After a lot of speculation over the past few months, Toyota recently unveiled the company’s all-new 2016 Tacoma at the Detroit Auto Show with two engine options, neither of which is a diesel option.
The 2016 Tacoma will include include a 2.7-liter four-cylinder gasoline motor and a new 3.5-liter V6, despite many people thinking Toyota would offer a diesel similar to the overseas Hilux.
Toyota Tundra and Tacoma Chief Engineer Mike Sweers said, “We will not be offering a diesel engine. We’ve looked at diesels, and diesel is a difficult topic right now because of the new Tier 3 emission regulations.”
Sweers added, “Diesel, from a fuel economy standpoint, is about a 30 percent improvement right out of the box. The downside to diesel is the emissions has to be certified at the same level as a gas engine. So the way to do that is you have to put on an after-treatment system. The after-treatment system is very expensive [and] it adds $3000 or more dollars per vehicle cost. So if we consider that cost, versus the fuel economy improvement, and the fact that diesel is $1 more per gallon more than gasoline, is there a return on the investment? And the fact that as we move towards the future and we get past 2017 and 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. From an investment standpoint, it’s very difficult to show a return on that investment.”
Right now, Toyota is focused on lowering costs and improving fuel economy, while also meeting emissions requirements, which has deterred the company from further exploring the viability of utilizing a diesel motor in its mid-size truck for the time being.
Toyota strongly believes in its new 3.5-liter V6 offering and experts are saying it has the capability to theoretically perform in a similar fashion to a small diesel.
Time will tell if Toyota seriously wants to explore a potential diesel truck offering down the road, but the idea of a diesel coming from the automaker any time soon does not look promising.
Full 2016 Toyota Tacoma Discussion: