1 Full-Size Pickup Truck Just Killed Its V8 Engine Option

Many motorheads believe that the rumble of a V8 is part of what makes a pickup truck a pickup truck. But one automaker disagrees: Toyota just killed its V8 engine. Every 2022 Toyota Tundra comes with a twin-turbocharged V6.

Is the 2022 Toyota Tundra a V8 truck?

No 2022 Toyota Tundra is available with a V8. Toyota is launching the third generation of its full-size truck with only a 3.44-liter, twin-turbocharged V6. The engine comes in three tunes, depending on the pickup’s trim level.

A man examines a V8 engine block in a pile of scrap.
V8 engine blocks | Christopher Furlong/Getty Images

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Toyota introduced the Tundra’s 5.7-liter V8 in 2007. Cast out of Bodine Aluminum and featuring variable valve timing (VVT-i), it was advanced for its day. A rare TRD Supercharged version made the Tundra the world’s fastest truck for over a decade.

But by 2021, the 14-year-old engine was sorely outdated. And the 2021 Tundra’s six-speed automatic did the truck no favors. When MotorTrend reviewed the TRD Pro, it found the powertrain to be “middling in 2021.”

Ford pairs its 5.0-liter V8 with a ten-speed automatic in the F-150. Ram improved the Ram’s 5.7-liter HEMI with a mild-hybrid system. But instead of a new generation of V8, Toyota chose to ditch the engine type altogether.

What kind of engine is in a Toyota Tundra?

The 2022 Toyota Tundra features a 3.44-liter twin-turbocharged V6. This powerplant is the flagship of Toyota’s all-new Dynamic Force engine family and was introduced in the Lexus LS 500 for 2017.

Toyota factory workers assembling a turbocharged V6 engine.
Factory workers assemble a Tundra powertrain | Toyota

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When Toyota redesigned its full-frame vehicle architecture, shared between the Tundra, Land Cruiser, Sequoia, and Lexus LX 600, the automaker did not bother building a chassis to support a V8 engine. Going forward, all full-frame Toyota vehicles will share the Toyota Tundra V6.

In the Lexus LS 500 car, the 3.44-liter (advertised by Toyota as a 3.5-liter) makes 415 horsepower. For duty in the Tundra, Toyota tuned the same engine’s turbochargers for low-end torque.

The base trim 2022 Toyota Tundra SR offers 348 horsepower and 405 lb-ft of torque. While this is not quite as much horsepower as the outgoing V8 (381 horsepower/401 lb-ft of torque), it beats its entry-level competitors. The Ram 1500’s non-turbocharged 3.6-liter V6 makes 305 horsepower. The Ford F-150’s non-turbocharged 3.3-liter only offers 290 horsepower. The GMC Sierra/Chevy Silverado’s turbocharged I4 can claim 310 horsepower.

Most trim levels of the 2022 Toyota Tundra will come standard with the standard tune of the 3.44-liter twin-turbocharged V6. This engine makes 389 horsepower and 479 lb-ft of torque. These numbers put it on par with its competitors’ naturally-aspirated V8s, or other turbocharged V6s. Not only does this engine improve on the outgoing V8’s power, but provides much better fuel efficiency.

Toyota’s new i-FORCE MAX hybrid powertrain will be an option on most Tundra trim levels, and standard on the TRD Pro and Capstone. This $3400 upgrade adds a powerful electric motor/generator between the Tundra’s V6 and ten-speed automatic. The resulting truck makes 437 horsepower and 583 lb-ft of torque. These numbers are very similar to the Ford F-150 PowerBoost option.

Which is more reliable: F-150 or Toyota Tundra?

The Ford F-150 EcoBoost turbocharged V6 is time-tested. The very similar Tundra engine has yet to prove itself, and early customers are complaining of turbocharger malfunctions.

Brown Toyota pickup truck parked in front of a wooden barn.
2022 Toyota Tundra 1794 Edition | Toyota

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In 2021, Ford introduced the F-150 PowerBoost, the world’s first full-size hybrid pickup truck. A year later, Toyota is rolling out its own hybrid: the Tundra i-FORCE MAX.

There are already questions about the all-new Tundra’s reliability. Multiple owners are having issues with the turbocharger’s wastegate. Because the wastegate regulates the turbocharger’s internal pressure, an issue could affect engine longevity.

To Toyota’s credit, the manufacturer already has engineers disassembling problematic trucks and working on a solution. A solution could be as simple as a software patch. We’ll just have to wait and see.

See the 2022 Tundra’s fuel efficiency and reliability rated during its first real-world road trip, or watch the V6 Tundra’s towing capacity tested in the video below:

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