Prove It!’ tour came to Northern
California’s Infineon Raceway last week for its largest stopover
on the West Coast. Though, with over eight hundred invited guests,
forty pickups, twenty-nine radio stations, five demo areas, two NASCAR
drivers, and a cameo by Blink-182’s ex-drummer, it might just as
well have been called Tundrapalooza.
component in the $100
million launch of the all-new 2007
Tundra Prove It! is a 350-city traveling sales and marketing expo that
allows potential Tundra buyers to get behind the wheel and try out
capabilities for themselves while also driving and comparing it against
select competitive haulers.
Tundraphiles awoke as early as 4 a.m. to make the trek from Fresno and
Monterey to Sonoma, California. Upon arrival these prospects
were treated to bags of Tundra schwag and greeted by an impressive
parking lot display of every wheelbase, cab, trim, and driveline configuration
clinics covered the truck from top to bottom and oriented new arrivals
to what was available at the tour.
was ignored, from bare
bones work trucks to custom 4x4s. Torn down frames and engines were
staged like museum displays to help the curious visualize what’s
going on beneath the Tundra’s skin and how it works. And eager
product specialists stood next to each rig or rode shotgun during drives
to explain its features and demonstrate items like engine choices,
backup cameras, and a slick dampened tailgate that doesn’t bang
down when released.
debatable whether drag racing a half-ton pickup really proves one lick
about its capabilities, it sure does make for some good entertainment
when caffeine-fueled truck shoppers are involved. 92-octane amateur
dragsters were invited to race the Tundra on Infineon’s
quarter-mile drag strip against comparable pickups from Chevrolet, Dodge,
Ford, and Nissan. A Tundra Crew Max 4x2 with six-speed 381-hp 5.7-liter
i-Force V8 running gear pulled a time of 15.6-seconds at 90-mph against
a four-speed 345-hp HEMI V8 armed 2007 Dodge Ram Mega Cab 4x2 that did
16.8-seconds at 81.6-mph, a 2007 Nissan Titan Crew Cab
4x2 with a five-speed 5.6-liter V8 that ran a 16.4-second sprint at
87-mph, and a four-speed 300-hp 5.4-liter 2007 Ford Super Crew that
turned in a 17.1-second, 81-mph quarter-mile. A slightly smaller
Tundra Double Cab was timed at 15.4-seconds at 92-mph and a Tundra
Regular Cab took the top spot for the morning at 15.0-seconds and 94-mph.
A 2007 Chevrolet
Silverado didn’t show up until late in the a.m.
so we missed those quarter-mile runs. It should also be noted that all
Tundra times witnessed were behind the 14.8-second,
94-mph speeds we achieved in a 2007 Sierra Denali Crew Cab, powered by
all wheel drive and a 6.2-liter 403-hp V8 motor, earlier this year.
maneuverability, hauling and towing tests were staged in an orange-coned
lot so drivers could, again, compare the Tundra to trucks from Ford,
Dodge, and Nissan in situations that mimicked something more than straightline
stoplight sprints. Towing ballast and payload were also provided
to let testers experience how the Tundra responded near the boundaries
of its hauling envelope.
hands-on demo was an opportunity for folks to take the Tundra off-road
on a brief ‘green-circle’ rated trail. Loose
gravel, moderate divots, and short-run washboards gave drivers a taste
as to how well 4x4 Tundras could be expected to handle off-pavement excursions
in 4-hi. But the course wasn't challenging enough to test out
new features like Downhill Assist Control (DAC), which is used to help
guide and control the truck down steep inclines.