Trucks & SUVs

This Toyota Tundra Proves TRD Superchargers Need to Come Back

The Toyota Tundra is known for many things: reliability, American production, and value retention. However, performance doesn’t really make the list. Although the next-gen truck promises hybrid power and a twin-turbo V6, the current 5.7-liter V8 isn’t terribly fuel-efficient or powerful. The Tundra didn’t even make our list of full-size trucks with high payloads. There is the off-road Tundra TRD Pro, but it doesn’t have any engine upgrades. But at one point, it did. Up until fairly recently, Toyota Tundra owners could order an official TRD supercharger.

What’s so special about a TRD-supercharged Toyota Tundra?

2009 Toyota Tundra TRD Supercharged
2009 Toyota Tundra TRD Supercharged | Toyota via Car and Driver

Stock, the Tundra’s 5.7-liter V8 makes 381 hp and 401 lb-ft of torque. For some, that may be sufficient. But with the Tundra TRD Pro competing with the likes of the Ford F-150 Raptor and Ram Rebel TRX, it isn’t. The Raptor makes 450 hp and 510 lb-ft. And the upcoming Hellcat-engined Rebel TRX will make at least 575 hp, if not the full 707 hp.

Ram Rebel TRX Concept
Ram Rebel TRX Concept | FCA

But up until 2013, things were a little different. From 2007-2013, Tundra buyers could also order a TRD supercharger kit from their Toyota dealer. As with modern kits from the likes of Lingenfelter and Edelbrock, TRD didn’t just supply a supercharger. The kit also included an integrated by-pass valve, performance air intake, an air-to-liquid intercooler, and larger fuel injectors. TRD wanted to make sure the supercharged Tundra was still a reliable daily driver. The kit was even 50-state emissions-compliant, and according to Road & Track, came with a factory warranty.

And it really did make a difference. Toyota doesn’t quote an exact improvement in 0-60 time or towing capacity. But with the Eaton-type supercharger boosting the V8 to 504 hp and 550 lb-ft, the Tundra’s performance undoubtedly increased. And with a Borla exhaust like on the truck in the video above, so did the sound.

Why Toyota doesn’t offer a Tundra TRD supercharger anymore

2009 Toyota Tundra TRD Supercharged side
2009 Toyota Tundra TRD Supercharged side | Toyota via Car and Driver

Unfortunately, even though the Tundra TRD Pro still has a 5.7-liter V8, the TRD supercharger isn’t compatible with it. The V8 had to be modified to keep up with emissions standards. One of these modifications included making it E85-compatible. According to PickupTrucks.com, the supercharger was already on its way out, due to rising costs and stricter emissions requirements. It simply wouldn’t work with the engine anymore.

Toyota Tundra TRD Pro
Toyota Tundra TRD Pro | Toyota

The Tundra TRD Pro is still a very capable off-roader and daily-driver. It has Fox shocks, front skid plate, and improved safety features. It just doesn’t come with more power or torque.

Alternative superchargers

Magnuson Toyota Tundra supercharger kit
Magnuson Toyota Tundra supercharger kit | Magnuson

However, there are several tuning companies that offer Tundra supercharger kits. The most plug-and-play is Magnuson’s kit, which is compatible with all V8-equipped 2007-2018 Tundra trucks. Although it doesn’t have an air-to-liquid intercooler, Magnuson claims its kit can be installed in one day and maintains all the OE sensors. With its upgraded air intake, the Magnuson kit can allegedly raise the 5.7-liter V8 to 550 hp and 550 lb-ft. What’s more, the kit is compliant with federal and CARB emissions requirements.

Underdog Racing Development, which also sells the Magnuson supercharger, notes that the kit doesn’t include an ECU re-flash. This is something that Toyota’s official kit did offer and is the major stumbling point for a Tundra owner trying to supercharge their truck. However, URD does note the rest of the kit is almost identical to the TRD kit, including the upgraded injectors.

The kit also costs roughly the same as the TRD kit once did. In 2009, Car and Driver quoted a $5,875 asking price for the kit. Scaled to today, that’s about $7,050. The Magnuson kit comes in at $6,995.