Toyota has selected the 2011 Texas State Fair as the launching ground for a brand new special edition of the 2012 Toyota Tacoma. The Texas State Fair has often been used by domestic truck brands as a venue for debuting fresh models or unique equipment packages designed to appeal to the specialty pickup crowd, which explains why Toyota brought a pre-production edition of the TRD Tacoma Extreme Baja Series truck to the event last week.
The Toyota TRD TIX Baja Series is intended to pay homage to Toyota's extensive history in Baja racing. Toyota Racing Development (TRD) is a respected name in both professional and amateur desert competition, with TRD Off-Road and Pre-Runner packages having been offered for decades on vehicles like the Toyota Tacoma, the Toyota Tundra and the Toyota 4Runner. The Tacoma TRD TIX Baja Series builds on this reputation and combines a long list of dune-friendly gear into a one-stop options package.
Exclusive to the Toyota Tacoma TRD TIX Baja Series are a new TRD Cat-back exhaust system and Bilstein race shocks both front and rear, with the back units featuring a remote reservoir and zinc plating. In combination with TRD coil springs, rear wheel travel is increased by an impressive 1.5-inches and front ground clearance is up two inches. From an appearance standpoint, the Baja Series also brings with it gun-metal gray 16-inch wheels (that offer a bead-lock system for keep the BF Goodrich T/A KO tires firmly in place no matter how much abuse they might take), as well as special TIX Baja graphics.
The unique Tacoma makes use of all of the same gear found with the TRD Off-Road package, which includes a full range of electronic driver's aides (Active Traction Control, Hill-Start and Downhill Assist Control) and an electronically-locking rear differential. The TIX Baja package will be made available on versions of the Access and Double Cab models equipped with four wheel drive and the Tacoma's 236 horsepower, 4.0-liter V-6 that also produces 266 lb-ft of torque.
The Toyota Tacoma has been mildly restyled for 2012, with updates having been made to the front fascia (grille, bumper, hood) as well as much of the interior (dash, seat fabrics, steering wheel). The mid-size Toyota is far and away the sales leader amongst non-full-size pickups in the United States, and the addition of the Baja Series as a halo model should only help give the Tacoma a small prestige boost amongst truck buyers.