Toyota has revealed its all-new, completely redesigned Tundra full-size pickup truck. The Portland Tribune will travel to Texas in October for a first-drive review, but for now we have technical details to report.
New engine lineup
The biggest news with the new truck is that Toyota has abandoned the V8 engine in favor of two versions of a turbocharged 3.5-liter V6 power plant. The more basic of the two, which will be standard on most trims, produces 389 horsepower and 479 lb-ft. of torque. The upgrade engine will be hybridized with an electric motor and called the i-FORCE MAX. The hybrid drivetrain produces 437 horsepower and 583 lb.-ft. of torque.
Both new engine configurations will be mated to a new 10-speed automatic transmission and the buyer's choice of rear-wheel or four-wheel-drive. The new 10-speed features a sequential shift mode, uphill/downhill shift logic, and Tow/Haul driving modes. For reference, the current 5.7-liter V8 engine produces 381 horsepower and uses a six-speed transmission.
Cabin choices will be limited to a full crew cab and a shorter double cab. Both options feature four doors, but the CrewMax crew cab offers more rear leg room. Double Cab models will be offered with the choice of a 6.5-foot bed or an 8.1-foot bed. 8-foot beds are increasingly rare in the full-size half-ton market, so work truck buyers may gravitate towards Toyota. CrewMax models will be offered with either a 5.5-foot bed or a new 6.5-foot bed.
The trim level breakdown for Tundra offers something for everyone, with SR, SR5, Limited, Platinum and 1794 trims available. The TRD Pro pro off-road package will also return to the Tundra lineup, but it will be offered only with the i-FORCE MAX hybrid powertrain. The hybrid engine will be a standalone option on Limited, Platinum and 1794 trims.
New bed design
The new Tundra will feature a bed made of sheet-molded polymer compound, similar to that used on the Honda Ridgeline. This material resists dents and damage much better than steel or aluminum. Toyota has also redesigned the tailgate to be lighter, and includes a tailgate release on the key fob that is standard equipment on all models.
New rear suspension
For drivability, the new Tundra has abandoned rear leaf springs, which have been in use on trucks since the first Chevrolet pickup was sold in 1918. The new Tundra uses rear coil springs; a design pioneered by General Motors in the 1960s, but Toyota has added a multi-link rear suspension for even better handling. The new rear suspension helps increase the Tundra's maximum towing capacity to 12,000 pounds, and the payload capacity to 1,940 pounds. A height-adjustable and self-leveling air ride suspension is available on some models.
New trailering technology
Two new Tow/Haul modes will be available on the new Tundra. The standard Tow/Haul mode increases throttle response and is ideal for lighter to moderate needs, such as small box trailers, utility trailers or small boats. In Tow/Haul+ mode, throttle response is more aggressive for situations when towing larger trailers such as RVs, larger box trailers or larger boats.
If the Tundra is equipped with the hybrid i-FORCE MAX powertrain, the electric motor is constantly in operation when in Tow/Haul+ mode, for immediate responsiveness when needed. The engine Stop and Start functions are also deactivated so as not to inhibit performance.
To make trailering easier, Toyota took a page from GM's recent trucks and installed several new cameras, displaying multiple exterior angles that are viewable from the available 14-inch touchscreen or the available rearview mirror camera accessory. Views include the rear truck bed to check on cargo, a rear split view to show both sides of the trailer, and a hitch view for easy trailer connecting. There's also a bird's-eye view looking down around the whole truck.
On TRD Pro or vehicles with the TRD Off-Road package added, a Multi-Terrain Monitor is available to allow the driver to check the immediate surroundings for potential obstacles by simply pressing a button for front-, rear- and side-camera views on the display.
On sale this fall
The 2022 Toyota Tundra will go on sale late in 2021. Pricing will be announced closer to the on-sale date. The Tundra will continue to be made in Toyota's truck plant in San Antonio, Texas.
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