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    William Maley

    Chicago 2018: 2019 Toyota TRD Pro Gets Upgraded

      Suspension changes anyone?


    It seems we were right on the money with our guess concerning Toyota's Chicago Auto Show debuts. Today, the Japanese automaker introduced updated versions of the TRD Pro family, comprised of the 4Runner, Tacoma, and Tundra.

    The big story with the update deals with the suspension. All TRD Pro models now come with aluminum-bodied 2.5-inch TRD Fox Internal Bypass shocks. The shocks promise improved damping for on- and off-road situations, and each models gets their own specific tuning for the shocks. All models also get new front springs to improve ground clearance and provide a more comfortable ride. Each TRD Pro model gets their own setup in terms of the rear suspension,

    • 4Runner: TRD Coil Springs
    • Tacoma: Progressive-Rate Off-Road Leaf Springs
    • Tundra: Leaf Springs found on TRD Off-Road Trim

    Toyota has also made various changes in terms of exterior and features for each TRD Pro model.

    • 4Runner: 17-inch matte-black TRD alloy wheels, 1/4-inch front skid plate, and new roof rack
    • Tacoma: 1-inch wider track for the front and rear, 16-inch TRD alloy wheels finished in black, thicker front skid plate, and optional TRD Desert Air Intake (also called a snorkel)
    • Tundra: New LED head and foglights, grille, hood scoop, and 18-inch BBS forged-aluminum, five-spoke satin black wheels

    Pricing will be announced closer to the launch of the TRD Pro models, which is expected to happen this fall.

    Source: Toyota
    Press Release is on Page 2


    Game Changer: 2019 Toyota TRD Pros Typify Ultimate Off-Road Performance

    Next-Generation 4Runner and Tundra TRD Pro Feature All-New Fox shocks; Tacoma TRD Pro to Feature New TRD Desert Air Intake

    • Fox 2.5-inch Internal Bypass Shocks Featured on Entire TRD Pro Lineup
    • Tacoma TRD Pro Offers Available TRD Desert Air Intake
    • New TRD Roof Rack on 4Runner TRD Pro
    • Tundra TRD Pro Fitted with Rigid Fog Lights and BBS Wheels
    • Three Colors Offered: Super White, Midnight Black Metallic, and Voodoo Blue (TRD Pro-Exclusive)

    CHICAGO (Feb. 8, 2018) – The pulse-pounding, heart-racing TRD Pro Series from Toyota returns for its next generation of off-road dominance. For 2019, Tundra, 4Runner and Tacoma will all feature Fox shocks and a host of impressive off-road equipment tuned and designed by the engineers at Toyota Racing Development (TRD).
     
    First unveiled in 2014, the TRD Pro lineup was born from Toyota’s rich racing and off-road heritage. All TRD Pro vehicles offer unique styling, as well as highly capable, tried and tested performance off-road equipment, specifically tailored for when the pavement runs out.
     
    The 2019 TRD Pro series will be available in fall of 2018, and each vehicle will be offered in three colors that include Super White, Midnight Black Metallic or Voodoo Blue (a TRD Pro exclusive color).
     
    Wanna go places? TRD Pro is the ultimate tool to get you there and back.
     
    Only as Good as Your Suspension
     
    As any seasoned adventurer knows, a true off-road vehicle is only as good as its suspension. For 2019, the entire TRD Pro family rides on 2.5-inch TRD Pro-exclusive Fox Internal Bypass shocks. Tuned specifically for each vehicle by the engineers at TRD, the aluminum-bodied Fox shocks offer impressive performance and supreme damping for a wide variety of driving situations. High-speed desert running, slow-speed rock crawling, or simply driving to and from work – drivers and passengers will be as comfortable as they are confident.
     
    Whereas off-road race vehicles traditionally have external bypass tubes on their shock bodies to fine-tune damping pressure, each high-tech Fox shock compactly incorporates bypass zones inside of the shock. These multiple bypass zones offer a cushioned, plush ride during typical operation but get progressively stiffer through the shock stroke to provide excellent bottoming resistance.
     
