No Diesel Version For The Redesigned Toyota Tacoma
As the dust settles over the past two major auto shows in Detroit and Chicago, it’s important to look back at the details. One key detail that brings tears to diesel-loving truck fans’ eyes is the news Toyota will not offer an oil-burner in the all-new 2016 Tacoma. The news comes directly from the top – Tacoma and Tundra chief engineer Mike Sweers. His words rang very clearly during a post-debut interview regarding the details of the new Tacoma.
“We will not be offing a diesel engine. We’ve looked at diesels, and diesel is a difficult topic right now because of the new Tier 3 emissions regulations,” Sweers says. “After treatment systems are very expensive. It adds $3,000 or more dollars per vehicle cost. So if we consider that cost verses the fuel economy improvement, and the fact diesel is $1 more per gallon more than gasoline, is there a return on the investment?”
Sweers continued by pointing out the emissions regulations are only going to get stricter. “As we more towards the future and we get past 2017 then 2019 emissions regulations, can you make that diesel survive?” Sweers continued saying any diesel engine today would have to pass those upcoming regulations in order for Toyota’s investment to produce a return.
It’s hard to fault Toyota after hearing such a logical explanation, but it’s still sad the automaker has apparently abandoned the diesel ideal altogether.
Click ‘Continue Reading’ for more information and Sweer’s full quote.
Why it matters
Mike Sweers does a fantastic job of explaining why Toyota will not offer a diesel engine option in the upcoming 2016 Tacoma, so much so it’s easy to question how General Motors is planning on dealing with the upcoming emissions with is new 2.8-liter Duramax four-cylinder turbodiesel.
While it’s sad news, at least Toyota is open and honest with its decision and gives a good reason for its choice.
Here’s Mike Sweer’s full quote as transcribed from this video. The question begins at the 4:05 mark
“We will not be offing a diesel engine. We’ve looked at diesels, and diesel is a difficult topic right now because of the new Tier 3 emissions regulations. Diesel, from a fuel economy standpoint, is about a 30 percent improvement right out of the box; the downside of diesel is the emissions has to be certified at the same level as a gas engine. The way to do that is you have to put an after treatment system in, and [that] is very expensive. It adds $3,000 or more dollars per vehicle cost. So if we consider that cost verses the fuel economy improvement, and the fact diesel is $1 more per gallon more than gasoline, is there a return on the investment?”
“As we more towards the future and we get past 2017 then 2019 emissions regulations, can you make that diesel survive? So is it a two-year engine, is it a four-year engine? That’s the question, and from an investment standpoint, it’s very difficult to show a return on that investment.”
The Tacoma is basically an all-new truck for 2016 thanks to an updated exterior design, a new interior layout, and a new V-6 powerplant under the hood. Toyota has added more high-strength steel in the Tacoma’s frame for a stronger backbone, along with added sound insulation for a more refined ride. The exterior dimensions remain nearly unchanged however, leaving the truck squarely within the midsize truck category.
Under the hood is an all-new 3.5-liter, Atkinson cycle V-6 that’s mated to a new six-speed automatic transmission. Even the 4WD transfer case and rear differential are new. Conversely, the base 2.7-liter four-cylinder engine is a carry-over from the current generation.
Pricing hasn’t been announced, but should be within the same range as the current Tacoma. Pricing for 2015 models start at $20,765 and crest into the low $30,000 range.