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Toyota to assess RHD Tundra for Oz

Walkinshaw partners with Toyota Australia to assess conversion program for Tundra pick-up

24 Aug 2022

TOYOTA Australia has confirmed an extensive development program is underway for the Tundra pick-up, demonstrating its intention for local development and evaluation experts to re-engineer Tundra in a right-hand drive (RHD) format and evaluate the vehicle against Australia's severe local conditions and tough customer use.


Partnering with the Walkinshaw Automotive Group, which has extensive experience in this type of work, Toyota said the Tundra will be engineered to ensure it delivers on its hallmark quality, durability and reliability attributes.


The news comes as a complete backflip to an earlier statement from the company that explicitly told GoAuto it had “no plans” to offer the Tundra locally.


The Tundra conversion, which is expected to be one of the most thorough undertaken locally for a vehicle of its type, will follow a significant in-house development and prototype testing regime that will start next month.


Toyota Australia said that from the fourth quarter of next year, it will deploy about 300 of its cars around Australia as part of the final stage of the RHD re-engineering program.


“The program is expected to set a new benchmark in Australia for the re-engineering of a full-sized pick-up truck from LHD to RHD,” said Toyota Australia in a statement.


“It will include the adoption of key components from Toyota's comprehensive global parts catalogue, including the steering column and rack, accelerator, brake pedals and shift lever from the LandCruiser 300 platform.


“The vehicles will be equipped with a new in-line hybrid system featuring a twin-turbo 3.5-litre petrol V6 – the most advanced and fuel-efficient powertrain available on this model.”


Toyota Australia’s vice president of sales, marketing and franchise operations, Sean Hanley, said that while the news is exciting for fans of the Tundra, the model faces “further checkpoints” before it is given the green light under Toyota’s global approval process.


“This is a dedicated re-engineering program, led by Toyota Australia and made possible by our global partners and is closely supported by our parent company and Toyota North America,” said Mr Hanley.


“It will use OE levels of design, development, testing and componentry rooted in Toyota's deep commitment to quality, durability and reliability.


“This project shows just how serious we are at Toyota about quality, and a RHD Tundra will not be available for sale in Australia until we are totally satisfied.


“We are really excited to get such a significant project to this stage and look forward to seeing development prototypes on our roads and test tracks in the weeks and months ahead.”


The new comes just months after Ford Australia announced it would undertake a similar process for its F-150 range Down Under, the model set to join offerings from Chevrolet, Ram and potentially Nissan.


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