By Steve & Tamami Laser
After weeks of teaser photos and technical tidbits, Toyota has unveiled the all-new third-generation Tundra. Toyota says the new truck is the most capable and advanced Tundra yet, with improved performance, capability, comfort, multimedia and more. And it’s styled to turn heads with a bold new look.
Tundra’s design team embraced the mantra “Technical Muscle” while developing the new truck at Toyota Motor Corp.’s North American studio, Calty Design Research in Newport Beach, Calif., and Ann Arbor, Mich. Continuing the legacy of its predecessor, the new Tundra will be built at Toyota Motor Manufacturing Texas (TMMTX) in San Antonio.
Working to improve capability and ride comfort, Toyota’s R&D team at Toyota Technical Centers in Michigan, Arizona, and California, developed a fully boxed frame for the new Tundra. When properly equipped, Tundra’s maximum towing capacity increases to 12,000 lbs., while maximum payload is up to 1,940 lbs.
The new cargo bed employs Sheet-Molded Compound (SMC) construction and aluminum crossmembers to reduce weight. Toyota says that compared to regular steel, SMC delivers added protection against dings, dents, and rust. The tailgate benefits from lighter weight materials as well, and can be released using the standard key fob for added convenience.
Under the hood, the new Tundra’s standard twin-turbo V6 engine is rated at 389 horsepower and 479 lb.-ft. of torque. Meanwhile, the available Hybrid i-FORCE MAX, standard on TRD Pro, puts out an even more amazing 437 hp and 583 lb.-ft. It employs a motor-generator and clutch positioned within the bell housing between the twin-turbo V6 and standard 10-speed automatic transmission.
Toyota says the Hybrid powertrain provides additional power and torque for towing, a quiet ride and improved efficiency in low-speed EV mode in the city, linear power delivery on the highway, and enhanced off-road driving with peak torque in the low RPM range. The system’s 288V sealed Ni-MH battery is located under the rear passenger seat.
The driver can customize powertrain response using Tundra’s Drive Mode Select settings, with Sport, Sport+, and Tow/Haul modes. TRD Pro’s Multi-Terrain Select also features Crawl Control for low-speed, off-road “cruise control” driving, with five selectable speeds, while Downhill Assist Control limits speed during steep descents.
Tundra features a new double-wishbone front suspension and multi-link rear suspension with coil springs to help improve ride comfort, stability, handling, and towing. A new air suspension system is available, with automatic and manual leveling, including High, Low and Normal modes. Adaptive Variable Suspension is also offered on Tundra for the first time.
TRD Pro receives a new front stabilizer bar, Fox internal bypass shocks, aluminum front skid plate, red suspension components, and additional protection underbody. The shocks, that use piggyback reservoirs to hold extra oil for off-roading performance, are also said to provide a front lift of more than one inch.
We really like the style and detailing of the new TRD Pro’s 18-inch lightweight BBS® forged alloy wheels, wrapped with grippy Falken Wildpeak all-terrain tires.
Speaking of style, the Calty design team crafted a new interior for the Tundra that builds upon the “Technical Muscle” exterior theme. A horizontal layout visually integrates the instrument panel and center display screen area for a high-tech appearance.
Tundra gains all-new multimedia systems, including 8-inch and available 14-inch touchscreens, with Apple CarPlay® and Android Auto™ connectivity. The roster of available features includes a virtual Intelligent Assistant, cloud-based native navigation system with real-time over-the-air updates for maps and points of interest, Wi-Fi Connect, and Toyota Connected Services.
If the TRD Pro was on our shopping list, we would select the same color combo as the truck in these photos. The bolstered front seat design, upholstery design and textures, plus the TRD Pro script embroidered onto the seatbacks, make it our favorite.
The rear seats offer plenty of room for three, while increased ventilation and cargo bed access from inside the cab is easy, thanks to a power vertical rear window. We also see that a power panoramic moonroof is on the Tundra’s option list.
Standard Toyota Safety Sense 2.5 features include a Pre-Collision System with Pedestrian Detection and emergency steering assist, Dynamic Radar Cruise Control, Lane Departure Alert, Lane Tracing Assist, Automatic High Beams, Road Sign Assist, and Toyota’s Rear Seat Reminder. Also standard is a Blind Spot Monitor and Rear Cross-Traffic Alert.
The new Tundra lineup features Double Cab and CrewMax body styles, a choice of three cargo bed lengths, and SR, SR5, Limited, Platinum, 1794, and TRD Pro models. A TRD Off-Road Package is available on SR5, Limited and 1794, while a TRD Sport Package is offered on 4×2 and 4×4 SR5 with CrewMax or Double Cab.
Toyota says the all-new Tundra goes on sale late in 2021. Pricing for U.S. and Canada models is expected to be announced closer to on-sale dates.
Note: Pre-production models are shown in this story. Features, specifications, model availability, and launch timing for future production models is subject to change without notice
News sources and photos courtesy of Toyota Motor Sales, U.S.A., Inc., and Toyota Canada Inc.
Story (commentary) © 2021 CarNichiWa.com