Toyota reveals a hybrid pickup, excessive mpg clearly not the highest precedence

After greater than 20 years of hybrid gross sales within the U.S., it’s laborious to imagine that Toyota hasn’t made a single hybrid pickup. 

The wait is finally over. However no, the hybrid pickup Toyota’s delivering isn’t going to land wherever near the 40-mpg Ford Maverick hybrid pickup revealed earlier this 12 months, or channeling high-mpg Prius tech heritage. Toyota’s leaping within the hybrid truck enviornment with the arrival of a very redesigned 2022 Toyota Tundra—its full-size truck that has been one of many thirstiest fashions in its peer set (14 mpg mixed, for the 2021 4WD fashions).

With the discharge of the 2022 Tundra, Toyota is probably going dropping the gas-guzzling V-8 from the lineup and as an alternative providing both a twin-turbo V-6 engine or that engine as a part of a hybrid system. 

The Tundra gained’t faucet into some model of Toyota’s tried-and-true planetary gear hybrid setup, which began with the Prius and is now used extensively all through its lineup. Quite, the V-6 is mixed with what Toyota calls “a brilliantly engineered bell-housing motor system.” This powertrain is badged i-Drive Max and shall be rated at 437 horsepower and 583 lb-ft of torque. 

2022 Toyota Tundra's new iForce Max powertrain

2022 Toyota Tundra’s new iForce Max powertrain

Particularly, Toyota says {that a} clutch is positioned throughout the bell housing between the engine and 10-speed automated transmission—so the motor/generator is ready to easily multitask with help, regeneration, engine startup, and a few measure of all-electric driving. The 288-volt nickel-metal hydride battery pack for the hybrid system is mounted below the rear passenger seats within the i-Drive Max model.

Toyota did not remark about gasoline effectivity in an preliminary launch detailing the truck, but it surely hints at an optimization between mileage and robust functionality, saying that the hybrid powertrain is “designed to supply most efficiency and most effectivity at each excessive.”

That mentioned, the truck’s engine-off operation sounds much more restricted than Toyota’s different hybrid autos. “Though the electrical motor does the majority of the work at decrease speeds, as soon as above 18 mph, the gasoline engine is continually in operation,” it describes. Most of Toyota’s present hybrid vehicles and crossovers will periodically cycle the fuel engine off in light-duty freeway driving.

Whereas gasoline effectivity may not have been the highest precedence, the Tundra’s most towing capability has been boosted to 12,000 kilos, with most payload as much as 1,940 kilos—all numbers more likely to be hit by the hybrid.

2022 Toyota Tundra

2022 Toyota Tundra

Like Ford however not alongside Lightning?

That sounds so much just like the technique Ford adopted with the F-150 Hybrid, badged PowerBoost and yielding as much as a 25-mpg score and a 750-mile vary on a tank. The Ford additionally makes use of the ability methods with an onboard-generator system referred to as Professional Energy Onboard. If Toyota is providing related utility with the Tundra, it didn’t point out so but. 

The Tundra is totally new beneath and throughout. It migrates from a ladder-style body to a totally boxed one, with the body itself wider within the rear for towing stability. The truck rides on coil springs in again, with a brand new multi-link suspension mentioned to supply large advantages to dealing with and trip, and an air suspension and adaptive dampers are supplied for the rear. A brand new sheet-molded compound (SMC), with bolstered aluminum crossmembers, helps add energy and save weight. 

2022 Toyota Tundra

2022 Toyota Tundra

The truck additionally presents a vastly improved cabin, with a brand new horizontal theme that Toyota says breaks from the vertical format of most different rival full-size vans. There’s a brand new era of infotainment, multimedia, and audio options, together with a voice-based assistant and what Toyota describes as a “cloud-based native navigation system.” All Tundra fashions, from the bottom SR model on up, get a full suite of active-safety options. 

There shall be Double Cab and CrewMax (bigger cab) variations, with 6.5- or 8.1-foot cargo beds on supply within the former and 5.5- or 6.5-foot beds out there on the latter. As now, the Tundra shall be supplied in a variety of fashions, together with TRD Off-Highway and Sport variations; it’s not but clear whether or not all of these shall be supplied as a hybrid, however usually as soon as Toyota presents a hybrid choice it tends to go for important gross sales.

2022 Toyota Tundra

2022 Toyota Tundra

Now the query, for Toyota, turns into whether or not it’s providing sufficient to carve out a distinct segment for the hybrid Tundra—as Ford readies its F-150 Lightning electrical pickup, GM sees its Chevy Silverado EV as a “high-volume entry,” and Stellantis is planning a totally electrical Ram 1500 due by 2024. 

To place it bluntly for remark: Will Toyota persuade sufficient truck traditionalists to go hybrid, or will all those that might need gone hybrid need totally electrical by now?

That continues to be to be seen. The Tundra shall be made in San Antonio, Texas, and is because of arrive later this fall.

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