have not been worked out yet. Look at the pictures of the rear passenger tire with tire chocks. Once bit twice shy I guess?

Oxi has yet to comment as he shot a wad so hard it blew a hole in his monitor.

WHATD I JUST POST YESTERDAY! Yes yes yes I wanna see off road war between makes like the diesel wars! This is gonna be fun I bet GM doesnt even get in the game good move yota.....I can hear oxi screaming from here...

If I may be so bold as to show my bias, I can explain why this is a better truck than the Raptor and Ram Runner in two words; standard transmission. 'Nuff said.


That is hilarious.

I have discussed this with Oxi and Oxi does not need this package.

When it comes time to trade in his 2010 Tacoma, Oxi will buy the base model and built it up like he always has.

When he is finished, Oxi's will be better, more capable and cheaper.

The TX Baja is nice for people who have no imagination and need people to tell them what they want and don't care about being less capable.

Oxi's off-road knowledge and Deaver Springs FTW!

I would have to disagree with you all. I really like this step forward for Toyota and the Tacoma getting back to their Baja roots. Hoping to see it race the Baja 1000 this year. Looking forward to seeing proactive enthusiast buyer see what they can do with the TX Baja Series.

Yes it would be great to see a manufacturer "Duel in the Desert" With what is going on in short course with Johnny Greaves and Rick Huseman, this is a great this is a great step forward for Toyota.

While your at the show please ask Toyota why they didn't update the 4.0L V6 to dual VVT-i (like the 4Runner, FJ Cruiser & Tundra). It still makes no sense to me why they would do a refresh and not move to the updated engine while they were at it!

Lol....Team Oxi.

@Benchimus - funny, but I do have to agree with team Oxi. His posts have an underlying theme - buy a plain jane'r and build it yourself. No one knows better than the home do - it - yourselfer.
What do multi-billion dollar coumpanies with engineers and enthusiasts on staff know about building a great offroader?

OOOhhhh, nice stickers........ boys er men like stickers......

Where is the big, plasitc glue on non-functional hoodscope like the Tacoma TRD?

All kidding aside - I do like this truck.

Wow - Love the mud flaps! You know it is a serious off-roader with flaps that big!

For those saying they want to see a GM competitor in the off-road ring, don't hold your breath. I have a feeling Nissan will offer some kind of "enhanced off-road" package for the Frontier before we see anything from GM. The way their trucks are designed, it seems like GM wants to be king of the road and forget about everything outside the guardrails.

In my opinion the stickers r as stupid as they are on the raptor, the main thing is why is this just not a trd off road instead of the t/x baja. Atleast they ditched the ruggedfails which is probly one of the best upgrades. the raptor is a leather lined dessert runner with a comfy interior but price is steep, the ram runner is still alot of money but have more options in terms if trim levels and configurations.

I gotta wonder if the people saying the Rum Runner and/or the Raptor would be so much better off the road have actually driven off road much.

A smaller, shorter (to a point), and lighter vehicle is nearly always going to be more desireable off road... They can turn sharper. They fit in more places. They're less apt to break stuff. They don't sink as deep in mud and snow.

I do a lot of wheeling (Jeep) and you couldn't even FIT one of the newest crop of fullsized trucks through most trails. Trucks have simply gotten too big. And why would anyone WANT to take a brand new $50,000 truck off road and beat on it anyway...unless they were rich (or an idiot).

That said, the 2005-on Taco isn't realy a whole lot lighter or smaller than a fullsized truck...but still, it IS lighter. It IS smaller. What good is a 411 horsepower 6.2L engine when your 6000+ pound behemoth doesn't even fit on the trail?

I also have to laugh at the people saying 245 HP isn't enough... Y'all are just jaded. It wasn't all that long ago (1997) that the V8s in most fullsized trucks were only cranking out that much power. Nobody seemed to complain then.

I mean, how fast does a truck really need to go?

..Oh, and WTF is that wire (or whatever) hanging down that appears to be wrapped around the lower A-arm on the driver's side of the front suspension?

