So HOPEFULLY whether it's a full redesign, or an engine upgrade, Toyota will bump up power & fuel efficiency of the 2nd gen (or 3rd gen?) Tacoma's engines.
Toyota seems to really limit the application of the 4 cylinder 2.7 liter 2TR engine to just access cabs and regular cabs, even though there is only a 200 pound difference between the Access Cab 4x4 and the Double Cab 4x4's. If any of you have driven 1990-95 4runners, and 1989-95 Pickups with the 3vze V6, which weigh around the same as the current Tacoma offerings (the 4runner slightly more but close enough) you will know that the 2TR, if ever offered in a Double cab 4x4 would still perform better than these previous generation trucks. I know for a fact, because I just sold my 93 4x4 Xtracab Pickup with the 3vze V6, and I have test driven an '09 Tacoma 4x4 Access cab with the 2.7 and the 2.7 performed better, and gets significantly better mileage to boot.
But what my point is, is how Toyota, who campaigns themselves as this green car company, doesn't offer, or promote the 4 cylinder as much as they could. Yes, I understand that if the current 2.7 was offered in the Double Cab 4x4 that there would be hardly any sales as it wouldn't be the most powerful beast. But what I am getting at is Toyota has the technology to make the current 2.7 perform better if they put their minds to it. I think if they added the technologies to this engine found in the new 4.0 Dual VVT-i, or the new 4.6, or the 5.7, it would probably be pushing about 175-180 HP, and 185-190 foot pounds of torque. Not HUGE HP, but perhaps these ratings would be just enough, to make a 4x4 TAcoma Double Cab Short & Long Box a more viable option for some when you consider how good of mileage it gets. Enough to make it more driveable around town, and offer a little bit more towing grunt, but not make you have to pay the mileage penalty the V6 offers. Also, if they offered it with one more tranny gear, for example a 6 speed manual and the 5 speed auto, this would help promote it as well.
So I ask the question, for those of you who objectively test drove the 4, and the 6, and got the 6 - if the 4 had a bit more power, would that have made your decision tougher? Would you consider the 4 if it had more power and perhaps one more transmission gear?