Toyota has always been a brand associated with pickups, so it’s natural for Japanese car makers to consider new products featuring rear beds. The success of Ford Maverick and Hyundai Santa Cruz in the compact pickup segment prompted Toyota to evaluate the possibility of a new unibody pickup based on the TNGA platform.
Toyota Motor, two senior North American officials, told MotorTrend that the company is actively looking at the compact pickup segment. More specifically, Bob Carter, executive vice president of sales for Toyota Motor North America, said: “The places we’re looking at – will not be short-lived – where compact pickup trucks are going. You have Santa Cruz and Maverick in the market, and it will be interesting to see the scouts. Today, our market is very well covered with Tacoma, but a compact pickup can be a possibility and something we keep seeing. “
Read more: Our first thoughts on the Ford Maverick vs Hyundai Santa Cruz battle
Cooper Eriksen, Vice President of Product Planning and Strategy Group, reveals more about the future model: For more and less extreme off-road, it would be more understandable to use the TNGA Unibody platform. ”
Currently, Toyota offers only ladder-frame pickups worldwide, such as the Hilux, the Immortal Land Cruiser 70 and of course the Tacoma and Tundra. However, a TNGA-based vehicle could be a valuable addition to the range, benefiting from lower development costs due to underpinning shared with RAV4 and Highlander. Such a model would allow Toyota to reach other types of customers who are interested in car-like comfort and features, sick styling, hybrid or plug-in hybrid powertrain and a small pickup with an affordable price.
Carter suggested that Toyota make an interesting announcement in June 2023, which could be related to TNGA-based pickups. This could mean that we see a new model for the US market in 2024 or early 2025. Remember, Toyota Tacoma is getting ready for a new generation, probably coming in 2023 based on TNGA-F body-on-frame. Architecture that is already underpinning the Land Cruiser. The new Tacoma range will probably include an EV, which was previewed by a concept car last year.