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Toyota Tundra 2022: new full-size ute under study for Australia

 
Zak Adkins
Journalist

Toyota continues the Tundra nameplate for 2022, adding more power, hybrid tech and a fresh exterior design.


Toyota’s full-size American pickup truck, the Tundra, was revealed this morning in new third-generation guise with its maker describing the ute as “the toughest, most capable, most advanced Tundra to date.”

Replacing its predecessor after a long 14 year run in the American market, the new Tundra makes significant leaps in performance, capability, multimedia and comfort offerings.

Toyota Tundra Platinum 2022 rear
Toyota has unveiled the third-generation Tundra which is being considered for Australia

The Tundra is built upon Toyota’s new TNGA-F body-on-frame platform that also underpins the up-and-coming Land Cruiser 300 Series and the next-generation HiLux.

While there are no firm plans to build the new Tundra in right-hand-drive configurations from the factory, a spokesperson for Toyota confirmed to Chasing Cars that Toyota will “continue to study” adding the Tundra at the head of the brand’s commercial vehicle lineup in Australia.

Toyota Tundra Platinum 2022 engine
The Tundra features two new V6 engines including a hybrid option in place of the old V8

New hybrid powertrain and a twin-turbo petrol V6 

The most significant addition to the Tundra lineup is the ute’s first hybrid powertrain – possibly foreshadowing a future development for the Australian-market HiLux.

Two petrol engines are available with the new Tundra – the first being a 3.4-litre twin-turbo V6 producing 290kW of power and 650Nm of torque.

The six-cylinder engine features an alloy block, with dual overhead cams and dual variable valve timing, with Toyota claiming the new V6 improves on the outgoing V8 by using state-of-the-art cylinder heads with a two layer water jacket along with an integrated exhaust manifold. 

Toyota is eliminating V8 engines from many parts of its lineup, with the Tundra joining the new Land Cruiser 300 Series in eschewing an eight-cylinder motor. In overseas markets, the Land Cruiser is sold with the Tundra’s new twin-turbo V6, though in Australia it is a diesel-only proposition.

Toyota Tundra Platinum 2022 towing
The Tundra can tow up to 5.4 tonnes, enough to pull just about anything

The Tundra hybrid combines the twin-turbo V6 with a motor generator located in the bell housing between the engine and the ten-speed torque converter automatic transmission – a device Toyota calls i-Force Max.

The electric motor boosts total outputs to 325kW of power and a substantial 790Nm of torque

Toyota says the hybrid powertrain is designed to provide “maximum performance and maximum efficiency at every extreme”.

The battery system used in the Tundra is a 288-volt nickel-metal hydride (Ni-MH) construction with the battery positioned underneath the second-row seats.

When specified with the hybrid powertrain, the new Tundra is rated in the United States to tow 5.4 tonnes (12,000 pounds), while optimised tow modes are selectable by the driver. 

Toyota Tundra TRD 2022 front
The Tundra also comes in a TRD guise that enhances the full-sized ute’s off road capability

Goodbye leaf springs, hello coils

Toyota has ditched leaf springs on the new Tundra, instead opting for coil springs to maximise handling and performance.

The company references ride comfort, straight-line stability and handling dynamics as being the biggest improvements of using coil springs in the 2022 Tundra. 

Standard twin tube shocks are fitted to the front and rear of the truck, however in the TRD Off-Road upgrade the truck receives uprated Billstein shocks. Top of the range TRD Pro trucks have Fox internal bypass shocks all round. 

Rear air suspension will also be available in certain grades, which feature automatic and manual leveling functions. 

Toyota Tundra TRD 2022 shocks
The top of the range Tundra TRD adds Fox internal bypass shocks at all four corners

Built in Texas for America 

The next generation 2022 Tundra will be assembled in the United States at Toyota’s San Antonio, Texas factory. The truck was designed by a dedicated American team who conducted research and development at the brand’s various technical centres located across the US.

The full-size pick-up segment is bitterly contested in the United States with the Tundra’s major rivals hailing from America’s “big three” domestic manufacturers. The ute competes squarely with the Ford F-150, the Chevrolet Silverado and the Ram 1500.

Toyota Tundra Limited 2022 interior
Inside the Tundra is a pretty plush ute with a 14-inch touchscreen on higher trims

The Tundra’s brand new infotainment system was also designed by a Texas-based connected technologies team.

Standard fitment on the Tundra is a 8.0-inch central touchscreen, which can be upgraded to a 14-inch touchscreen.

Wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto are included as standard in the new Tundra, while a 12.3-inch digital driver display is bundled with high-tier variants.

Toyota Tundra Limited 2022 front hill
At present, the Tundra is still being considered for Australia but there are no set plans

Will the Toyota Tundra come to Australia?

Toyota have studied bringing the Tundra to Australia for years and the brand is well aware of the growth of the full-size ute segment down under.

That said, at this point, there is no firm plan to give the HiLux a bigger sibling in Australia.

Speaking to Chasing Cars, a Toyota Australia spokesperson said that while “there are currently no plans for the new model Tundra to be produced in right hand drive (RHD) from the factory … this is something we will continue to study.”

One of the Tundra’s key rivals, the Ram 1500, is sold in Australia via a collaboration between the factory, Australia’s Ateco Automotive distribution group and conversion specialist Walkinshaw.

Through to the end of July, more than 2,200 examples of the Ram 1500 had found Australian buyers so far this year, or about 10 per cent of the sales of 4×4 variants of the Toyota HiLux.