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Chicago Auto Show: 2015 Toyota TRD goes tough

Need to a car that will take you through wind, snow, desert, forest, and everything in between? Toyota is hoping the 2015 TRD will do the trick.

By / February 8, 2014

Toyota TRD Pro Series.

Toyota Motor Sales/File/PRNewsFoto

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The continuing success of the Ford F-150 SVT Raptor and the Jeep Wrangler prove that vehicles with serious off-road capability still have a place in this world of amorphous car-based crossovers.

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Toyota decided to get in on the action with a line of off-road models launched at the 2014 Chicago Auto Show. The TRD Pro Series vehicles are versions of the Tacoma and Tundra pickups and 4Runner SUV with a little extra attitude.

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Toyota says the Pro Series were inspired by its storied past as an off-road racing powerhouse. The Japanese automaker does have many Baja 500 and 1000 victories to its credit, but for the past few years it's been content slapping TRD (which stands for Toyota Racing Development, by the way) stickers on trucks with no real sporting credentials.

The Pro Series models at least look the part with their retro grilles, blacked-out wheels, and "Inferno" paint (black and white colors are also available).

Each Pro Series truck gets Bilstein remote-reservoir shocks, TRD-tuned springs, and a front skidplate. Beyond that, the individual get their own wheel-and-tire combinations, and unique suspension setups.

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Overall, the Pro Series treatment is an option package for existing models; it doesn't turn a Tundra into a Raptor or Ram Runner fighter. Still, it might be a good option for the off-road enthusiast who thinks a Wrangler is too impractical.

The Toyota TRD Pro-Series models go on sale this fall. Pricing will be announced closer to the on-sale date.

The Christian Science Monitor has assembled a diverse group of the best auto bloggers out there. Our guest bloggers are not employed or directed by the Monitor and the views expressed are the bloggers' own, as is responsibility for the content of their blogs. To contact us about a blogger, click here. To add or view a comment on a guest blog, please go to the blogger's own site by clicking on the link in the blog description box above.

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