Toyota revealed a major redesign of its Tundra full-size pickup at the Chicago auto show today – the first significant change to the truck since the current generation was launched for the 2007 model year.
The new, third-generation Tundra is said to have true North American roots – engineered at the Toyota Technical Center in Ann Arbor, Michigan, styled by Calty Design in Newport Beach, California and Ann Arbor, and assembled exclusively at Toyota's assembly plant in San Antonio, Texas,.
The new truck will continue to be offered in Canada with a choice of two engines: a 4.6-litre DOHC V-8 rated at 310 horsepower and 327 lb-ft of torque; and a 5.7-litre DOHC V-8 with ratings of 381 horsepower and 401 lb-ft of torque. Both are mated with a six-speed automatic transmission.
While the powertrains may be familiar, the truck is visually new both inside and out. It will be available in five different trim levels, each with its own distinctive look – base, SR5, Limited, Platinum and an all-new 1794 Edition.
The SR5 is the current and expected volume leader and the addition of the new premium model is said to be in response to growth in that part of the market.
The 1794 Edition name is a reference to the ranch, founded in 1794, on which the Tundra plant in San Antonio is located.
Three cab styles will be available – a Regular Cab and four-door Double Cab, in both 4x2 and 4x4 configurations, and a four-door CrewMax 4x4.
Externally, the new Tundra follows the pattern of its competitors with a tougher, more-aggressive look, complete with seemingly-obligatory bulges around the wheel openings, giving it, in some respects, an almost generic pickup truck appearance.
Inside, both front and rear seats have been redesigned and a new instrument panel is more driver-centric, with a centre-mounted multi-information display and improved control ergonomics.
As with the exterior, there are distinct appearance differences between different trim grades. Both Double Cab and CrewMax will be available with bench or bucket front-row seats.
The 2014 Tundra will feature some segment firsts, including a new Blind Spot Monitor with Rear Cross Traffic Alert, a standard back-up camera system, with a 6.1-inch display screen, and standard Bluetooth connectivity.
Dynamically, the new truck is said to have improved steering feel and straigh-line stability. Suitably equipped, it can have a maximum tow capacity of 4,762 kg/10,400 lb in 4x2 Regular Cab form.
The 2014 Tundra is scheduled to arrive at Canadian dealerships in September.