However, that’s just the tip of the iceberg as there’s still plenty to talk about. As a result, we’ll be discussing some of its other notable details here.
No Tow Hooks From The Factory
Tow hooks are a point of pride for many hardcore pickups and you’ll find them prominently featured on the Chevrolet Silverado ZR2 and Ram 1500 TRX. However, they’re noticeably absent from the Tundra TRD Pro.
This wasn’t an oversight, but a conscious decision. As officials explained to us earlier this month, the Tundra eschews factory tow hooks in the name of improved aerodynamics. We’re not a fan of this decision, but tow hooks will be offered as accessories and should be considered mandatory if you regularly venture off-road.
Toyota Knows They’re Not Going To Outsell Detroit
Ford dominates the full-size truck segment and is followed by Chevrolet and Ram, which are in an increasingly tight battle for 2nd and 3rd place. The Tundra is far behind and the automaker doesn’t expect that to change even with the redesigned pickup.
That’s refreshingly honest and officials acknowledged they’re a bit of a niche player in the segment. However, they’re expecting the 2022 Tundra to be more popular than its predecessor which averaged around 115,000 sales annually. That seems doable as consumers are clearly interested in the new Tundra as more than 1.7 million people visited the truck’s teaser landing page in the leadup to the unveiling.
I Am Iron Man
The Tundra’s bold design has been met with mixed reaction, and that was to be expected as the company purposely wanted the truck to be aggressive and intimidating. Designers also revealed that Iron Man served as part of the inspiration for the Tundra, which is interesting as the “genius, billionaire, playboy, philanthropist” had decidedly more Germanic tastes.
While Toyota claims all of the vents on the Tundra are fully functional, that isn’t entirely true as the ones on the hood are just for show. We asked about this a few months ago and were told functional hood vents would effectively blow hot air into the cabin intake, which would be less than ideal.
Tough Describes More Than Just The Design
Toyota has built a reputation for quality and reliability, and the company is looking to improve on that with the all-new Tundra. As part of this effort, the automaker acquired a Tundra that had been driven a million miles (1,609,344 km) and tore it apart to look for things they could improve. Engineers noted the bed was a mess, so that’s part of the reason the latest truck has a sheet molded one.
Toughness also extends to components as engineers said the truck has a BorgWarner transfer case similar to an unnamed competitor. However, Toyota wanted theirs to be beefier so it was equipped with a wider chain as part of their effort to improve reliability and durability.
A Hybrid Truck That Cares More About Performance Than Efficiency
As we noted in our main Tundra article, higher-end versions of the truck offer an i-Force Max powertrain which consists of a twin-turbo 3.5-liter V6 engine, a ten-speed automatic transmission, a nickel-metal hydride battery, and an electric motor that is effectively sandwiched between the engine and gearbox.
While Toyota is renowned for their hybrid technology, the company wasn’t set on making a hybrid pickup. Instead, they wanted to increase torque and going the hybrid route was the best option as it allowed for diesel levels of output while also having lower costs and better responsiveness.
We’ll find out how well the hybrid powertrain works in practice a little later, but it’s impressive on paper as it develops 437 hp (326 kW / 443 PS) and 583 lb-ft (790 Nm) of torque. Those numbers best most competitors and it’s a serious improvement compared to the old 5.7-liter V8.