Equipment Type

Toyota Tundra Truck Is Bigger and Bolder Inside and Out

Toyota's 189-ton pickup truck will come with a choice of three cabs and two box sizes

April 01, 2006

Toyota Tundra pickup truck
Market studies caused Toyota to make its upcoming Tundra larger in all dimensions to better compete with American Big Three pickups. The new Access Cab, shown here, has forward-hinged rear doors instead of the rear-hinged doors on the current model.
The Tundra's V-8 engine
The new i-Force 5.7-liter V-8 will be built in Alabama, as the current 4.7 V-8 is now. The new Tundras will be assembled in Indiana and Texas.
Tundra's interior
New Tundra's roomy interior will come in Base, SR5 and Limited (shown) trim packages. Large HVAC knobs are designed to be worked with a gloved hand.

Toyota's 2007 Tundra pickup will be bigger and bolder than the current model very much on purpose, as the company's extensive market studies showed that serious truck buyers want a large truck with strong work capability and lots of comfort. Thus the new model will be bigger in every direction, and it will be aimed at commercial users as well as consumers.

Executives with Toyota Motor Sales U.S.A. said the new full-size Tundra was designed and styled in America and will be built here, starting early next year. An Access Cab model displayed at a recent trade show is 10 inches longer, 5 inches higher and 4 inches wider than the current 7/8-size model, and is as big or bigger than the 150- and 1500-series American Big Three pickups which currently dominate the market.

The new Tundra will have a ½-ton payload capacity, as does the current model, but executives hinted that a ¾-ton version might come later. Tundra will come with a choice of three cabs and two box sizes, and be available with the current 4-liter V-6 and 4.7-liter V-8, plus a new 5.7-liter V-8 with a six-speed automatic transmission. High-capacity cooling and electrical systems, plus bigger disc brakes, and a heftier frame and suspensions will allow a Tundra with the 5.7 i-Force V-8 to tow up to 10,000 pounds, executives said.

Styling features a high hood and grill, a thick body with tall doors, fender flares and "character" lines, all to emphasize the ideas of size and power. The tailgate has dampers that ease it down and help raise it with only a few fingers. Gloved hands can easily work the large door handles and HVAC knobs.

Regular, Access and Double cabs will have more leg, shoulder and hip room than now. The new Access cab's rear doors will be hinged at the front, like the Dodge Ram Quad Cab. Interiors will come in Base, SR5 or Limited trim levels, with standard and optional comfort and convenience packages as well as electronic equipment to suit individual buyers.

Executives hope to capture more commercial business with special fleet incentives, which are still being formulated and will be announced later. Meanwhile, they are pushing the workability of the current Tundra's regular cab with the 8 foot-2 inch bed. The truck bed is also 49 inches between wheel wells, so it can flat-carry 4×8-foot sheets of plywood or wall board, and up to 2,025 pounds of them, in spite of the truck's slightly more compact dimensions in other respects. Toyota executives underscored their new commitment to commercial customers by displaying that model and a prototype of the bigger Tundra at the National Truck Equipment Association's recent Work Truck Show in Atlanta.

As with current Tundras, the new vehicles will be assembled in Toyota's truck plants at Princeton, Ind., and San Antonio. The 5.7-liter V-8 will be built at the company's Huntsville, Ala., engine plant, which has been building the 4.7 V-8 since May 2003. Toyota's reputation for high build quality and vehicle durability have not been enough for the current Tundra to make serious inroads in the Big Three's pickup sales, but Toyota executives hope that will change with the new truck's large size.

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