When GM finally decided to act on a well-received concept and move the Chevrolet Colorado ZR2 Concept into the realm of mass production, pickup fans had reason to celebrate. Now there would finally be an alternative to the Toyota Tacoma TRD series.

But it’s natural to believe that Toyota is not going to passively accept this move from its rival, especially when the mid-size pickup segment is due to be even more crowded with the arrival of the Ford Ranger in 2018.

Hence word has been spread that the next Toyota Tacoma would be adopting a diesel powertrain as a response to the ZR2 encroaching TRD Pro territory. After all, the 2.8L Duramax diesel engine offered in the Chevy Colorado has no equivalent in the Tacoma lineup.

It’s hard to argue against the ZR2 as it makes sense from a financial standpoint. The Tacoma is far ahead of the Colorado (or any other rival for that matter) and the TRD series represents at least 40 percent of the truck’s sales. Buyers want more hardcore off-road models.

Assuming the Tacoma is really picking up a diesel option, the question for Toyota is how it would go about challenging the Duramax engine which is worth 369lb-ft in torque and over 30mpg of fuel economy.

Staff Reporter

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