Toyota Extends Its Hybrid Technique to the Full-Measurement Tundra Pickup Truck

  • Toyota rolled out its newest-generation Tundra full-size pickup truck late final 12 months, dropping the V8 possibility and providing it solely in turbocharged V6 kind.
  • Becoming a member of the Tundra lineup this spring is the i-Power Max trim, Toyota’s designation for the hybrid mannequin, with an output of 437 hp and 583 lb-ft of torque.
  • It’ll be part of the favored Ford F-150 hybrid pickup as the 2 sole full-size vehicles providing full hybrid powertrains.

    Toyota is happy to have a completely re-engineered Tundra pickup out there, rolling out to North American showrooms just a few months in the past. Nonetheless ramping up manufacturing, the model delivered 4952 models in January, produced on the automaker’s plant in San Antonio.

    For context, Ford bought 50,543 full-size F-Collection pickups (together with heavy-duties) in the identical month, outpacing the Tundra greater than 10 to 1. For full-year 2021, Ford bought 656,039 F-Collection vehicles within the US whereas Toyota delivered 81,959 Tundras, almost all of them from the earlier era.

    So let’s be sensible. How a lot indigestion is an all-new Toyota full-size pickup inflicting gross sales managers at Ford, Basic Motors, and Ram, the manufacturers in Detroit that dominate this profitable phase and that are none too desperate to give up 1 level of market share?

    It’s vital to notice, Ford and GM—America’s prime two full-size truck producers—throw an enormous number of powertrains at customers: V6s, V8s, diesels, gasoline, naturally aspirated, turbocharged, even a four-cylinder engine from GM.

    Toyota, even for its brand-spanking new third-generation Tundra, retains the preliminary powertrain providing easy, restricted to 1 engine solely: a dual-overhead-cam, twin-turbo 3.5-liter i-Power V6 rated at as much as 389 horsepower, mated to a 10-speed computerized with two-wheel or four-wheel drive. Gone are the 4.6-liter and 5.7-liter naturally aspirated V8s beforehand provided.

    That modifications this spring when Toyota will start promoting the identical engine in a full parallel hybrid configuration, with an electrical motor/generator positioned between the engine and transmission. By itself, the electrical motor can crank out 48 hp and 184 lb-ft of torque, with extra power saved for later use in a 1.87 kWh nickel-metal hydride battery pack.

    Electrification boosts total output of this hybrid powertrain (marketed as i-Power Max) to 437 hp and 583 lb-ft of torque—aggressive within the phase and a monumental step up from the previous-generation Tundra.

    That is probably a sensible technique for Toyota. As an alternative of throwing a number of powertrains at customers, the automaker focuses solely on a stout turbocharged V6, which Ford rode all the way in which to the financial institution with its 3.5-liter EcoBoost, launched years in the past within the F-150.

    The opposite facet of the strategic coin could possibly be simply as beneficial—turning this Toyota V6 right into a hybrid, an idea the Japanese automaker likewise rode to the financial institution starting with the Prius in 2001. In spring, when the Tundra Hybrid launches, it and the F-150 would be the solely full-hybrid full-size pickups.

    2022 Toyota Tundra TRD Professional with hybrid V6, marketed as i-Power Max.

    Tom Murphy

    Toyota is anticipating about 25% of Tundra consumers to choose the hybrid. Ford isn’t disclosing the present take-rate for the F-150 PowerBoost hybrid, however product planners mentioned on the launch greater than a 12 months in the past they anticipated about 10% of consumers to choose the hybrid, which carries a beginning worth of $48,480, in Lariat trim. Pricing for the Tundra Hybrid begins at $52,300.

    Michelle Krebs, government analyst at Cox Automotive, says she expects Toyota will do nicely with a hybrid Tundra, primarily based on Ford’s success with its personal hybrid F-150.

    “And Toyota has skilled great success with hybrids,” Krebs says. “Toyota, properly, has added hybrid and/or plug-in hybrid variations to its hottest fashions. Hybrids/plug-in hybrids, together with a tiny variety of fuel-cell automobiles, now account for a few quarter of Toyota’s gross sales. That’s the next share of electrified gross sales than any automaker.”

    Toyota’s been right here earlier than, providing hybrid variations of its high-volume fashions—particularly the Camry, RAV4, and Highlander. “So there isn’t any separate advertising and marketing required,” Krebs says. “These hybrids have been in extraordinarily excessive demand and, by means of the chip scarcity, in low provide.”

    Dearborn executives have to be fuming that the brand new Tundra Hybrid trumps the F-150 Hybrid’s 430 hp and 570 lb-ft of torque.

    Ford has the higher hand in fuel-economy scores, nonetheless, with a mixed 24 mpg with four-wheel drive, simply besting the Tundra’s 21 mpg mixed in most trim ranges. With rear-drive variations, once more Ford has the sting, with a mixed 25.5 mpg score for the F-150 Hybrid, in contrast with a mixed 22 mpg for the 2WD Tundra Hybrid.

    All-electric full-size pickups (from Ford, GM, and later Ram) are simply across the nook. For now, Ford and Toyota duking it out with full hybrids will present the electrifying drama.

    Share your ideas on the electrification of the Toyota Tundra and whether or not you suppose it is going to give the hybrid Ford a run for its cash.

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