Toyota Racing Development, more commonly known as TRD, has created architectures, engines, and parts for a variety of Toyota vehicles. TRD supported off-road legend Ivan “Ironman” Stewart for three decades on his path to multiple championships and race victories in Baja, U.S. off-road desert, and short-course off-road races. TRD most recently celebrated CJ Greave’s 2017 Pro 4 Championship in The Off-Road Championship Series (TORC).
And now, coming to a driveway near you – or perhaps your own – the 2019 Toyota TRD Pro Series.
The 2019 TRD Pro Series will encompass the Tundra, 4Runner, and Tacoma, and all feature new colors, unique exterior treatments, and a variety of off-road goodies designed and tested by TRD engineers. Of those goodies, the 2.5-inch Fox Internal Bypass shocks stand out the most. Tuned specifically for each vehicle, the aluminum-bodied Fox shocks offer generous but appropriate damping for a wide variety of situations, be it high-speed desert running, low-speed rock crawling, or simply driving around town.
Toyota points out the difference between the Fox Internal Bypass shocks and traditional ones, saying the latter usually have external bypass tubes on the body to fine-tune damping pressure. By contrast, the Fox design incorporates the bypass zones inside the shock. These multiple bypass zones offer a more cushioned and plush ride for normal driving, but can get progressively stiffer through the shock stroke to prevent bottoming out.
The front shocks combine high-temperature fluid and nitrogen gas pressure to improve ride, soften hard bumps, and provide better protection for the seals. Moving to the rear, the piggyback reservoirs house additional oil to increase damping performance while driving through demanding terrains.
Tacoma TRD Pro
If there is one truck that embodies the TRO Pro mantra, it’s the Tacoma. On the TRD Pro version, the Fox front shocks employ 46mm pistons and eight bypass zones, five for compression and three for rebound. The shocks are paired with TRD-tuned springs for an additional inch of lift, while a larger front sway bar promotes sharper steering. In the rear, the Fox shocks have 11 bypass zones, seven for compression, four for rebound, and are paired with the aforementioned piggyback reservoirs. The Tacoma also features “progressive-rate” leaf springs.
Other highlights include a front skid plate with red TRD lettering, cat-back exhaust, an Entune Premium JBL Audio system, Rigid Industries LED fog lights, and Goodyear Wrangler Kevlar All-Terrain tires (P265/70R16). The optional Desert Air Intake system, a snorkel-like device that runs up the passenger side pillar, allows the engine to take air (likely to be less dusty and dirty) from above the windshield.
Tundra TRD Pro
The older brother’s TRD-tuned springs provide an additional two inches of front lift while front wheel travel increases more than 1.5 inches; rear wheel travel improves by over two inches. The Tundra TRD Pro’s front shocks feature 11 bypass zones, seven compression, four bypass, to keep the truck more composed during aggressive off-road driving. The rear Fox shocks have 12 bypass zones, eight compression and four bypass. Like the Tacoma, the Tundra’s rear shocks employ the aforementioned piggyback reservoirs.
The 18-inch BBS forged-aluminum, five-spoke satin black wheels cut un-sprung mass 3.35 lbs. per wheel (13.4 lbs. total) to improve cornering response and overall ride quality. The new wheels are wrapped in Michelin P275/65R18 all-terrain tires. Similar to the Tacoma, Rigid Industries again supplies the LED fog lights, and the TRD-themed skid plate returns as does the exhaust system. The “TRD Pro” stamping on the Tundra’s rear quarter panels is a nice touch.
4Runner TRD Pro
The 4Runner receives a one-inch lift and nearly an additional inch of wheel travel in its TRD PRO skin. The front shocks employ 46mm pistons and include seven bypass zones, four compression and three rebound. In the rear, there are eleven bypass zones, seven for compression and four for rebound, with the piggyback reservoirs again being utilized. The 4Runner’s “roost shields” help protect the inverted rear shock.
Those hitting the trail will certinately appreciate the roof rack and skid plate. For said trails, the 4Runner TRD Pro features a one-inch wider track with Nitto Terra Grappler A/T tires (P265/70R17).
The 2019 Toyota TRD Pro lineup is available now. We recently took the Tacoma TRD Pro Double Cab on an outdoor adventure. Overall, it was just as capable as Toyota claimed. Here is our full review.
Carl Anthony studies mechanical engineering at Wayne State University, serves on the Board of Directors for the Ally Jolie Baldwin Foundation, and is a loyal Detroit Lions fan. Before returning to school, he simultaneously held product development and experiential marketing roles in the automotive industry.