The Secret Behind The New 2022 Toyota Tundra’s “Diesel-Like” Hybrid Engine

The new 2022 Toyota Tundra ushers in the full-size truck’s third generation. The top-trim Tundra engine is a powerful hybrid drivetrain: the iFORCE MAX. MotorTrend tested the new 2022 Tundra TRD Pro. The team was impressed by its low RPM power. MotorTrend wrote that Toyota had achieved the coveted “diesel-like” flat torque curve. Here’s how its engineers did it.

Zero to 18 MPH: an electric motor drives the new 2022 Toyota Tundra

This new 2022 Toyota Tundra features an iFORCE MAX hybrid engine with diesel like torque | Toyota
2022 Toyota Tundra | Toyota

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The new 2022 Toyota Tundra does away with the old truck’s 5.7-Liter V8 in favor of a twin-turbocharged V6. In addition, Toyota offers its full-size pickups with hybrid and conventional drivetrains. The Toyota iFORCE MAX hybrid drivetrain sandwiches a powerful electric motor between the V6 and 10-speed automatic transmission.

The new electric motor makes 100+ lb-ft of torque. As importantly, 100% of this power is available from zero RPM. This means the electric motor can get the new Tundra rolling and accelerate up to 18 MPH.

In addition, when you hit the brakes this electric motor turns into a generator. It actually creates drag and slows the truck down. While doing so, it charges a nickel battery under the rear seat. This battery in-turn powers the motor the next time you start out. This improves the Tundra’s fuel efficiency in stop-go traffic.

18+ MPH: a twin-turbocharged V6 powers the new 2022 Toyota Tundra

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

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The new 2022 Toyota Tundra’s V6 is an advanced unit. At 3.44-Liters (advertised as 3.5), it’s the premium engine in Toyota’s new Dynamic Force engine family. These next-gen engines consolidate the advanced technology from Toyota’s entire lineup into a single family of powerful, efficient motors.

The 3.5L leverages VVTi and other proprietary technology for precise control of the combustion process. This control, paired with long pistons, allows a compression ratio as high as 10.5:1. In addition, Toyota reduced pumping losses and increases output with variable oil and water pumps.

In the Lexus LS 500, this 3.5L V6 makes 416 horsepower. But for the new Toyota truck, engineers tuned the V6’s twin turbocharges for maximum low-RPM torque. The result only makes 389 horsepower but it is rated at 479 lb-ft of torque.

By the time you accelerate to 18 MPH, the iFORCE MAX Tundra starts its V6 engine. As the engine spools up, the electric motor continues to help. Then, when the turbochargers kick in, the V6 takes over completely.

The new 2022 Toyota Tundra can tow 12,000 pounds

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

All-told the iFORCE MAX drivetrain makes 437 horsepower and 583 lb-ft of torque. That’s more torque than a Ford Raptor. MotorTrend’s reviewers point out that just as important as these performance numbers is the way they are delivered. The truck offers a flat “diesel-like” torque curve thanks to multiple technologies working in unison.

With so much going on, you might think driving the new 2022 Toyota Tundra with the iFORCE MAX would be hectic. But reviewers say the vehicle is incredibly smooth. The only way they could tell whether they were using electric or gas power was by looking at the tachometer.

One benefit of the iFORCE MAX’s low-RPM power is the truck’s incredible towing capacity. Toyota claims the new truck’s maximum towing capacity will be 12,000 pounds. This will likely be for a 2WD model with a tow package. But it is an impressive number for an efficient V6 nonetheless.

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