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Toyota Unveils 7 Special Edition Models in Chicago

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New Toyota special edition models: Tacoma Trail, Tundra Trail, and 4Runner Trail from left to right
Photo: Toyota

Toyota has unveiled seven new SUV and pickup truck variants at the Chicago Auto Show, all of which will be launched as 2021 models. Six of these are new Toyota special edition models, but one is the first-ever Highlander XSE, the nomenclature Toyota uses for its sportier trims.

“Designed for people who need SUV practicality but really miss driving sport sedans, the Highlander XSE combined bold exterior design with more agile driving reflexes,” the automaker said in a press release.

The Highlander XSE makes 295 horsepower and uses an advanced AWD system to direct up to 50 percent of torque to the right or left rear wheels. It has a totally new exterior design, with an exclusive grille, lower spoiler, and front and rear bumpers.

As we surmised from its teaser, Toyota also brought a few off-road-ready vehicles to the Chicago Auto Show, though none of them TRDs. Instead, the automaker introduced Trail Special Edition models for the 2021 Tacoma, Tundra, and 4Runner, all of which feature unique styling and equipment designed to enhance ruggedness.

Related: 2020 Toyota Highlander overview

The Tacoma Trail, for example, gets 18-inch TRD Off-Road wheels with Kevlar All-Terrain tires and a 115-volt power outlet in the bed. The Tundra Trail gets lockable bed storage and special edition wheels, though the 4Runner Trail is the one that got the most new toys.

The 4Runner Trail not only got a rooftop cargo basket but also a custom, 40-quart cooler designed specifically for U.S. markets. It has a lockable lid, freezer-grade gasket, tie-down straps and special brackets, heavy-duty latches with integrated bottle openers, a large built-in drain plug with lanyard, ergonomic carry handles and a flat top just in case you want to put things on it, including your derriere.

Finally, as we predicted from the teaser, Toyota brought a few Nightshade Special Edition models for the Corolla Sedan, Corolla Hatchback, Camry, Sienna, and 4Runner. Though all unique, the overarching aesthetic is the same: most exterior and interior details are blacked out, including the leather and the chrome. These tend to look quite good in low-light photoshoots, but we’d recommend checking one out in person in a well-lit area before pulling the trigger on a purchase.

Related: 2020 Toyota 4Runner overview