Toyota Improves on the Tacoma for 2016

To call the Tacoma a near-perfect machine is pretty accurate, but even Toyota knew there were some areas of the truck that could stand some improvement. Now, the company has finally given everyone a peek at the 2016 model, which marks a significant redesign and the start of a new generation.

Instead of completely redoing the previous generation of the Tacoma, the 2016 model simply builds on what made the 2015 great. That means it has about the same dimensions as the previous model. Thanks to some aggressive, more angular exterior designs, the pickup truck looks significantly different and more modern, which increases its overall appeal.

The beauty of the 2016 Tacoma isn’t just skin-deep. Underneath the sheet metal might be the same frame as the one used for the 2015 version of the truck, but it does feature some improvements. Thanks to some high-strength steel reinforcements, rigidity has been improved. That boosts safety and performance. The suspension has also been re-tuned, making the truck more manageable on pavement and capable on trails.

Speaking of capability, the Tacoma TRD Off-Road is loaded with some standard equipment that’s perfect for tackling rugged terrain. Crawl Control helps drivers take on especially tough situations where lesser vehicles don’t even dare to venture, taking the whole thing in stride. The Multi-Terrain Select system also takes the guesswork out of dealing with different surfaces, such as sand or mud, allowing the driver to concentrate on the pathway and not as many details.

One big sign that Toyota crafted the 2016 Tacoma for modern drivers has to do with the front end. It comes with a standard GoPro camera mount. Owners can attach the popular camera to the vehicle and conveniently record all of the action on a trail or road, making it easy to create videos to be shared on social media.

One of the biggest set of upgrades comes with the updating of the cab. The base SR5 trim gains a full-color 4.2-inch info display, while the TRD Sport boasts a Qi wireless charging system for mobile devices. Limited models pump up the luxury factor with embossed leather treatments and a power moonroof.

Since the 2016 Tacoma was made for modern truck owners, it’s also packed with some impressive safety features. Projector-beam headlights perfectly illuminate the road at night, plus make it easier for other drivers to see the pickup. An optional Blind Spot Monitor with Rear Cross-Traffic Alert makes the driver aware of potential accidents that are out of sight.

Even the powertrain is getting upgraded. Specific output figures haven’t been announced by Toyota, but the Tacoma will be powered by either a 2.7-liter four-cylinder engine or a 3.5-liter V-6 that uses an Atkinson power cycle for improved fuel consumption.

It might seem like an insignificant upgrade for the 2016 Tacoma, but Toyota has announced that the truck will come with a locking tailgate. This is an improvement over the last model, and will surely be a source of appreciation for Toyota fans.

Toyota Forges Ahead with Fuel Cell Tech

Toyota has unabashedly declared that it thinks the future fuel of automobiles is hydrogen. To back up this bold assertion, the automaker has boldly forged ahead with the Mirai, which is the first production hydrogen-powered model from the automaker.

Some people wrongly think that fuel cells are a new technology, like they’re a big experiment that could go wrong. The reality is that Toyota knows what it’s doing with using hydrogen to power the Mirai. In the not too-distant future, even more vehicles could be powered by the alternative fuel, sparking a true revolution in how everyone gets around. In other words, the company is on the verge of something big, and it’s been careful to ensure that it will deliver everything consumers expect and deserve.

Back in 1995, Toyota created its first fuel cell stack, which is essential to make hydrogen fuel cell vehicles work. The company has been working tirelessly since, improving on the design to the point that it has been perfected enough for everyday use by the public.

Keep in mind that Toyota has a history of starting revolutions in the automotive industry. After all, it created the Prius, which became a huge global sensation and made gasoline-electric hybrid powertrains much more common.

The hydrogen system has two fuel tanks made of carbon fiber. When air flows through the Toyota Mirai’s front grills, it is redirected to the fuel cell stack. The hydrogen also travels to the fuel cell stack, where it reacts with the oxygen to create electricity. A motor is powered by the electricity, turning the wheels so the car travels down the road. One of the most amazing things about the whole process is that the only byproduct is water, which exits the vehicle through the tailpipe.

Thanks to extensive testing, Toyota has proven that fuel cell powertrains are safe to use. After two decades, the company has used the innovative technology in just about every climate and driving condition on the planet. It’s racked up millions of miles of tests on public roads and private tracks, pushing designs to their limits.

The technology has also been through numerous crash tests and experiments on the integrity of the fuel tanks themselves, all with the aim of ensuring that the fuel cell system is ready to provide a safe and reliable means of getting members of the public around. As a result, the company has built in numerous safety systems, like shut-off valves that automatically cut off the fuel tanks when a crash has been detected by sensors.