Fast trucks may not make any sense, but they sure are a lot of fun. The rare Toyota Tundra TRD Supercharged predates the supercharged Ram TRX. Back in 2008, this limited edition Tundra took the fastest truck in the world award–then held it for over a decade.
The Toyota Tundra 5.7-liter V8’s untapped potential
By the 2021 model year, Toyota’s naturally-aspirated 5.7-liter V8 needed replacing. It gave up both horsepower and fuel efficiency to the similarly-sized 5.7-liter HEMI. For 2022, Toyota tossed the old engine in favor of a 3.44-liter twin-turbocharged iFORCE V6 capable of near Ford Raptor power.
But when the automaker first introduced the Toyota UR engine series, the V8 was one of the most advanced around. Toyota produced this V8 in 4.6-liter, 5.0-liter, and 5.7-liter displacements. Its engine block and heads leveraged aluminum and magnesium to save weight. What’s more, VVT-i technology improved both intake and exhaust timing.
Toyota added the 5.7 to the Tundra engine options for the full-size truck’s second generation in 2007. The naturally-aspirated V8 made 381 horsepower and 401 lb-ft of torque. But the hooligans at Toyota Racing Development (TRD) suspected the new V8 had some untapped potential.
The Toyota Tundra TRD Supercharger
Toyota’s TRD immediately began to develop speed gear for the new V8. By 2008, the team had modified an Eaton’s TVS Roots-type supercharger for installation in the truck. This specific supercharger features two four-lobe rotors. It is similar to the unit in the contemporary Toyota TRD Aurion as well as the Chevrolet Corvette ZR1 and Cadillac CTS-V.
TRD’s new supercharger kit bumped the Tundra’s output to 504 horsepower and 550 lb-ft of torque. In addition, Tundra customers could ask dealer technicians to install it on their 5.7 and not void the factory warranty.
Because the 2008 Tundra TRD Supercharger was technically a Toyota product, Car and Driver tested the truck. The model the publication tested was a 2008 Tundra SR5 with TRD’s full kit: lowered shocks, improved brakes, anti-roll bar, 22-inch wheels with low-profile tires, and of course, a supercharger.
Their team of reviewers reported the full-size truck drove like “a ballistic building.” With all the extra power, driving the TRD supercharger was like driving “on snow.” Its traction control light flashed on and off throughout the tests. The team called the project an “exercise in wretched excess,” but admitted they loved it anyway.
The world’s fastest truck: 2008 Tundra beat the Ford SVT Lightning, was dethroned by the Ram 1500 TRX
MotorTrend conducts controlled 0-60 MPH and 1/4-mile time runs with nearly every vehicle it reviews. The publication was eager to get its hands on the new supercharged 2008 Tundra TRD.
Before the 2008 Tundra, the fastest truck MotorTrend had ever tested was the 2004 Dodge Ram SRT-10 with a 0-60 MPH time of 4.9 seconds. The runner-up was the infamous, supercharged 2004 Ford F-150 Lightning with a 0-60 MPH time of 5.1 seconds.
Whenever MotorTrend tests a vehicle’s acceleration, its reviewers make several attempts to get the fastest time possible. They try with and without launch control (if equipped). On windy days they also average runs in two separate directions. Then they select the fastest run for both 0-60 and 1/4-mile times.
When MotorTrend tested the 2008 Tundra TRD Supercharged, the truck’s best 0-60 MPH time was 4.4 seconds. The truck also continued on to run the 1/4-mile in just 13.0 seconds with a top speed of 106.3 MPH.
The incredible supercharged Tundra held the distinction of being the fastest truck MotorTrend had ever tested for over a decade. It was another supercharged, special edition that finally dethroned it. The 2021 Ram TRX managed to do 0-60 MPH in just 4.1 seconds. And this year, a surprising new truck finally ousted the Ram TRX. Read more about the new fastest truck.