The current-generation Toyota Tundra debuted during the Chicago Auto Show in 2007 and today, Toyota brought its new 2014 Tundra to the same event.
A new chiseled look brings the formerly curvaceous Tundra into the boxy realm of the current American-designed pickups. While the profile of the truck remains similar to the current Tundra, the hood, grille, front bumper and wheel arches of the truck have all been squared off for a bold look.
While the folks at Toyota’s Calty design studio were providing new style to give the truck a fresh feel, it seems like the engine development team was sipping ****tails. Disappointingly, the engines are unchanged.
Offered as the standard motor on Tundra Regular and Double Cab models is a four-liter V6 good for 270 hp and 278 lb-ft of torque.
In the middle of the range is a 4.6-liter DOHC i-Force V8 that offers 310 hp and 327 lb-ft of torque, while the top-tier engine is still the 5.7-liter i-Force V8 that makes 381 hp and 401 lb-ft of torque. A five-speed automatic transmission will link up to the V6, while a six-speed will be on duty with both eight-cylinder powerplants. In 4×2 regular car trim, Tundra’s top tow capacity is 10,400 lbs.
For improved ride quality, the shock-absorber valving has been re-tuned, hoping to avoid some of the rear-end chattering that was common in the previous Tundra. Steering feel is adjusted for a little less feedback, which Toyota says will make it better to drive on long trips.
Inside, a complete overhaul brings the Tundra from the land of black, boring plastic into the new-age of truck interiors. Toyota kept the large physical knobs for easy operation, while the rest of the interior was ditched for the new design, save some of the silver and black contrasting dash plastics.
Interior focus was placed on bringing the Tundra a more luxurious feel, along with providing clear differentiation between trim lines.
Ergonomics and comfort received some attention across all the trim levels, as audio and HVAC controls that move closer to the driver. Finally, the front seats are better ventilated and have more travel.
Trim levels start with the SR, move up to SR5, then Limited, and finally two premium trims, the “Platinum” and the all-new “1794” Edition.
The new 1794 trim level brings the Tundra a new level of luxury that will put it in line to compete with Ford’s King Ranch and Ram’s Longhorn edition trucks. Premium saddle brown leather wraps the seats, while ultra-suede contrasts around the interior.
Toyota is offering a few segment firsts in the new Tundra: standard bluetooth, standard backup camera, standard 3.5-inch display screen between the gauges, and blind spot monitor with rear-cross traffic alert, the latter of which will be offered only on Platinum and 1794 edition trucks.
The new Japanese half-ton will hit dealerships in September, 2013
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