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These are the body types of the new-gen Toyota Tamaraw

To be powered by a 2.0-liter gasoline engine and a 2.4-liter diesel mill

Trust us, the styling grows on you the longer you stare at it. PHOTO BY VERNON B. SARNE

In mid-May, motoring journalists went to Davao for the 17th edition of the Toyota Road Trek. Of course, we were part of the event.

The adventure had an unfortunate start as our Philippine Airlines flight was delayed by about six hours—which eventually deprived us of much-needed rest and relaxation at a blissful resort—but it was saved by a day of driving hybrid Toyota vehicles and saying hello to eight versions of the soon-to-be-launched Toyota Tamaraw.

If you’re wondering how come you’re learning about this Tamaraw thing through your favorite motoring media outlets only now, that’s because Toyota Motor Philippines requested a June 1 embargo. Why the specific date? I honestly do not know. It is what it is.

This version represents the top-of-the-line variant. PHOTOS BY VERNON B. SARNE

The new-generation Tamaraw is surely nothing new to everyone who follows the automotive industry. You’ve been hearing about and seeing the vehicle in concept form since last year. And here we are now, just half a year removed from the much-awaited official launch (at least according to TMP executive vice president Jing Atienza).

In Davao, we saw eight different Tamaraws led by the GR-liveried pickup you see here. TMP kept reminding us that these vehicles were not production versions but just “prototypes.” But TMP product planning assistant vice president Manuel Luis Ulanday told us that the vehicles were basically near-production already.

This cabin is the least utilitarian among the three trim levels. PHOTOS BY VERNON B. SARNE

Ulanday briefed us about the Tamaraw’s positioning. Two engines will be available: 2.0-liter gasoline and 2.4-liter diesel. The gasoline Tamaraws will have a short wheelbase, while the diesel Tamaraws will be blessed with a long wheelbase. Also, the diesel units have the option of an automatic or a manual transmission, while the gasoline units only have a manual stick.

All Tamaraws will have a white paint job, except for the top-of-the-line 2.4-liter diesel AT (LWB dropside pickup) that will be offered in three colors: white, silver and black.

We don’t know about you, but the dropside type of pickup trucks looks really virile in our eyes. PHOTOS BY VERNON B. SARNE

Three body types will service the Tamaraw: dropside pickup, aluminum van, and utility van.

2.4L diesel AT (LWB)

  • Dropside pickup
  • White, silver and black

2.4L diesel MT (LWB)

  • Dropside pickup, aluminum van, and utility van
  • White

2.0L gasoline MT (SWB)

  • Dropside pickup, aluminum van, and utility van
  • White
The beloved vehicle name in Filipino motoring culture is back. PHOTO BY VERNON B. SARNE

The GR-liveried unit you see above is basically the range-topping variant. Meanwhile, below are examples of the other variants and body configurations of the vehicle.

Have you figured out what you will do with the new-generation Tamaraw? PHOTOS BY SAM SURLA

Can’t wait for the launch? Neither can we. We’ll update you with more info once Toyota gives it to us. In the meantime, maybe now is the perfect time to imagine what you can do with this vehicle.

Vernon B. Sarne

Vernon is the founder and editor-in-chief of VISOR. He has been an automotive journalist since July 1995. He became one by serendipity, walking into the office of a small publishing company and applying for a position he had no idea was for a local car magazine. God has watched over him throughout his humble journey. He writes the ‘Spoiler’ column.