    The front shocks are paired with specially-tuned TRD springs designed for excellent ride comfort and to also produce additional lift, giving each TRD Pro an aggressive, heightened stance for improved trail-conquering capability. A combination of high-temperature shock fluid and nitrogen gas pressure are employed inside each Fox shock to improve bump compliance and to help maximize seal life.
     
    Every TRD Pro model features rear 2.5-inch Fox shocks that utilize a piggyback reservoir to house additional oil volume, which assists in maintaining peak damping performance during extreme use. Tundra relies on the beefy rear leaf springs also equipped on the TRD Off-Road grade, 4Runner utilizes the TRD Off-Road grade rear coil springs, while Tacoma features progressive-rate off-road leaf springs out back to allow more compression suspension travel to aid performance over rough terrain. TRD dust boots are utilized front and rear to offer added protection to help keep dust and dirt out, and 4Runner utilizes unique roost shields to help protect the inverted rear shock.
     
    Tacoma TRD Pro: Civilized Commuter or Trail-Tackling Specialist
     
    Based on the very trail-capable TRD Off-Road grade, Tacoma TRD Pro ups the ante with enhanced 2.5-inch Fox front shocks that use large 46mm pistons and feature 8 bypass zones (5 compression, 3 rebound). They are paired with TRD-tuned springs that provide an additional 1 inch of front lift. A larger front sway bar is employed to retain crisp steering and refined road manners. The Tacoma also features 2.5-inch rear shocks that use 11 bypass zones (7 compression, 4 rebound) and are paired with 2-inch piggyback reservoirs.
     
    A host of additional TRD equipment finds its way onto the new Tacoma TRD Pro, including an updated front skid plate with TRD red lettering, while the cat-back TRD exhaust is accented with a new Black Chrome tip.
     
    Inside, passengers are treated to standard Entune Premium JBL Audio with subwoofer amplifier and Integrated Navigation and App Suite. Tacoma is equipped with TRD Pro-branded floor mats and leather-trimmed seats with TRD Pro emblems on the front headrests. Distinguishing the exterior are unique TRD Pro badges, projector-beam headlights with black sport bezels and LED Daytime Running Lights (DRL), Rigid Industries LED fog lights, taillights with black sport bezels, and a black TOYOTA grille.
     
    Thanks to the offset of the 16-inch TRD Pro black alloy wheels, Tacoma has a 1-inch wider track both front and rear for added stability. Trail and pavement traction comes in the form of P265/70R16 Goodyear Wrangler Kevlar All-Terrain tires.
     
    TRD Desert Air Intake: Clearing Tacoma’s Sinuses, No Prescription Needed
     
    The most eye-catching of the Tacoma upgrades, no doubt, is the available all-new TRD Desert Air Intake. Designed to sustain consistent off-road performance no matter how silty or dirty the terrain gets, the TRD Desert Air Intake takes the 278-horsepower 3.5L V6 engine’s air intake away from dust that hovers inside the wheel well (where traditional air intakes are located) during off-road operation. This allows for air ingestion to occur in a cleaner space above the windshield, therefore, helping to benefit filter longevity and, ultimately, engine health.
     
    Tundra TRD Pro: Boastful New Additions
     
    Tundra TRD Pro also gets its fair share of new features for 2019. Of course, Tundra is equipped with new Fox 2.5-inch front shocks that boast beefy 46 mm pistons. The TRD-tuned springs provide an additional 2 inches of front lift, and front wheel travel is increased more than 1.5 inches. The front shocks feature 11 bypass zones (7 compression, 4 bypass) to fine-tune damping performance for off-road romps while retaining composed on-road manners. The Tundra also employs 2.5-inch rear Fox shocks that feature an impressive 12 bypass zones (8 compression, 4 bypass). The rear shocks feature 2.5-inch piggyback reservoirs, and wheel travel is increased by more than 2 inches in the rear.  
     
