So many of us are super-excited about the release of Toyota’s all-new, 4th Generation Tacoma and the overlanding-themed “Trailhunter” grade. That’s why we were so grateful to have the opportunity at Overland Expo West (2023) to sit down with Sheldon Brown, Toyota’s lead engineer for the all-new 4th generation Tacoma platform.
Listen in on the conversation between Sheldon and X Overland founder and lifelong Tacoma enthusiast, Clay Croft, as the two enjoy a detailed discussion about what makes this newest generation of Tacoma a marked upgrade from its predecessors and an excellent platform for overlanders.
Detailed Episode Summary
Part 1 (1:30-3:30) Clay Introduces Sheldon Brown, Toyota’s Lead Engineer for the 2024 Tacoma Trailhunter: Clay introduces Toyota engineer, Sheldon Brown, as the two sit down at Expo West 2023 to discuss the all-new 2024 Toyota Tacoma and the overlander-focused Trailhunter grade.
Part 2 (3:30-8:11) What is Toyota’s New TNGAF “Global” Platform and What is the History Behind the Latest Generation of Tacoma? Sheldon explains his unique, “once-in-a-career” opportunity to be a part of the engineering team behind Toyota’s all-new “TNGAF” Platform. Clay and Sheldon discuss this new platform from an engineering perspective.
Part 3 (8:12-11:09) How Did Toyota Manage to Preserve the Loved Qualities of the Tacoma while re-inventing it for 2024? Tacoma is an iconic truck, and Toyota was entirely mindful of that when Sheldon and his team began working on its newest generation. Sheldon explains the thought process behind what shaped Toyota’s approach to building its newest Tacoma.
Part 4 (11:10-16:47) The Role of Expedition Overland in the Development of Trailhunter: Clay shares XOverland’s long-standing passion for the Tacoma and his personal preference for the platform. Sheldon explains the role Expedition Overland played in inspiring his work on Toyota’s newest generation of Tacoma and on the Trailhunter grade.
Part 5 (16:48-26:30) Why is Toyota’s Tacoma Trailhunter an Ideal Overland Platform? Sheldon explains the thought process behind Trailhunter as a purpose-built OEM overland platform and Toyota’s vision for how customers can optimize the platform. Clay asks Sheldon a series of popular questions coming from Tacoma enthusiasts.
Part 6 (26:31-29:53) What Does the World Need to Know About Toyota’s Newest Generation of Tacoma and the Trailhunter Grade? Clay asked Sheldon Brown, Toyota’s lead engineer for Tacoma, “what the world needs to know” about this all-new platform. Sheldon responds!
Part 7 (29:53-End) When Will Customers Be Able to Buy a 2024 Tacoma Trailhunter? Toyota’s all-new 2024 Tacoma Trailhunter may have debuted at this year’s Overland Expo West (2023), but when will it be available to customers? Sheldon explains the timeline for releasing this new platform and when customers will be able to get their hands on one.