Toyota late on Sunday unveiled a new generation of its Tundra full-size pickup truck.
Set to go on sale late this year as a 2022 model, the arrival of the new Tundra is a big deal as this is only the third generation since the original debuted as a 2000 model.
The good news is that Toyota hasn't cut any corners, with its 2022 Tundra benefiting from a new platform, new powertrains, and the latest in in-cabin technology.
The platform, referred to internally as a F1 (and expected to underpin the next Tacoma and Hilux pickup trucks), features high-strength boxed, steel-ladder construction, plus aluminum in key areas (like the bed) to reduce weight. By relying on a fully boxed design, Toyota said rigidity and off-road capability are substantially improved on the outgoing Tundra.
The rear section has been widened to improve stability, as well as towing capability which is now a maximum 12,000 pounds. The maximum payload is 1,940 pounds. The rear section also benefits from a multi-link suspension with coil springs instead of the outgoing Tundra's leaf springs, a design that also features in the Ram 1500 and some Ford F-150 models. Coil springs are not only better for articulation over obstacles but also for putting power to the ground. Toyota said stability, ride comfort, and overall handling have also been improved. The downside of coil springs is that they can sag when carrying a heavy payload or towing a lot.
Up front is a newly designed double wishbone setup that Toyota said improves straight-line stability and high-speed driving. When it comes to cornering, Toyota said the roll height center has been increased to about six inches from four to reduce body roll. Completing the standard suspension are twin-tube shocks at both ends. Adaptive dampers and rear air suspension (with three height modes) are available on some grades.
Teaser for 2022 Toyota Tundra
Monotube Bilstein shocks come standard on the TRD Off-Road packages, while upgrading to the range-topping TRD Pro grade will get you 2.5-inch diameter internal bypass shocks from Fox, with the front pair providing 1.1 inches of lift. The TRD Pro comes with several other off-road goodies including a new front stabilizer bar, aluminum front skid plate (along with additional underbody protection), Falken Wildpeak all-terrain tires, and driving modes for various surface conditions. Some suspension parts on the TRD Pro also come painted in bright red.
Two powertrain options are on offer in the 2022 Tundra, both based on the same 3.5-liter twin-turbocharged V-6. Yes, the Tundra's much-loved 5.7-liter V-8 has finally been dropped. In the 2022 Tundra, the base option, branded i-Force, delivers 389 hp and 479 lb-ft of torque and actually beats the old V-8's numbers. Upgrade to i-Force Max and you get 437 hp and 583 lb-ft, as well as a hybrid system where an electric motor-generator between the engine and transmission can serve as an engine starter, recover energy under braking, and provide a power boost during off-the-line acceleration and towing. It can even power the truck on its own during short low-speed (up to 18 mph) drives. The standard transmission on the 2022 Tundra is a 10-speed automatic.
The 2022 Tundra is offered in two four-door options: Double Cab and larger CrewMax. Double Cab models are offered with the choice of 6.5- or 8.1-foot beds. CrewMax models are offered with the choice of 5.5- or 6.5-foot beds. For the cabin, there are premium options like a panoramic roof, heated and ventilated front seats, heated steering wheel, and a wide 14.0-inch (8.0-inch standard) infotainment screen. This screen can be extremely handy when towing or off-roading as it can show the vehicle's exterior from multiple angles to help keep the truck (and trailer when attached) away from any external hazards. There are also views to check on cargo in the bed or an attached trailer. Power extending and folding tow mirrors are also available.
2022 Toyota Tundra
Analog gauges with a 4.1-inch screen are standard for the instrument cluster but a 12.3-inch fully digital option is available. Other features include Apple CarPlay and Android Auto smartphone integration, Wi-Fi connectivity for up to 10 devices, and a voice-activated assistant that can handle key tasks such as finding points of interest, adjusting the audio settings, or making a phone call.
Production of the 2022 Tundra is being handled at Toyota's plant in San Antonio, Texas, where the outgoing Tundra was built.
Pricing information will be announced closer to the market launch later this year.
For more on the Toyota Tundra, read the in-depth reviews at The Car Connection.