When Toyota unveiled the 2020 Sequoia TRD Pro at the Chicago Auto Show the other day, we were a little taken aback. Since its introduction in 2014, the TRD Pro line has been a smashing success for the Japanese brand. The only question now is how many people will be opting for a seven-seat SUV option?
Still rocking a body-on-frame design with four-wheel independent suspension and an indestructible 5.7-liter V8 engine, the Sequoia hasn’t changed much over the years, save for aesthetic and packaging options. TRD Pro models take the brand’s Multi-Mode 4WD, which is optional in other Sequoia grades, and builds from there.
But it’s the addition of uniquely tuned Fox aluminum-bodied internal bypass shocks that makes the Sequoia TRD Pro so special. Toyota explains: “Compared to external-bypass shocks used on off-road race vehicles, the Fox internal bypass shock compactly integrates bypass zones inside the shock body, which allows the shock’s fluid to bypass the piston through regulated ports as it moves through its travel. Providing a cushioned ride during typical driving, the Fox shock damping gets progressively firmer through the shock piston’s stroke to resist bottoming over rough trail surfaces.”
Up front, you’ll find 2.5-inch shocks managing seven compression zones and two rebound zones, with reduced front spring rates improving off-road compliance, as well as rebound travel jumping to 18mm. As for the rear, two-inch monotube shocks feature bottom-out-control technology, which has been engineered to improve damping force. Unlike stock Sequoia shocks, these Fox units pack meatier 47mm pistons (an increase of 15mm) and shock rods that are 3.2mm larger in diameter.
Constructed of anodized aluminum for reduced weight and superior heat dissipation, these components are designed to greatly reduce shock fade while off-roading. Loaded with high-temp damper fluid and pressurized nitrogen gas, each Fox shock is built to improve bump compliance and help maximize seal life.
As for the Sequoia’s exterior, the TRD Pro version gets a signature “TOYOTA” grille along with LED headlights and Rigid LED fog lights. Sitting atop TRD branded 18×8-inch BBS forged black wheels, the SUV rolls on P275/65 R18 tires. Paint-wise, a TRD Pro-exclusive Army Green is available, as are Super White, Midnight Black Metallic, and Magnetic Gray Metallic hues. Finishing touches include door badges, a TRD front skid plate, aluminum running boards, and a roof rack.
There’s also a TRD cat-back exhaust with a black chrome tip and TRD logo, producing what Toyota refers to as “a bolder exhaust note.” An interesting touch here is the use of an integrated, frequency-tuned sound cancellation device for improved in-cabin sound quality.
Speaking of the cabin, buyers get Black TRD Pro leather-trimmed seats with red stitching and “TRD Pro” implanted in the front headrests. Branded, all-weather floor mats come standard, and as with all TRD Pro models, this Sequoia receives an upgraded multimedia system that includes Android Auto, Apple CarPlay, and Amazon Alexa compatibility. Pricing and launch dates have yet to be announced.