BySteph Willemson March 3, 2020
Given the avalanche ofnew domestic pickupssmothering the American marketplace over the past couple of years, you’d be forgiven for forgetting about the Toyota Tundra, last revamped during the latter part of the Bush administration.
And yet, after Ford comes out with a new F-150 later this year and Nissan gets its midsize offering in order, there’ll be a new full-sizer from Toyota.
AU.S. trademark filingdated February 18th asks for the i-Force Max name, no doubt referring to the upcoming Tundra’s heart. For the current model year, Toyota ditched the base 4.6-liter i-Force V8, leaving the 5.7-liter (381 horsepower, 401 lb-ft) V8 as the sole available mill. That’s the same engine that returned just over 13 mpg in less-than-strenuous driving conditions a couple years back.
Yes, the Tundra is long overdue for some weight loss and refinement.
The trademark application gives us no details on the nature of the i-Force Max engine, though it has long been rumored that the upcoming Tundra, due to appear in 2021 (possibly as a 2022 model), will make use of a twin-turbo 3.5-liter V6 hybrid setup sourced from the Lexus line. Power is expected to the tune of 450 hp and 500 lb-ft, catapulting the Tundra into competitive territory, and not just for its power figures.
It’s possible i-Force Max refers to this boosted powertrain. That said, there’s still no confirmation from Toyota about the hybrid system, nor is there word about what a base engine might look like. Presumably, it would be the twin-turbo V6 minus the electric assist. The same haze surrounds the next-gen truck’s rear suspension, seen shrouded in curtains in recent spy photos and rumored to carry coil springs or an air system.
Whatever form the Tundra takes, it will have its work cut out for it. Detroit made good use of its development dollars in recent years (some might place an asterisk next to GM on that list), and the Tundra will have to make a big impression on these devout buyers to get noticed. Existing Tundra owners will, of course, return to the Toyota dealer to trade in their old rig on a new one. Theirloyalty knows no bounds.