Could the 2022 Toyota Tundra Get a Hybrid Engine from Lexus?

The current-generation Toyota Tundra has been with us since 2007. Despite having a widely-loved and reliable engine, it’s falling behind some of the electrified competition. The arrival of the Hybrid Ford F-150 certainly puts some pressure by offering tons of power with great efficiency. Thankfully, it seems there is a chance the all-new Tundra could feature a hybrid engine under its hood. According to Car and Driver, the truck’s new powertrain could even come from Lexus.

Will the 2022 Toyota Tundra get a hybrid Lexus engine?

None of the 2022 Toyota Tundra’s details have been confirmed by the Japanese carmaker as of writing. However, rumors have existed thought the last year or so that the Tundra will lose its V8. In its place, it is expected that the twin-turbo V6 that lives in the Lexus LS500 will likely make its way into the truck. If these rumors turn out to be true, then there is a slight possibility that it may also inherit the LS500h’s electrified powertrain.

This is because both the twin-turbo V6 and the Atkinson-cycle 3.5-liter V-6 are quite similar in size. Additionally, Toyota has used Atkinson-cycle engines in other models across its range. If the 2022 Toyota Tundra ends up inheriting this powertrain, it may carry over the two electric motors that help achieve the Lexus’ combined 354-hp output. However, it is worth noting that this powertrain would need a significant power upgrade if it’s going to compete with Ford.

How much power could an electrified Tundra have?

A photo of the Toyota Tundra outdoors.
2021 Toyota Tundra | Toyota

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The current-gen Toyota Tundra develops 381 hp and 401 lb-ft from its 5.7-liter naturally aspirated V8 engine. Unlike the rest of the truck, this V8 remains largely unchanged since its debut back in 2007. During the last decade or so, its competitors have significantly improved in the horsepower department. Take, for example, the recently released Ford F-150 Hybrid.

The Ford pairs a 3.5-liter twin-turbocharged V6 with a 47-hp electric motor, says Car and Driver. Total power output is rated at 430 hp and 570 lb-ft. This puts the F-150 Hybrid almost 100 hp and 170 lb-for over the Tundra. If the 2022 Tundra is to compete, then it should develop a similar power output.

As it stands, the electrified powertrain in the Lexus LS500h develops just 354 hp and 261 lb-ft. The result here is that the Lexus powertrain, as it stands, is far too weak to compete. This means we’ll either likely see the use of a completely different powertrain or no electrified Tundra at all.

How about efficiency?

A Toyota Tundra truck on display at an auto show
A white Toyota Tundra | SAUL LOEB/AFP via Getty Images

The big advantage the Ford-150 has over its rivals comes in the form of efficiency. On the other hand, the current-gen Toyota Tundra is surprisingly thirsty, averaging 13 mpg in the city and 17 mpg on the highway. The aforementioned electrified F-150 manages an average of 24 mpg in the city and 24 mpg on the highway. Given the sizable gap, not even the twin-turbo V6 out of the Lexus will likely close it. The non-hybrid Lexus LS500 consumes 18 mpg in the city and 27 mpg on the highway. Keep in mind that placing that powertrain under the hood of a truck will likely affect those figures significantly.

In the end, the possibility of a hybrid Toyota Tundra seems quite small. Despite this, Toyota will have to improve the efficiency of the rumored turbo-V6 if it wants to keep up with Ford. Thankfully, we’ll know soon enough as the truck should debut sometime in 2021.