    Taking a cue from little brother, big bro Tundra gets new Rigid Industries LED fog lights for improved visibility on and off the highway, in a variety of weather conditions. Tundra also features LED headlights with LED accent lights and a unique black treatment. A new TOYOTA grille plus new hood scoop add style to Tundra’s brawny front end. Out back, TRD Pro stamping is found on the bed’s rear quarter panels.
     
    New 18-inch BBS forged-aluminum, five-spoke satin black wheels are featured on Tundra, which reduce 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 to provide a sure footing in dirt and on pavement.
     
    Inside, TRD Pro logos garnish the driver and front passenger leather-trimmed seats, while red stitching accents the dash, seats and armrests. TRD Pro floor mats, shift knob and a center-console emblem help complete the distinctive look. Providing added growl on the highway and the trail is a dual TRD Pro exhaust, which is fitted with new Black Chrome exhaust tips. A TRD Pro 1/4-inch skid plate sporting signature red Toyota lettering is found underneath the front end. Tundra TRD Pro will offer an available moonroof.
     
    4Runner TRD Pro: The Legend Grows
     
    4Runner needs no introduction. The iconic SUV is one of the most legendary off-road vehicles in Toyota’s history. For 2019, TRD Pro takes 4Runner’s world-renowned trail capability to the next level.
     
    4Runner’s Fox shocks not only enhance its off-road performance but, paired with the TRD-tuned front springs, the package lifts its front 1 inch compared to other grades, while also providing nearly 1 inch of additional wheel travel. The 2.5-inch front shocks employ 46 mm pistons and include 7 bypass zones (4 compression, 3 rebound). In the rear, the 2.5-inch Fox shocks feature 11 bypass zones (7 compression, 4 rebound) to fine-tune the low- and high-speed compression, and 2-inch piggyback reservoirs house additional oil to retain damping performance when it’s needed most. A unique TRD roost shield offers additional protection for the inverted shock design in the rear.
     
    4Runner adds a new roof rack for stashing additional gear outside of the cabin (say, dirty gear or laundry after a weekend camping trip).The 1/4-inch-thick front skid plate also sports new red TRD lettering. 4Runner features 17-inch matte-black TRD alloy wheels with an offset change to provide it with nearly a 1-inch wider track front and rear for added stability. Nitto Terra Grappler P265/70R17 A/T tires provide all-terrain performance for whatever the situation demands.
     
    Like Tacoma, 4Runner TRD Pro passengers can jam to tunes from a new-for-2019 standard Entune Premium JBL Audio with Integrated Navigation and App Suite. Other interior appointments include TRD Pro floor mats, TRD shift knob, and red-stitched Softex seats with red TRD logos on the front headrests. Additional TRD Pro exterior features include LED fog lights, blacked-out TOYOTA grille, and projector-beam headlights with smoked trim.
     
    Even on the Most Capable, Safety is Paramount
     
    Even though capability and toughness are at the core of the TRD Pro Series, safety is still the utmost priority. All three TRD Pro models feature the Star Safety System, which includes Vehicle Stability Control (VSC), Traction Control (TRAC), Anti-lock Brake System (ABS), Electronic Brake-force Distribution (EBD), Brake Assist (BA) and Smart Stop Technology (SST).
     
    Tundra and Tacoma come standard with Toyota Safety Sense P (TSS-P), which features Pre-Collision System with Pedestrian Detection (PCS w/PD), Lane Departure Alert (LDA) with Sway Warning System (SWS), Automatic High Beams (AHB) and high-speed Dynamic Radar Cruise Control (DRCC).

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    Nice improvements.

    GM are you taking notes and getting your ducks in a row to counter offer? :scratchchin:

    I will say that I think it is great that Toyota offers a water snorkel kit that is easily adaptable to the truck. GM has nothing like this and I think they should. GM's Performance division really needs to step up their game when you see what Ford offers with the Raptor package and Toyota with their TRD offerings. GM Performance really needs to get their act together.

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    I want a TRD Taco so damn bad. 

    1 hour ago, dfelt said:

    Nice improvements.

