Toyota continues to tease the new Tacoma pickup ahead of a so far unannounced reveal date, and the latest tidbit to drop is a photo of three pedals and some confirming verbiage from Toyota:
Legends are more than automatic; they always come in clutch. The all-new 2024 Toyota Tacoma, available with a six-speed manual transmission. Stay tuned for more.
Our antennas are up, Toyota. Feel free to start the show at any time. But while we wait for the big reveal or more bread crumbs to go with the iForceMAX hybrid drivetrain, new TNGA-F architecture, and Trailhunter trim option, we have to wonder: Why a manual transmission? Twenty years ago, this would not have been a question, but with modern tranny tech now approaching the “exceedingly good” stage of maturity and allowing for “near-manual” operation with paddles or side-sticking, is there that much demand anymore for a manual six-speed?
At this time, the new ‘Taco’s manual competition will likely be limited to some Jeep Gladiator and Ford Bronco variants, but manuals aren’t exactly in demand for those rigs either, with less than 25% of those sold as stick shifts. Additionally, slow-speed maneuvers and rock crawling have now become the province of specialty automatics with super-low ratio options (100:1 in some cases) rather than finessing a smelly clutch-grinding manual.
Still, we know there are plenty of drivers out there who prefer the full control a stick and clutch can give, so we have to give props to Team Toyota Taco for recognizing the holdouts and old-school adherents. We’ll update if any more Tacoma clues come knocking.