@Jason H, I suppose that certain size trucks perform better and worse in certain conditions. I have never done baja style off-roading, but I can imagine where a larger truck takes the high speed and rough roads better. But hey, that's a wide open and bone dry desert. Down here in the Mississippi River Bottoms, the Tacoma is the best choice for off road. A VERY close second is a GM short wheel base regular cab, 34 inch Buckshots all the way, and you'd better have a winch. But there again, probably not much of a desert racer.

I've expressed my wish for a factory offroad truck that isn't enormous before. This is pretty much what I was talking about. I mean, if the frame holds out. (It also should be a Hilux.)

Hey does anyone know if this thing "stops" at stop signs? Does the gas pedal stick? How about any electrical problems that might cause a fire? I mean these things are really important. Ya know I would hope that Toyota would want to pay attention to the basics before attempting to build an Off-Road truck....or at least their attempt at one......

..."I do a lot of wheeling (Jeep) and you couldn't even FIT one of the newest crop of fullsized trucks through most trails. Trucks have simply gotten too big. And why would anyone WANT to take a brand new $50,000 truck off road and beat on it anyway...unless they were rich (or an idiot)...." -Jason H

With only those two choices...I guess that makes me an idiot because I certainly am not rich. I will take my ($43,000.00)Dodge Ram 2500 Power Wagon, off-road, anywhere I can squeeze. I have the trail rash/pinstripes to prove it. That is why the wonderful engineers over at Dodge made the Power Wagon in the first place. If I intend to even more extreme wheeling, that would cause my Power Wagon bodily harm, I just hop in my Jeep Wrangler Rubicon instead.

Perhaps the people that buy; Corvettes, Camaro SSs, Mustang S.V.T. Shelby G.T. 500s & Boss 302s, or any of the Chrysler SRT-8 models, and drive them over 100 miles per hour, are idiots too? Why would they ever want to drive their vehicles in the manner that they were designed to be driven?

i bet this thing could spank a raptor any day of the week

Really guys, what's so special about adding lockers n bigger tires.... Ur still gonna drive it 99% on the road. I used to have a rear locker, n the only time it went offroad is when I'm driving to go hunting n even then its gravel roads most of the time. It's hilarious seeing a rapter or powerwagon in the big cities here. Really, is it that tough to get to walmart?

But whatever floats ur boat.

FYI double cabs are made in Mexico, I also thought all were made in Texas.

I am taking my Power Wagon out for some exercise this Sunday. Along with another Power Wagon, a Jeep, and an FJ Cruiser. I expect to use both rear and front lockers on a few different hill climbs. Ode to the locking differential.

@Buy American Or Say Bye To America!

Uhhh TRD is based in California and the Tacoma was designed in the U.S. and Toyota has been racing down in Baja for many years!

What rock have you climbed from under?

Like I have said before, I have never owned a decaled Toyota pickup!

I have always built up my own! While this Tacoma is a step in the right direction, I would still build my own.

By the way with the price differential compared to the Raptor or PowerWagon, the Tacoma has an advantage to build more...

My 2010 Tacoma is almost done with the suspension mods, far different than this new Tacoma but more for payload enhancement as an expedition rig...

&oxi, I am a Ford guy. This Tacoma is rathar nice. And it has manual trans!!! I would like to see the Toyota Tacoma OXI though (seriously - photos in a forum...).

Most mildly-lifted Tacomas suffer from a driveline vibration or hum. I wonder how Toyota solved that issue for this truck.

@ Buy Corellian Or Say Bye To The Deathstar

"...Why would they ever want to drive their vehicles in the manner that they were designed to be driven?"

C'mon dude, who do you think you're kidding?

Aside from possibly the Wrangler (and even that is getting to be a stretch these days), modern trucks are DESIGNED to be driven ON A PAVED ROAD. Trucks are designed to be driven on roads because that's where people drive them 99.9% of the time.

Sure, some models make a few design concessions that allow occasional offroad travel, (4WD, a rear locker, etc.), but look at any true off-road vehicle (a purpose-built rock racer, a trophy truck, etc) and you're going to see a HUGE difference in clearance, suspension travel/articulation, durability, you name it!

Talk to an automotive engineer.

Just looking at this thing again...I wonder if there's a way to specifically omit those hideous decals on the bedsides. Between the decals and those ugly, fake-ass beadlock wannabe wheels, this thing is just screaming POSER at the top of its lungs.

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