Double Cab does give an accurate indication of how much bigger and roomier
the new cabs will be. Overall width is 79.9 inches. Toyota says rear-seat
passengers will enjoy six inches more hip room than in the previous Tundra.
Front seat passengers get 4 more inches.
“Tundra Territory is a microcosm for how our design, development and manufacturing engineers went about researching the core values of today’s full-size pickup market,” said Lentz.
Toyota’s early marketing blitz will show how engineers, product planners and designers criss-crossed the country and moved within the trucking community to learn owners’ needs and wishes. The research literally started in the junkyard where engineers dissected old trucks to locate areas suffering from corrosion or wear and acknowledged the parts that held up under rugged use.
Toyota identified six distinct groups of buyers but they targeted one group they called “True Truckers” who account for 25 percent of all pickup sales.
“But their importance goes far behind their purchasing power,” added Lentz. “They are the true opinion leaders among full-size owners and highly credible because they use, punish and demand the most out of the pickups they buy.”
The Toyota teams then interacted with the True Truckers in their elements. For example. Wyoming miners needed more air conditioning power. A saddle shop gave the team ideas for interior design. Watching workers with hardhats and cowboys driving suggested that the headrests had to be adjustable to allow occupants to keep wearing their hats. Other useful features developed from the field work included a fold-down front passenger seat that can be used as work surface. The center console will hold a laptop and file folders. The glove box will hold a Thermos bottle. The tailgate can be opened and closed with “two fingers.”
As with any Toyota vehicle, the priority often focuses on interior appointments. From the looks of the Limited trim on the show truck, Toyota is targeting demanding professionals with a silver-tone cluster to support the instrument panel, console-mounted shifter and leather trim. A JBL premium audio system will be offered along with a 10-way power adjustable driver’s seat and wide-screen backup camera. Besides the Limited trim, Tundra will come in the familiar base and SR5 trims levels.
Exterior design follows many of the cues found in the FTX concept truck from two years ago but without the cartoonish proportions. The Wall Street Journal reported that there were two camps of thought when final designs were chosen. The Japanese officials generally wanted a conservative approach, echoing earlier attitudes that the company really didn’t want to offend Detroit. But the American officials, according to the article, wanted the aggressive look to challenge the Big 3. The latter approach obviously prevailed but officials are quick to say that many in Toyota had input.
“Field managers came in and had a voice,” said Mark Amstock, national marketing planning manager. “With a vehicle of this nature, there’s been more sharing and involvement throughout the organization to hear their voices.”
Stylists at Calty Studios in California and Michigan started with the “power of the fist” shape from the FTX concept to design a body with thicker panels, taller doors and a sailing beltline that gives the rear side glass a slight geometric flair. The massive chromed grille surround frames three textured bars and the Toyota logo. Overall, the styling appears organic, if not aquatic, especially in blue. However, the plastic lower fascia/skidplate isn’t very appealing.