A shadowy image in an Instagram post by Toyota has sparked speculation that a newly revised or updated Tacoma pickup may be in development or may even break cover soon. Nothing has been confirmed by Toyota, but the post was somewhat cryptic, leading to widespread speculation in comments on the post and beyond.
The simple image of a truck against a twilight (or early dawn) sky with the caption “Lost in the stars… #LetsGoPlaces” sparked hundreds of comments — triple that of most other posts on the carmaker’s Instagram channel — many of which speculated a new Tacoma could be inbound. Others commented that the chance of the company updating the truck was slim to none.
A few days later, Toyota USA followed up the shadowy photo with another post that could hint that the reveal is happening sooner rather than later. The photo shows a current-generation Tacoma with the license plate 040423. Could this be hinting that the reveal could be as early as next week? Maybe. The post also features a blurred vehicle to the right of the Tacoma. The grill definitely resembles the current generation Sequoia and Tundra. If the theories about the release date hold true, we won’t have to wait long.
But with recent developments among competitors, could the popular Tacoma (often referred to by its nickname “Taco” in many of the comments) see a reskin along the lines of the recent revisions or reintroduction of popular mid-size models from Ford and GM by way of the Ranger and Chevy Colorado pickups? The popular mid-size Tacoma last had a major makeover in 2015 for the 2016 model year, when the third-gen, known as the N300 or GR300 internally, debuted.
We know that the new Tacoma, whenever it debuts, will ride on Toyota’s new F Platform, the global ladder-on-frame platform that will underpin — no, really, all — Toyota and Lexus body-on-frame trucks and SUVs going forward. The F Platform first debuted with the Land Cruiser 300 and has spread to the Lexus LX600 and all-new Tundra and Sequoia. So new Tacos will undoubtedly ride on the F Platform, too. And if we were to guess, it’ll be powered by a turbo-four backed by Toyota’s new 10-speed automatic transmission.
With full-size truck prices climbing ever higher, there’s renewed interest in the more affordable mid-size range, and truck makers have responded with models that include more features and performance in more affordable packages.
Overland Expo recently drove the new Chevrolet Colorado, which is built around an upgraded turbocharged 2.7-liter four-cylinder engine that can be “upgraded” mainly through digital tuning tweaks depending on the trim level, an approach that gives consumers an easier upgrade path and the truck maker a more simplified construction approach.
Ford has also re-entered the mid-size space with its new Ranger models, also built around a turbo four. More truck makers are expected to follow suit, along with possible hybrid or all-electric versions in the near future.
When Toyota does indeed bring the new Tacoma to market, we hope it follows GMC, which debuted the all-new Canyon at Overland Expo Mountain West. Toyota, if you’re reading this, we will welcome the fourth-gen Taco to any and all Overland Expo events in 2023.