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Snorkel? 2024 Toyota Tacoma Trailhunter Prototype?


Spy photos of a 2024 Toyota Tacoma Trailhunter prototype are out with a possible snorkel, bigger tires, roof rail and rock slider bars.

The best-selling midsize truck is getting a makeover this year and we have seen teaser images including a reference to a Brazilian patent office filing showing a Tacoma-sized pickup with Tundra styling, silhouetted images from Toyota’s website and the i-Force Max engine name and tailgate. This time, we see new details including a snorkel.

2024 Toyota Tacoma Trailhunter?

These spy photos were recently snapped around the Toyota R&D center in Michigan. Here is what the spy photographer had to say:

With these new shots, we see a more aggressively outfitted Tacoma, with a more high-clearance front bumper design and a prominent front skid plate protecting its chin.  A chunky front-fascia can be discerned beneath the camo.  The Tacoma’s tire size can’t be read, but this prototype is wearing Goodyear Wrangler Territory MTs—the same tires applied to the Chevy Colorado ZR2/GMC Canyon AT4X twins, along with the more off-road-ready examples of the Ford Bronco.

We also see evidence of rocker protection tubes running along the sills, and a roof rack system that became exposed when the prototype’s roof camo came loose and flew off into the weeds at highway speeds.

Wearing a Snorkel?

It looks like this Tacoma TRD Pro might be equipped with a snorkel exhaust system, for ultimate water-fording abilities.  The camo on the prototype’s passenger-side A-pillar is heavier than the driver’s-side.  A look from the rear-3/4 view suggests that a snorkel may be running tightly along the a-pillar, showing signs of venting near the headliner.  Follow the possible snorkel down to the passenger-side front fender, and it looks like the camo bulges out where the exhaust is mounted onto the bodywork as it feeds into the engine bay.  The treatment here looks like it may be similar to the snorkel system fitted to the Ford Bronco Everglades.  It’s also noteworthy that there is no visible exhaust  poking through the rear camo, which has appeared as with a driver’s-side exit on all prior prototypes.  It looks like the exhaust has been completely rerouted for a snorkel system on this prototype.

Why Trailhunter?

The spy photographer mentioned the truck they spotted looked like an overlanding rig, and this squares with the Toyota Tundra Trailhunter they unveiled at the 2022 SEMA Show in Las Vegas, Nevada.

That Tundra Trailhunter had a new front bumper (with tow hooks!), rear bumper, roof rack, bed rack and unique graphics. Plus, there were two additional lights flanking the TRD Pro lightbar and additional skid plate protection.

This prototype, then, sure seems like it would be the Trailhunter version of a new Toyota Tacoma.

The bottom line

I assume the normal Toyota Tacoma has already completed its testing since Toyota seems ready to unveil it, and thus Toyota is likely just testing the Trailhunter parts before that version debuts at 2023 SEMA Show.

With more automotive companies coming out with their own bolt-on parts to customize their trucks, encroaching on the aftermarket territory, they are able to give warranty the parts, capture more profit from selling accessories and dealers can show off customized vehicles drawing people to stop and check them out. A win, win and win for everyone involved.

Tim Esterdahl

Automotive Journalist Tim Esterdahl has been a lover of trucks and SUVs for years. He has covered the industry since 2011 and has pieces in many national magazines and newspapers. In his spare time, he is often found tinkering on his '62 C10 pickup, playing golf, going hunting and hanging out with his wife and kids in Nebraska.

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