And it was especially keen on securing the spotlight for its 2024 Ford Ranger Raptor, a first-ever arrival on the US market destined to fulfill a destiny of glory for the Raptor series alongside the Ford Bronco Raptor sibling and the bigger F-150 Raptor and Raptor R pickup truck brothers. When coming to America, the Range Raptor had just one objective in its sights: "to dominate the dirt." And it will try to do so with the long-travel suspension, which includes a Watts link setup for the rear and "class-exclusive" 2.5-inch FOX Live Valve Internal Bypass shocks (coilovers up front and piggyback reservoirs at the rear).
The flared fenders house 33-inch BFGoodrich all-terrain KO3 tires on 17-inch wheels or optional beadlock-capable wheels, underneath there's "serious underbody protection" made from steel, and inside the cabin, there are six "overhead upfitter switches mounted in the overhead console to simplify (the task of) powering off-road hardware," among others. Other highlights include a 360-Degree and Front View Camera, Zone Lighting, and the class-exclusive Pro Trailer Backup Assist system "to help back up boats and campers at the kinds of remote locations Raptors are built to reach."
Soon enough, Toyota gave a measured response from 'The Big Island,' aka Kona in Hawaii, where the entire 2024 Tacoma family presented itself – with no less than eight trims and two body styles, including the returning TRD PreRunner or the all-new XtraCab body style and Trailhunter grade. "Designed, engineered, and assembled for North America" as the "ultimate adventure machine," the 2024 Tacoma will try to keep up the legacy of being the best-selling mid-size pickup in America for the past 18 years. And, of course, the TRD Pro flagship will be at the front of the pack to fight its new TNGA-F global truck platform battles.
By this time, one might notice that we have yet to say a word about their true off-road capabilities (namely, angles) or the powertrains that make them tick and go fast while bashing dunes or crawling on and around rocks. Well, this is because we were waiting on the final member of the American high-performance off-road mid-size pickup truck triumvirate. That would be the newly introduced 2024 Chevy Colorado ZR2 Bison, the tougher and more expensive brother to the 2023 Colorado ZR2 ($48,295) and sibling of the upcoming 2024 GMC Canyon AT4X AEV Edition. Also developed in conjunction with the good folks over at American Expedition Vehicles, the "all-new 2024 Colorado ZR2 Bison is America's ultimate off-road beast," according to Chevrolet.
However, let us get one major issue off our chest: it won't win the horsepower wars because it still has the same 2.7-liter inline-four high-output turbo mill as the ZR2 with 310 hp and 430 lb-ft (569 Nm). Mated to an eight-speed auto transmission, it will probably make the Colorado ZR2 Bison a little slower than the 2024 Tacoma TRD Pro i-Force Max, which has 326 hybrid ponies plus 465 lb-ft (630 Nm) from the 2.4-liter and electric motor assembly. Meanwhile, it will fall far behind the Range Raptor's bigger 3.0-liter twin-turbo EcoBoost V6, which churns out no less than 405 hp and 430 lb-ft (569 Nm). With that out of the way, Chevy still thinks it has a few trump cards up its off-road sleeve.
For example, the 2024 Tacoma has a 33.8-degree approach, 23.5-degree break-over, and 25.7-degree departure angles on the TRD Pro (without the towing package.) That is slightly less than Bison's "best-in-class" 38.2/26/26.9-degree angles! Plus, the mighty mid-size Chevy also comes with 35-inch mud tires wrapped around 17-inch beadlock-capable AEV wheels. Naturally, the aftermarket company provides other goodies, as well, like the heavy-duty winch-capable front bumper, the rear bumper, and fender flares. But AEV is not the only partner, and the Boron steel-equipped truck (skid plates and rocker protectors) also features "segment-exclusive" Multimatic DSSV front and rear Jounce Control dampers. Last but not least, aside from power-locking front and rear diffs, the Colorado ZR2 Bison also rocks a "best-in-class" ground clearance of 12.2 inches (31 cm). So, in the end, which truck is your favorite?