For those of you who are 4 cylinder fans, or perhaps you might have bought the 4 cylinder if it had a bit more power, or was in more models, I'm curious if you think when the next generation of Tacoma comes out, which I speculate will probably be a 2013 model, if Toyota will actually put out a 2.7+ 4 cylinder with equvilent technology as some of their current engines?
Currently, Toyota has 2 versions of the 2.7 liter. A car based front wheel drive engine that has I think it's 186 HP and 187 ft-lbs of torque with Dual VVT-i in some of their SUV's such as the Highlander, Venza, and the Mini-van the Sienna, and then they have the 2.7 liter in the Tacoma with Single (intake only) VVT-i, and 159 HP and 180 ft-lbs of torque. Currently, Toyota has seen significant success in the "take rate" with the beefier 4 cylinder option in said SUV/Minivans above with as high as 50% of the customers opting to get the 4 cylinder. I think a few things are helping this
1) Toyota has paired the 4 cylinder with the 6 speed auto, which will do wonders for keeping the engine in a more appropriate power band which will enhance response and mileage
2) Toyota seems to offer the 4 cylinder with lots of trim packages and options that the bigger V6 also has.
3) The beefier power of the 4 cylinder is more attractive for those on the fence who want fuel economy and/or who may not be towing or towing much.
Keep in mind that the Venza, Sienna, and Highlander are all also heavy vehicles. The Highlander is in the range of 3900 pounds, the Sienna 4 cylinder is around 4200 pounds. And I read a review of the Sienna 4 cylinder that said it had a zero to 60 time of 9.6 seconds, which, in my opinion isn't a rocket ship, but respectable. Many early to mid 2000 half ton trucks were in the range give or take.
So my question to you is this:
For the next generation Tacoma, do you think Toyota will make the 4 cylinder more attractive for those who maybe want a double cab 4x4, or will they limit it's options/models/breadth of its application to entry level 4x2 models and a few 4x4 models like they do now? Also, do you think they will at least give it one, if not 2 more transmission gears to give it a fighting chance?
Perhaps I have applied some of my opinion in the above, but jeesh - Toyota, get with the program. You pride yourself as a green car company, your trucks & SUV's reputations were built on the backs of underpowered 4 cylinders such as the 22RE that went forever on only 116 HP and 140 ft-lbs of torque moving 4000+ pound rigs all day.