The 2016 Toyota Tacoma will still come with rear drum brakes, but its traction control tech has become a lot more advanced. Let’s watch the truck get buried to its axles in sand, and then activate “Crawl Control” and turn its tires into shovels for an easy self-recovery.

Here’s another angle, where one of Toyota’s resident off-roaders adds a little explanatory shill:

Seems that the wheel sensors detect slippage, being stuck, and can figure out exactly how much power to apply to build up just the right mound of sand to climb free on. Reports say this is one aspect of a Multi-Terrain Control suite, which looks like it goes from “0 to 5” for progressively rougher terrain, rather than just having settings for different surface types a la Land Rover or Jeep.

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As for the archaic drum brakes, in the above video Toyota says they’ve been retained for durability.

“The main reason you’d want discs is for heat dissipation in towing. Tacomas don’t do much towing, but they do sand and off-road driving. Having drums prevents your rear brakes from getting screwed up by sand and rocks,” is a paraphrased version of what their spokesman said.

In lieu of the more significant redesign we might have expected, trick tech features like this could be enough to make the 2016 Tacoma significantly more attractive than the rest of the mid-sized pickups out there for off-roading and adventures.

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Of course putting those first few scratches on your $40,000 truck will still be mighty painful.


Andrew P. Collins is Jalopnik’s off-road and adventure guy. Shoot him an email at andrew@jalopnik.com or hit him up on Twitter @andr3wcollins to talk trucks.