2012 Toyota Tacoma TRD T/X Baja Series

Ford took everyone by surprised when it unveiled the F-150 SVT Raptor back in 2008, not only with the truck's capability but by the fact that they had the guts to produce it at all. The success of the Raptor left other automakers scrambling to produce something similar, although everything yet has fallen short in one way or another. Chrysler unveiled the Ram Runner Concept at SEMA last year, although you have to build it yourself if you want one, and GM has merely teased the idea of producing the Sierra All Terrain HD Concept shown earlier this year.

Now, Toyota is stepping up to the plate with the Tacoma TRD T|X Baja Series. Unveiled today at the Texas State Fair, this limited-edition truck takes inspiration from Toyota's Baja racing history and features items like an electronically-controlled locking differential, TRD off-road package with Bilstein race shocks and an increased ride height of two inches, BF Goodrich T/A KO tires and bead-lock style wheels. Power comes from Toyota's 4.0-liter V6 and both a six-speed manual or five-speed automatic transmission are available.

The TRD T|X Baja Series also benefits from changes made to the standard Tacoma for 2012, including a restyled front end with a new hood, grille, front bumper and headlights. The interior gets a new instrument panel, updated gauges, new steering wheel and more. You can read full details about both the standard Tacoma and the limited edition Baja Series in the press release after the jump.
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Toyota, the U.S. sales leader in compact pickups, introduced a pre-production Tacoma Toyota Racing Development (TRD) T|X (Tacoma Extreme) limited edition pickup truck here today at the 2011 Texas State Fair. Inspired by Toyota's Baja racing heritage, the truck reveals bold graphics with its concept name "Baja Series." The truck elevates the capability of Tacoma's TRD Off-Road pickup to a new level of fun and function.

All Tacoma T|X Baja Series models will be built exclusively at Toyota Motor Manufacturing, Texas (TMMTX) in San Antonio and are scheduled for launch in late spring 2012.

"The Tacoma has long been the sales leader by a wide margin in the compact pickup segment thanks to its well-earned reputation for stellar quality, durability, reliability and off-road capability," said Bob Carter, group vice president and general manager, Toyota Division. "The limited edition TRD T|X Baja Series adds another chapter to Toyota's truck legacy by offering a new level of capability for off-road enthusiasts."

Toyota has a rich Baja racing truck heritage that dates back nearly three decades and includes numerous titles at the legendary Baja 500 and 1000. Toyota's desert racing program has inspired the development of numerous TRD off-road focused products and packages over the years including the Tacoma PreRunner and TRD Off-Road packages for both Tacoma and Tundra. Last year, Tacoma's Off-Road Package was enhanced with the launch of the TRD T|X and T|X Pro packages. TRD now takes Tacoma off-roading to the next level with the development of the T|X Baja Series.

The T|X Baja Series is currently undergoing final testing for application on both the Tacoma Access and Double Cab 4x4 models equipped with the TRD Off-Road Package. Expansion to include PreRunner models is also being considered. The Tacoma T|X Baja Series is equipped with a 4.0-liter V6 engine with either six-speed manual and five-speed automatic transmissions. In addition to an electronically-controlled locking rear differential, Active Traction Control (A-TRAC), Hill-Start Assist Control (HAC) and Downhill Assist Control (DAC) currently equipped on the TRD Off-Road package, the limited edition T|X Baja Series adds BF Goodrich T/A KO tires (LT265/70R16) and bead-lock style off-road wheels with an exclusive Gun-Metal Gray finish, TRD Cat-back Exhaust, increased front ride height of nearly two inches and unique Baja Series graphics.

The front suspension has been upgraded to include Ø60mm piston Bilstein race shocks with TRD coil springs that feature a protective zinc plated body and a one inch increase in wheel travel. The rear suspension is equipped with Ø50mm piston Bilstein race shocks with a remote reservoir to increase shock oil capacity for greater heat dissipation and damping sensitivity. The rear shocks also include a zinc plated body and a 1.5-inch increase in wheel travel.

The T|X Baja Series will be part of a 2012 Tacoma line that is updated with a restyled front end and a refreshed interior in all models. Exterior changes include a redesigned hood, grille, headlamps and front bumper, among other changes. Inside, Tacoma has a new center-instrument panel design with a revised gauge cluster, along with a new steering wheel. A redesigned center stack adds new air conditioner/heater controls and power point locations.

The 2012 Tacoma interior also gets a new look with a black high-contrast center console, switch plate covers, dash and upper door trim, while the SR5 grade features a new seat fabric design. Tacoma offers new heavy-duty all-weather flooring option for 2012 on Tacoma Access and Double Cab models equipped with a V6 engine. The more specialized TRD Sport and Off-Road packages also feature new water-resistant fabric protection seats.