The Toyota Tundra lags behind its rivals in the full-size pickup segment, but it still has a few strengths. It comes with a lot of standard technology, a spacious second row, and a powerful V8 engine. The Tundra TRD Pro is also one of the best off-roading trucks you can buy.
However, this truck definitely has a lot of weak spots: some would even call it the worst pickup truck. It hasn’t been redesigned in 13 years, so the interior looks very outdated. It also gets terrible gas mileage and has a harsh ride quality. In future model years, it’s also pretty much confirmed that it won’t have a V8 engine anymore.
The Toyota Tundra’s current engine
Up until last year, the Tundra was powered by a 4.6-liter V8 engine capable of 310 hp. This engine was replaced with a 5.7-liter V8, which had previously only been available for higher trims. This motor can make 381 hp and 401 lb-ft of torque.
The bigger engine also comes with a better axle and heavy-duty springs, which gives the Tundra a smoother drive. It still comes with a six-speed automatic transmission, though some reviews say that it lacks refinement. When properly equipped, it can tow a little over 10,000 pounds. While this is a good deal of weight, many rivals can tow and haul more.
Why is the V8 being phased out of the Toyota Tundra?
Toyota plans to replace all the V8s in its current vehicles within the next two or three years. This also includes the Land Cruiser, Sequoia, and some Lexus models. While the automaker hasn’t made an official statement about it yet, it’s probably because emissions standards have become more strict.
The Tundra will get a new engine just in time for its next redesign. The next-gen Toyota Tundra is expected to go on sale in 2021, provided it doesn’t encounter any delays due to the coronavirus. Toyota’s Alabama plant is currently manufacturing a final run of V8s for the next model years of the Tundra and Sequoia.
What will replace the V8 engine?
The current V8 will be replaced with a twin-turbo 3.5-liter V6 engine. According to The Drive, there will be a standard gas engine and one that’s paired with a hybrid system. This is the same displacement that Ford has been using in its pickup trucks for more than a decade.
How much power will the new engine get in the Tundra? Judging from the latest F-150, we could see around 375 hp and 470 lb-ft of torque. The Lexus LS has had this engine since 2018. In this sedan, it produces 416 hp and 442 lb-ft of torque.
Will this new engine be available in other Toyota cars?
The twin-turbo V6 will likely make an appearance in some of Toyota’s upcoming vehicles. In addition to a Tundra remodel, a new Tacoma and Lexus IS are also in the works. The upcoming Lexus LQ is also expected to have the twin-turbo V6 engine. Its F sport trim is predicted to produce around 600 hp.
Will the Tundra’s new powertrain improve its performance?
It should be noted that the twin-turbo V6 also allows the F-150 to have the highest towing capacity. With this engine and a few other upgrades, this Ford pickup can tow up to 13,200 pounds. It also has a hauling capacity of 3,270 pounds, whereas the Tundra can only contain 1,730 pounds.
The 2022 Toyota Tundra will need a lot of improvements to catch up with its competition. Given its promising performance, the new 3.5-liter twin-turbo is definitely a step in the right direction.