its march toward overcoming the stigma of building less than a fullsize
pickup with the 2005 Tundra. Following the introduction last year of a
Double Cab model that boasts extra room and a 74-inch bed, the new Tundra
will offer a new, best-in-class base V6 engine and pump 42 more horsepower
into its standard V8. The 4.7-liter V8 also gets a new 5-speed automatic
transmission, and the V6 is teamed with a new 6-speed manual or the new
5-speed auto. That’s lots of news for a truck that’s getting
a complete makeover in less than two years.
DOHC V8 is now rated at 282 horsepower, up from 240. The improvements
also added 10 more lb-ft of peak torque: 325 lb-ft at 3400 rpm. The V6
comes in at 245 horsepower with a peak torque rating of 282 lb-ft at 3800
changes give Toyota bragging rights to the most powerful base V6 offered
in a fullsize pickup. The Dodge 3.7-liter V6 is rated at 215 horsepower
followed by the Ford 4.2-liter V6 at 202 horsepower and the Chevy/GMC
4.3-liter V6 at 195 horsepower. The Toyota V6 also has the edge in torque
by 22 lb-ft over the Chevy engine. (Note: some competitive figures are
based on 2004 numbers as 2005 information was not available at this writing.)
4.7-liter engine is now the third most powerful of any base V8 in a fullsize
pickup. Nissan, which offers only one engine in its Titan, leads with
its 5.6-liter V8 rated at 305 horsepower followed by Chevy/GMC’s
4.8-liter V8 rated at 285 horsepower. The Dodge 4.7-liter V8 is rated
at 240 horsepower followed Ford’s 4.6-liter V8 rated at 231 horsepower.
The Tundra V8 is second only to the Nissan in peak torque: 325 lb-ft compared
to 379 lb-ft for the Titan.
Chevy, GMC, Dodge and Ford offer larger V8 engines for their half-ton
pickups, topped off by the 345-horsepower 5.7-liter Hemi from Dodge.
major source of Toyota’s future light-truck growth in America will
be fullsize pickups,” says Don Esmond, senior vice president and
general manager at Toyota.
it’s already selling every Tundra produced at its Princeton, Indiana,
assembly plant. For the first half of 2004, Toyota recorded sales of 51,177
Tundras. That’s up from 47,261 in the same time period of 2003.
For all of last year, Toyota sold 101,316 Tundras, up from 99,333 in 2002.
Tundra’s best year was 2001 with just over 108,000 units. The Tundra
is built on the same assembly line as the Sequoia, a fullsize SUV, and
the hot-selling Sienna minivan.
will open a new truck plant in mid-2006 in San Antonio, Texas, to start
building the next generation Tundra, which comes out as a 2007 model.
Since Toyota will have twice the capacity to build fullsize trucks, the
automaker will have to sell twice as many. Given that Toyota currently
sells about one-fourth to one-fifth as many half-ton pickups as Ford or
Chevy, company officials feel they have to build a truck as big as Detroit’s
models to compete on an equal footing. The Tundra half-ton pickup has
been labeled a “90-percent” or “nine-tenths scale”
truck since it came out in 1999. But the Tundra also appealed to a different
market of shoppers who wanted docile road manners, refinement and a solid
reputation for quality. Toyota already showed off its vision of the future
at the 2004 Detroit auto show with the almost abnormally huge FTX
concept truck. The 2004 Double Cab and the new engines for 2005 are
more practical hints that Toyota will no longer just dabble in the fullsize
truck market. The company intends to be a major player.