    GM are you taking notes and getting your ducks in a row to counter offer? :scratchchin:

    I will say that I think it is great that Toyota offers a water snorkel kit that is easily adaptable to the truck. GM has nothing like this and I think they should. GM's Performance division really needs to step up their game when you see what Ford offers with the Raptor package and Toyota with their TRD offerings. GM Performance really needs to get their act together.

    I wish both GM and Toyota would at least give these off road performance truck a little boost in power also. If nothing else but to compensate for the larger/heavier tires and less aero friendly to make it not slower than the base models. 

    GM could get away with throwing a more aggressive tune on just the 2.8 to possibly increase some more demand for the optional, more pricey, engine. Maybe just bring it up to 200hp/400tq..? If that's too much of a torque gain then 200hp/385-390tq..? 

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      CT5-V — The first-ever CT5-V builds on the precision-focused details of the all-new luxury sedan introduced earlier this year to offer elevated road performance and an engaging driving experience.  
      Powered by Cadillac’s high-output 3.0L Twin Turbo V-6 engine, which uses low-inertia turbochargers to enhance power production across the rpm band. It is rated at a Cadillac-estimated 355 horsepower (265 kW), pending SAE certification. 10-speed automatic transmission. Electronic limited-slip rear differential. Standard RWD and available AWD. V-Series performance chassis with Magnetic Ride Control 4.0. Performance Traction Management. Vehicle Control Mode with customizable V-Mode. Brembo front braking system. 19-inch wheels and summer-only performance tires2 (all-season tires available with AWD). Dark exterior accents and V-Series mesh grilles; unique rear diffuser and quad exhaust tips. Super Cruise1 available. Unique performance persona instrument cluster and V-Mode steering wheel control. CT4-V — Developed for a new generation of sedan customers, the first-ever CT4 blends nimble handling and Cadillac’s signature technology. The CT4-V takes these traits further, infusing the brand’s racing DNA for a dynamic, responsive and exhilarating driving experience.   
      Powered by Cadillac’s high-output 2.7L Turbo engine featuring a unique three-step sliding camshaft that helps optimize performance at all speeds. It is rated at a Cadillac-estimated 320 horsepower (239 kW), pending SAE certification. 10-speed automatic. Limited-slip rear differential. V-Series performance chassis with Magnetic Ride Control 4.0 (on RWD) or ZF MVS passive dampers (on AWD). Vehicle Control Mode with customizable V-Mode. Brembo front braking system. 18-inch wheels and summer-only performance tires2 (all-season tires available with AWD). Near-perfect 50/50 weight distribution for an exceptional feeling of balance and control. Dark exterior accents and V-Series mesh grilles; quad exhaust tips, unique rear spoiler design that helps reduce rear lift while increasing grip for the rear tires. Super Cruise1 available. Unique performance persona instrument cluster and V-Mode steering wheel control. MORE TO COME
      The CT4-V and CT5-V go on sale early in the 2020 calendar year, with production at GM’s Lansing Grand River facility in Michigan. Additional product information, as well as details on additional V-Series variants and CT4 Luxury, Premium Luxury and Sport models, will be announced at a later date.
    • By William Maley
      The Kia Forte could never claim to be the best compact car, but its low price and a long list of equipment made it an interesting alternative choice to the stalwarts of the compact class. This approach has worked well with the Forte becoming one of the brand’s best selling models. Kia wants to change the fortunes of the Forte with third-generation by not fully relying on price and value.  I spent a week in the top-line EX Launch Edition to see how it fares.
      The new Mazda3 is considered by many to be the sexiest compact car on sale. Running a close second is the Forte. Elements of the Stinger are used throughout such as power bulge on the hood, headlights that extend into the fenders, and sculpting along the side. The only place where the design falters is in the rear with a set of triangular pods housing the reversing lights and turn signals. They ruin the elegant and upscale look Kia is trying to go for.
