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By Charl Bosch

Motoring Journalist

WATCH: Toyota Hilux’s Tacoma sibling keeps details to itself in new spy video

Tacoma is expected to go on sale next year as a 2024 model, with the Hilux likely to follow soon after.

Toyota’s replacement for the current generation Tacoma bakkie in the United States has been once again been spied testing ahead of its rumoured unveiling next year as a US model year 2024 model.

Captured for the first time in May, the latest clip by TFLnow doesn’t reveal much in the way of styling elements as the pair of the prototypes, sandwiched between a Chevrolet Suburban and all-new Toyota Sequoia, are still decked-out in heavy disguise with no hint of what to expect.

The significance of the Tacoma runs deeper as it effectively provides a preview of what to expect from the next-generation Hilux, following a report last year by MotorTrend that both models will be aligned for the first time since 1995 when the decision was made to separate the nameplates due to different market requirements.

Before then, Toyota offered an Americanised version of the Hilux in the States called the Pick-Up following the dropping of the Hilux moniker before the debut of the third generation in 1983.

Its eventual styling poised to be inspired by that of the step-up Tundra, the Tacoma, and for that matter the Hilux, are both expected to switch to the TNGA-F platform that underpins not only the Tundra and Sequoia but also the Land Cruiser 300 and Lexus LX.

Also set to make use of the new body-on-frame architecture soon is the incoming new Fortuner and Land Cruiser Prado, as well as the 4Runner that rates as the former’s North American cousin in the same way the Tacoma does to the Hilux.

Interestingly, the almost 12-minute clip includes sightings of the new Ford Ranger and Everest parked in the same hotel parking lot in Colorado where it is alleged the Toyota test drivers are staying during the evaluation process.

ALSO READ: WATCH: Next-generation Toyota Tacoma spied as preview of new Hilux

While details are unknown at present, TFLnow reports that the Tacoma could part with the current 2.7-litre and 3.5-litre engines and possibly receive the new 2.4-litre turbo from the Lexus NX, RX and North American Highlander.

An electric model, supposedly previewed by the unnamed concept last year, is also a possibility as a means of undercutting the bigger Ford F-150 Lightning and Chevrolet Silverado EV.

Another Tacoma possibility is the 3.5-litre badged 3.4-litre twin-turbo V6 from the Land Cruiser 300 and LX rumoured for the GR Hilux, whose realisation remains a mystery after Toyota’s Light Commercial Vehicles Manager for the UK, Gareth Matthews, hinted to Auto Express last month that the need for a more powerful engine is not required.

“UK customers aren’t complaining that the 2.8-litre diesel is underpowered, so there isn’t a good enough case for us to look beyond that for a performance version,” Matthews said.

For its part, the Hilux will continue with diesel power and based on reports from Thailand last month about the Fortuner, feature electrification in the form of mild-hybrid assistance on the mentioned 2.8 GD-6 that would result in a diesel/electric setup.

Before that though, Toyota will introduce the Hilux GR Sport powered by the uprated 165kW/550Nm 2.8 GD-6, while the GR Hilux, if approved, could be the recipient of the mentioned V6 petrol in order to compete directly with the new EcoBoost-powered Ford Ranger Raptor, or an upgraded versions of the Land Cruiser 300’s 3.3-litre turbodiesel V6 producing an alleged 230kW/687Nm.

At present though, details surrounding the Hilux are unknown but expect more, or a preview, to emerge over the coming months as Tacoma testing continues.

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