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In Fall 2021, Toyota finally unveiled the third generation of its full-size Tundra pickup truck. Motorheads wondered if the third-generation Toyota Tundra would finally come with a diesel engine. Sadly, the newest Tundra will not offer a diesel option. Shockingly, the new 2022 Tundra will not even offer a V8 Toyota engine. That said, the cutting-edge powertrain in the 2022 Toyota Tundra achieved a “diesel-like” torque curve. Read on to find out how.

The new 2022 Toyota Tundra will launch with just one engine: a twin-turbo V6

Two Toyota factory workers manufacturing the Tundra's powertrain in the U.S.A.
Tundra assembly | Toyota

In recent years, the Toyota Tundra has become synonymous with the V8. While other base model pickups went to V6 or even I4 engines, the 2021 Toyota Tundra was only available with the naturally-aspirated 5.7-liter V8.

Then the company announced a redesigned, third-generation Tundra. Fans of past Toyota diesel engines hoped the new 2022 Tundra would offer a diesel. But Toyota had other plans.

Whether you buy a base-price Tundra or a top-trim pickup truck, the new 2022 Toyota Tundras will all come with a gasoline-powered, twin-turbo V6. The new engine is a 3.44-liter (advertised as 3.5) called the V35A-FTS. As the flagship of Toyota’s new Dynamic Force engine family, it leverages VVT-i technology and long-stroke pistons to create incredible compression. It also uses adjustable water and oil pumps to minimize pumping losses and achieve 37% thermal efficiency.

The V35A-FTS makes 416 horsepower in the Lexus LS 500. But for the Tundra, Toyota tuned the twin turbochargers for low-end torque. The result makes 389 horsepower and 479 lb-ft of torque. What’s more, all this torque is available anywhere from 2,000 to 3,600 RPMs.

The Toyota Tundra also offers an iFORCE MAX hybrid drivetrain

The new 2022 Toyota Tundra will come with a hybrid iFORCE MAX engine, not a diesel | Toyota
2022 Toyota Tundra iFORCE MAX engine | Toyota

When Toyota unveiled the new 2022 Toyota Tundra, it presented both hybrid and conventional Tundra drivetrains.

This premium hybrid powerplant sandwiches a powerful electric motor between the V6 and 10-speed automatic transmission. A nickel battery under the rear seat powers this additional motor. When you press the brakes, the electric motor turns into a generator, helping to slow the vehicle and charging the battery in the process.

The iFORCE MAX engine makes 437 horsepower. What’s more, it is rated at 583 lb-ft of torque. The new 2022 Toyota Tundra can tow 12,000 pounds. That’s almost a ton more than the second-generation Tundra’s maximum.

The iFORCE-MAX-equipped trucks have slightly improved fuel economy (though it doesn’t achieve the F-150 PowerBoost’s numbers). But what is most impressive about the iFORCE MAX is how it delivers this power.

How Toyota achieved a “diesel-like” torque curve from the Tundra iFORCE MAX hybrid engine

This 2022 Toyota Tundra has a diesel-like torque curve and high towing capacity | Toyota
2022 Toyota Tundra | Toyota

When MotorTrend’s reviewers got ahold of the new iFORCE MAX-equipped Toyota Tundra TRD Pro, the performance impressed them. Toyota told the journalists it shot for a “diesel-like” flat torque curve; the engineers made as much of the truck’s power available at low rpms as possible. To this end, they tuned the electric motor to help with launch and the V6’s twin-turbochargers to kick in early. MotorTrend felt they nailed it.

The 2022 Toyota Tundra’s new electric motor is capable of launching the truck and accelerating to 18 mph. At higher speeds, the V6 starts up automatically. What’s more, the electric motor continues to assist until the moment the turbochargers kick in. Finally, when you are decelerating, the V6 engine shuts off automatically.

If this all sounds complicated, don’t worry. What MotorTrend found was the iFORCE MAX transitions between modes seamlessly. The only way the reviewers could figure out whether the V6 or electric motor was powering the truck was to check the tachometer.

Just as importantly, 100% of the electric motor’s 100+ lb-ft of torque is available from zero rpm. Because of the turbocharger settings, much of the V6 engine’s 479 lb-ft of torque is available from low rpm. The result is a “diesel-like” flat torque curve in a cutting-edge hybrid gasoline powertrain.

Next, read about the cheapest diesel 2024 pickup truck or see how well the hybrid Toyota Tundra performs while towing its maximum capacity in the video below: