A Hybrid Powertrain Is Standard On 2024 Toyota Tacoma Trailhunter And TRD Pro

The Toyota Tacoma is completely redesigned from the ground up for the 2024 model year. It is designed and engineered specifically for the U.S. market. Not only does it look different than its predecessor, but it also has some new features that improve its on- and off-road capabilities. Also big news: The 2024 Toyota Tacoma is available with an i-Force Max hybrid system. As a matter of fact, it’s the standard powertrain on the Trailhunter and TRD Pro models.

Body-On-Frame with Available Coil Spring Multi-Link Rear Suspension

The 2024 Toyota Tacoma sits on a new, high-strength, boxed steel ladder frame. Also new is a fully redesigned coil spring multi-link rear suspension. This new suspension is said to improve overall ride and handling on- and off-road. The new rear suspension is available on most grades.

About the i-Force Max Powertrain

One of the most notable features of the 2024 Toyota Tacoma is the i-Force Max hybrid powertrain. It’s the most powerful powertrain ever offered in a Tacoma. It has a total system output of 326 hp and 465 lb-ft of torque. For comparison, the torque output of the i-Force Max is nearly double the output torque of the current-gen truck with the V-6 engine. Toyota says that when equipped with the i-Force Max the Tacoma can ascend a 6 percent interstate grade without the need to downshift. The i-Force Max is the standard powertrain in TRD Pro and Trailhunter models (more on those models in a moment). It’s optional in TRD Sport, TRD Off-Road, and Limited models. The powertrain pairs a turbocharged 2.4-liter engine with a 48 hp electric motor. The motor is integrated into the eight-speed transmission, and it’s fed by a 1.87 kWh NiMH battery pack.

A Locking Differential and Increased Front Suspension Articulation

The Toyota Tacoma has a strong reputation as a solid performer off-road. It’s clear that Toyota engineers ensured that ability continued into the 2024 Tacoma. Four-wheel-drive models have an electronically controlled two-speed transfer case with high/low range along with Active Traction Control (A-TRAC) and an automatic limited-slip differential (Auto LSD). An electronic locking rear differential is standard on TRD Off-Road, TRD Pro, and Trailhunter grades. The new Limited grade now features a full-time four-wheel-drive system with a center locking differential on i-Force Max-equipped models. Additionally, an all-new front stabilizer bar disconnect is available. It increases front suspension articulation by 10 percent compared to the previous-gen truck. The front stabilizer bar disconnect is button activated. Furthermore, the stabilizer bar disconnect system will be compatible with Toyota-approved lift kits.

Making the Grade

There are eight grades available for the 2024 Tacoma. These include the SR, SR5, TRD PreRunner, TRD Sport, TRD Off Road, Limited, TRD Pro, and Trailhunter. It’s worth noting that the TRD Off-Road grade features new Bilstein remote reservoir monotube shocks. These shocks allow for better heat dissipation when traversing rough terrain.

Trailhunter is Overland Focused

One of the grades that comes standard with the i-Force Max hybrid powertrain is the new Trailhunter. This new package offers overland-ready features straight from the factory. It has Old Man Emu position-sensitive 2.5-inch forged monotube shocks with rear external piggyback-style remote reservoirs, a steel rear bumper, stout rear recovery points, and a bed utility bar with removeable MOLLE panels. Trailhunter is fitted with 33-inch Goodyear Territory R/T tires on 18-inch-diameter wheels. Toyota says that Trailhunter has 2 inches of lift in the front and 1.5 inches of lift in the rear. The Trailhunter boasts several other features, including a high-clearance trail exhaust tip, a high-mount air intake that ascends along the passenger-side A-pillar, rocker protection, and a set of hot-stamped, high-strength steel skidplates.

Trailhunter Has Additional Lighting and Lots of Power Options

Toyota didn’t forget that overlanding doesn’t just happen during the day. The Trailhunter has a variety of lights to improve the overlanding experience at night. There’s a front-facing 20-inch lightbar with white/yellow color switching Rigid LED fog lamps. The Trailhunter’s bed has triangulated lighting to help distribute light evenly. There’s even integrated bed-side scene lights that help to illuminate the area surrounding the bed. The Trailhunter is also equipped with numerous power outlets to support various camping accessories. There’s a 2,400W AC inverter that provides power to two locations in the cabin and the rear deck. There’s also 12V and USB sockets. Additionally, Trailhunter comes pre-wired for accessories with three auxiliary toggle switches on the dashboard.

TRD Pro: Made for Go-Fast Desert Driving

The TRD Pro model also comes standard with the i-Force Max hybrid powertrain. The TRD Pro is geared for go-fast desert driving. Its suspension includes aluminum front TRD upper control arms that optimize front geometry and reduce unsprung weight. The front dampers are Fox internal bypass 2.5-inch manual modal Quick Switch 3 shocks. Dials on the shock bodies allow tuning of compression damping to three settings. Out back, there’s a pair of Fox Internal Floating Piston bumpstops to help reign in the effects of gnarly terrain. Like the Trailhunter the TRD Pro sits 2 inches higher in front and 1.5 inches higher in the rear. The TRD Pro has a 3-inch-wider stance than the Tacoma SR5. The truck has 33-inch Goodyear Territory R/T tires mounted on black flow-formed TRD wheels.

TRD Pro Performance Bits, Lighting and More

Helping the i-Force Max engine breathe more efficiently is a TRD performance air intake and a TRD cat-back dual-tipped exhaust. And to help the driver see better at speed, a new integrated LED lightbar works in conjunction with the LED headlights to optimize beam pattern. The goal: balanced light output with significant range. Finally, a set of Rigid white LED fog lamps helps to increase visibility during inclement weather. Also of note: there’s a high-clearance ARB rear metal bumper with red recovery hooks and an aluminum TRD front skidplate.

IsoDynamic Performance Seat

The TRD Pro has a feature you can’t get on any other model Tacoma and its called the IsoDynamic Performance Seat. The IsoDynamic Performance Seat uses an air-over-oil shock absorber system. This allows for simultaneous vertical and lateral seat movement to dampen body movement and stabilize the head and neck to keep alignment with the spine. The goal of the seat is to stabilize the driver’s field of vision, thus improving focus and comfort while reducing fatigue while driving on rough trails. The damping effect is tunable for body mass and occupant preference. It can be bypassed if desired.

The Bottom Line

The midsize Tacoma has competitors. The truck is going head to head with the likes of the Chevy Colorado ZR2, Ford Ranger Raptor, GMC Canyon AT4X, and Jeep Gladiator Mojave. However, it appears that Toyota has hit a home run with the 2024 Tacoma. We’re excited that the powerful i-Force Max hybrid powertrain comes standard on the impressive Trailhunter and TRD Pro models. Both models offer a solid collection of equipment geared for the off-road traveler and the hybrid feature is the icing on the cake.

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Ken Brubaker

After learning to drive in a 1967 Rambler American, Ken was addicted to all things with an engine and wheels. He has owned a wide range of vehicles including a pair of 1977 Pontiac Trans Ams and a 1997 Jeep Wrangler.
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