After releasing a sneak photo of its new Tundra pick-up earlier this year, Toyota has given the full-size American-market ute a proper formal reveal, while simultaneously detailing its specs in full.
As previously reported, the new Tundra adopts chunky, bold styling cues from front to back. The grille is most likely the largest ever fitted to a Toyota product, with its huge chrome bezel echoed by the chrome in the headlights, on the window sills, on the door handles, and on the rear bumper.
The big news for the nameplate is the departure of a V8, a sign of the times for America’s once V8-reliant pick-up segment.
Now it makes use of a twin-turbo 3.5-litre petrol V6. This is a new engine for Toyota, forming part of its ‘i-Force’ engine family. It’s available in both pure petrol and 288-volt hybrid forms, with the latter cramming an electric motor-generator into the bell housing between the petrol engine and the transmission. Towing capacity is rated at a crazed 5440kg.
Paired to a 10-speed automatic, the flagship hybrid model produces 326kW of power and a whopping 790Nm of torque. Non-hybrid versions, meanwhile, produce 290kW/650Nm.
That’s more power and torque than the outgoing V8 across the board, but with more efficiency according to Toyota. It claims the engine is capable of better economy, which is perhaps best underlined by the fact that the hybrid version has an EV-only mode (a mode normally reserved for plug-in hybrids). The catch is that it only works when the ute is up and running at 30km/h.
Under the panels and powertrain is an all-new ladder-frame platform made from high-strength boxed steel, with a wider rear frame and improved rigidity via a bevy of new crossmembers. Toyota claims the platform is both more capable than the last, but also less truck-like to drive.
The latter is achieved, it says, via the new multi-link rear suspension set-up. This replaces any leaf or coil-sprung combinations. Double wishbones, meanwhile, reside up front. The shocks have been shifted beyond the frame rails, and a new lateral control arm makes the Tundra’s suspension more predictable.
There’s also an inevitably TRD Pro variant, designed to rival the likes of the Ford F-150 Raptor. It comes with 2.5-inch internal bypass Fox shocks, faux-carbon-composite black plastics on the exterior, 18-inch wheels with Falken all-terrain rubber, a suspension lift, an added stabiliser bar, and more.
Toys? Well, as you’d expect, there’s plenty. The Tundra gets a 12.3-inch digital cluster behind the steering wheel, a 14-inch primary touchscreen, a panoramic roof, heated and cooled front seats, a heated steering wheel, and … for those wanting something rugged … an aluminium composite reinforced rear bed.
As with previous Tundras, we’re unlikely to see it here in New Zealand. However, with the Chevrolet Silverado and Ram 1500 recently joining the local market, perhaps there’s a window for Toyota to consider making the big brute with the steering wheel on the correct side.