      The Forte’s interior at first glance may look somewhat plain, with only a set of circular vents and a strip of faux metal trim running across the dash being the interesting bits. But Kia has done its homework in building a high-quality interior. Almost all of the plastics used are soft-touch and feature different textures to make the vehicle look and feel more expensive than the actual price. Clever touches such as dual-zone climate control being standard on all models and a two-tier bin allowing you and a passenger to place their phones also set the Forte apart.
      The EX features leatherette upholstery, a 10-way power seat for the driver, and heat/ventilation for those sitting up front. I found the seats to be very easy to find a comfortable position, along with providing excellent support for long trips. The back seat is mixed with a decent of legroom, but headroom being somewhat at a premium due to an optional sunroof for those above six-feet.
      All Fortes come with an 8-inch touchscreen as standard with Kia’s UVO infotainment system. Navigation is only available on the EX if you order the Launch Edition package. The current incarnation of UVO is starting to look somewhat old in terms of the interface. It cannot be beaten for the overall ease of use with large touchpoints, simple menu layout, and physical shortcut buttons underneath the screen. Android Auto and Apple CarPlay integration is standard across the board.
      Power comes from a 2.0L four-cylinder engine pumping out 147 horsepower and 132 pound-feet of torque. The base FE gets a six-speed manual, while higher trims use a CVT. The powertrain goes about its business surprisingly well around down with the engine providing decent pull and the CVT mimicking an automatic transmission. But this powertrain falters when you need to get up to speed quickly. The engine runs out of steam when going above 60 mph and there is a noticeable drone coming from the CVT.
      Fuel economy in the 2019 Kia Forte EX is rated at 30 City/40 Highway/34 Combined. My average for the week landed around 33.
      The Forte really shines when it comes to ride quality. Despite having a slightly stiffer ride compared to the last-generation model, the sedan glides over most bumps with no issue. Road and wind noise were about average for the class, and could easily be drowned out by turning up the volume slightly. Handling is about average for the class with a slight amount of body lean and steering providing decent weight.
      To sum up, the large effort Kia has put into the 2019 Forte shows. The combination of styling, a long list of features, balance between ride and handling, and a surprising base price make it a real threat in the compact car class. The only item that needs to be addressed is the engine - ten extra horsepower and torque could make the difference. 
      How I would configure a 2019 Kia Forte 
      While the EX Launch Edition does provide some desirable features such as adaptive cruise control, QI wireless charging, and a Harman/Kardon audio system, I would drop down to the mid-level S. At $20,290, you’re getting a lot of equipment such as 17-inch alloy wheels, automatic headlights, forward collision warning with automatic braking, and keyless entry. I would add the $1,200 S Premium Package to get LED headlights, automatic high beams, and a power sunroof. With destination, the price comes to $22,415. Alternatives to the 2019 Kia Forte
      Hyundai Elantra: Mechanically similar to the Forte, albeit with a face that will scare small kids. Two turbo engine options - one focused on the economy while the other is for sport - might be attractive to some. Honda Civic: Drives slightly better than the Forte and offers more body styles. But lower reliability scores and confounding infotainment systems may cause you to look elsewhere. Chevrolet Cruze: While it lacks a number of features found on the Forte, it does offer a slightly smoother and quieter ride. Plus, dealers are starting to push a lot of cash on the hoods to get them moving.   
      Disclaimer: Kia Provided the Forte, Insurance, and One Tank of Gas
      Year: 2019
      Make: Kia 
      Model: Forte
      Trim: EX
      Engine: 2.0L Multi-Port DOHC Inline-Four
      Driveline: Front-Wheel Drive, CVT
      Horsepower @ RPM: 147 @ 6,200
      Torque @ RPM: 132 @ 4,500 
      Fuel Economy: City/Highway/Combined - 30/40/34
      Curb Weight: 2,903 lbs
      Location of Manufacture: Pesqueria, NL, Mexico
      Base Price: $21,990
      As Tested Price: $26,220 (Includes $895.00 Destination Charge)
      Options:
      EX Launch Edtion - $3,210.00
      Carpeted Floor Mats - $125.00

      View full article
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