What is the best way to launch a Toyota Tacoma and get a quick 0-60 mph time? More specifically, does the Tacoma really accelerate faster in ECT PWR mode? We do real-world testing to get to the bottom of all these questions.
We run our performance tests at . If you are in the Denver area, you can use the link, contact IMI, and “TFL” code to get 10% off any go kart, track, or motocross area rentals.
The “ECT PWR” stands for Electronically Controlled Transmission Power. It puts the 6-speed automatic into a mode where it holds gears a little longer under certain conditions. It behaves as Toyota’s unique version of a tow/haul mode. Toyota does not offer what most other truck manufacturers call the tow/haul mode.
There are several different ways to launch a truck. You can run in rear-wheel-drive mode with traction control enabled. You can launch with traction control disabled, brake torqueing it just a little to build the rpms for more power. You can launch it four wheel drive. You can use a variety of different drive modes if such are available. For example, Ford offers a “sport” mode in the F-150. In the case of Toyota, it is the mysterious ECT PWR button.
It’s time to get to the track and see what’s what. Please remember that we test all vehicles at a mile above sea level. There is approximately 17% air density at this elevation. Which means all combustion engines will be slower than at sea level. A naturally aspirated engine-powered vehicle may be 1.5-2.0 seconds slower to 60 MPH than at sea level and under perfect conditions.
As always, we use our trusty SoloDL GPS-based 0-60 MPH measuring device. It’s been very reliable for us, and it measures acceleration time within 0.01 seconds of other devices such as the VBOX Sport (which we also use from time to time).
Check out the surprising results in the video below.