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It may not be the long-awaited replacement for the Toyota HiLux, but the US-market 2016 Toyota Tacoma may well offer a few hints as to what to expect from the Japanese brand’s new ute.

The “all-new” Toyota Tacoma will be unveiled at the 2015 Detroit auto show next week, bringing a significant styling update including a revised, chunkier looking front-end, as well as a more chiselled behind.

The wheel arches and door pressings appear to be more angular and aggressive than the existing model, while the large underbody protector that is prominently positioned below the front bumper will likely aid fuel efficiency as well as adding a bit more aggro to the Tacoma’s look.

Under the bonnet is a V6 petrol engine, though no specifications have been made public about the ute’s performance at this point in time.

No interior images have been provided yet, either, though the new model is expected to see a significant update.

Toyota Australia product public relations manager Steve Coughlan told CarAdvice that potential buyers for the next-generation HiLux shouldn’t get too carried away with how the Tacoma looks, though.

“The Tacoma is of no relevance to Australia in both a styling and product sense,” Coughlan said.

Still, it is interesting to see how Toyota is approaching the ute segment in terms of its design language, and we’d expect the next HiLux to bear at least some resemblance to the new-look Tacoma. But from the spy image of the new-generation HiLux (below), it’s clear to see there will be noticeable differences between the two vehicles.

toyota-hilux

Buyers don’t seem fazed by the fact the current-generation HiLux is showing its age, having been on sale in its current guise since 2005.

It was the biggest-selling ute in Australia again in 2014, with 38,126 sales over the calendar year helping the Toyota ute to become the country’s third-highest selling vehicle.

Click the Photos tab above for more images of the 2016 Toyota Tacoma.




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