End of an Era: Final Toyota/Lexus V8 Rolls off the Line
It’s official: the Toyota V8 is dead. The Toyota Tundra traded its V8 for a turbocharged V6 at the end of 2021, then the Sequoia followed along for the 2023 model year. The last ever Lexus GX 460, built around the old V8 engine, just rolled off Toyota’s assembly line. But the moment is bittersweet. Hot on the final 460’s heels was the first-ever Lexus GX 550. And we have to say it looks pretty sweet.
Toyota killed its V8
In the fall of 2021, Toyota announced that the Tundra would be ditching the naturally-aspirated V8 that had been its workhorse for nearly 15 years, and going to a twin-turbocharged V6 exclusively. The news shocked many of us. But in hindsight, maybe it shouldn’t have.
By the 20-teens, Toyota was the world’s largest automaker. It was building 800 motors across its international lineup. When the company had to shut down production in many places because of the COVID pandemic, it took the opportunity to regroup and think through its goals. As a result, Toyota attempted to consolidate its entire lineup to five vehicle chassis with fewer than 20 engines.
The Toyota Tundra, Sequoia, Tacoma, 4Runner, and Land Cruiser would all have to share the TNGF full-frame chassis. As a result, the Sequoia went from independent suspension to a solid rear axle and the Tundra had to give up its rear leaf springs for coils. Another compromise was that the Sequoia and Tundra dropped their V8, and the shared chassis became V6-only.
One of the secrets to Toyota reliability is that the automaker has always watched the rest of the industry, then implemented the best tried-and-true technology available. So it’s unsurprising that the Toyota Tundra went to a twin-turbocharged V6 engine with a similar displacement to the EcoBoost Ford has been running for a decade now. With emissions regulations growing stricter every year, and Toyota’s redesigns rare, it was wise to choose the most efficient engine currently available.
The final Toyota V8 went in a Lexus GX 460
The Lexus GX series has been using the “UR” series V8 from the Tundra since 2010. But the 2024 model year will see an all-new GX, the GX 550, with a turbocharged I4 and the Tundra’s twin-turbocharged V6 available. Motorsports photographer and lifelong Toyota fan, Larry Chen, was in the factory to watch the final 2023 Lexus GX 460 roll off the line.
Toyota lived up to its reputation for efficiency. Moments after the final GX 460 started up, the first GX 550 came along hot on its heels. Though Chen is a big fan of the old Toyota V8, he took one look at the Lexus and said, “Alright, I think I found my new daily driver!” You can swoon over the V6 SUV with Chen in the video below: