Vellum Venom Vignette: Surfacing, size, and sweetness

Vellum Venom Vignette surfacing leaked 2024 Toyota Tacoma lede | Toyota

Bigger isn’t necessarily better, just ask the foodies that realized the sweet side effects of droughts in California—the less water available for plants in a farmer’s field, the smaller the size of fruits harvested. And there’s a correlation to your tastebuds, as they experience an undiluted flavor experience with every (smaller) bite. Turns out that there’s a lot of water in fruits: which isn’t necessarily a bad thing, but we might be sacrificing an experience because of it.

Of course, I’m not here to talk about fruit. Instead, make note that the 2024 Toyota Tacoma was leaked on their website, and it looks like a smaller, sweeter version of DNA present in the full size Tundra. The image was snagged by jaxon12turner on the Tacoma 4G forum, and this appears to be a TRD Pro version, complete with a skid plate, a wider track, fender flares, and the Pro’s signature light bar mounted in the grille. It’s big and bold, but with none of the water weight collecting in the Tundra’s swollen tissue.

While 2D photography is never a substitute for an in-person analysis, the Tacoma makes the Tundra struggle with its bulk. The Tacoma’s vertical grilles below the headlights are (probably) far shorter, and its smaller front fascia allows the TRD Pro bumper and grille to look meaner, more performance-oriented. More to the point, the Tacoma sure looks like its body is wrapped tightly (less loosely?) around its haunches.

Too bad both Toyotas have a hood that rests above the belt line, which is generally terrible for forward visibility. (And child safety.) But one of these TRD Pro’s looks ready to tear up a rallycross, while the other looks content with cheering in the bleachers.


The Tundra’s macho grille is definitely unique, but it gives off steroidal vibes. And steroid water retention isn’t just a problem for human beings. Surfacing is one of the toughest things to get right once a vehicle’s hard points are set in stone, and the Tundra’s sheer size makes it tough to look assertive atop all that bloat. In contrast, this leaked Tacoma photo looks effortless, and very comfortable in its smaller skin.

2013 Tundra doing something very relevant. Toyota

Yes, full size trucks can do more because of their size. Plus they aren’t painful to purchase, as they have economies of scale working in their favor over smaller trucks. And if you tow with your truck, the Tundra’s superior chassis, brakes, powertrain, cooling, etc. makes all that overdone styling seem relevant. While older trucks are more like the new Tacoma, never in their wildest dreams could they tow like a modern full sizer. Ever.

So if you tow a massive trailer, the Tundra’s look might go very, very well with your needs. But the smaller, sweeter, and more elegantly surfaced Tacoma speaks in a design language familiar to truck owners of decades past. And I suspect the Tacoma will be quite the looker in real life, even with fleet spec SR trimmings.

Will the perks of a smaller truck convince people to ditch their full sizers for the classic proportions of yesteryear’s pickups? Probably not, but there’s a glimmer of hope in this singular photo of one seriously aggressive midsizer.




Check out the Hagerty Media homepage so you don’t miss a single story, or better yet, bookmark it. To get our best stories delivered right to your inbox, subscribe to our newsletters.

Read next Up next: This trio of ’80s Japanese sports cars could have made their mark


    This styling of the new Tacoma (if the leak turns out accurate) is really great. Which is a much shorter (and less sophisticated) way of saying what you said. Also, that body-colored connecting bar in the middle of the grill on the new Tacoma makes such a huge difference in breaking up the mass of black plastic. One need only look at the Tundra (which lacks that) to see what a big difference that makes. Toyota need not change any surfacing or hard points to make the Tundra look significantly better with that one simple change. I’ve seen plenty of the new Tundra in person to definitely say that big, unbroken, inverted U-shape of black plastic on the front end is distracting and ugly.

    100% correct! The body color break in the front fascia is a huge improvement. Not sure if it will help the Tundra as much as it helps the smaller Taco, but I guess we may never know.

    Saw a late-90s Tacoma the other day, it’s pretty much alien to what modern “mid-size” trucks have become.

    The new Taco will probably do just fine because it’s about the size of early 90s and earlier full-size trucks.

    Some people tow heavy things. Most do not.

    The monster grill on the newer Tundra reads as “pig nose” to me. I’ll take the “electric shaver” Chev over that…

    “Some people tow heavy things. Most do not.”

    So much wisdom in eight succinct words. Maybe everyone will get hip to this.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *