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Electrified LandCruiser clues in Toyota Tundra hybrid

Toyota Australia not ruling out RHD Tundra as 2022 model gets hybrid, twin-turbo V6

22 Sep 2021

THE axe has fallen on Toyota’s V8-powered Tundra as the Japanese marque unveils full details of its latest full-size pick-up truck for the North American market, providing clues to what the new LandCruiser 300’s future hybrid driveline might look like.


Increasing popularity of outsized utes in Australia and under-the-skin similarities to the new LandCruiser could also make the 2022 Tundra the most likely yet to get the green light for official imports – especially given the precedent set by factory-backed right-hand drive conversions of Ram and Chevrolet models.


“Toyota Australia has seen the popularity of the full-size pick-up segment in Australia grow in the past few years and it is a segment that has been of interest to us and to our customers,” a Toyota Australia spokesperson told GoAuto.


“There are currently no plans for the new model Tundra to be produced in right-hand drive from the factory. However, this is something that we will continue to study.”


Toyota’s first all-new full-size pick-up in 15 years marks an end to the long-serving 5.7-litre UR series V8, instead powered by a new iForce 3.5-litre twin-turbo V6 petrol engine, as found in the 300 Series LandCruiser.


The 24-valve engine develops 290kW/649Nm in the Tundra, or 352kW/790Nm in hybridised iForce Max models.


Both engines are paired to a 10-speed automatic transmission with Tow/Haul mode but performance figures, range details, fuel economy numbers and pricing are yet to be announced.


Where non-hybrid models benefit from a large storage area beneath the rear seats, hybrid versions of the Tundra use the space to house a proven 288-volt nickel metal hydride (NiMH) battery pack, rather than newer lithium-ion technology.


This ties in with comments made by LandCruiser chief engineer Sadayoshi Koyari in an interview with GoAuto at the 2017 Frankfurt Motor Show, where he said for the legendary off-roader to gain hybrid drive it would “need a technology which is really reliable even in the hardest environmental conditions”.


“If we will have one day a technology – hybrid technology or whatever – which is reliable enough that we can say, ‘OK we will implement that into a LandCruiser,’ I would not say no.”


The new Tundra shares much of its new GA-F platform with the recently released 300 Series LandCruiser, which is based on a body-on-frame version of Toyota’s TNGA (Toyota New Generation Architecture) and will be sold in Australia with a 230kW/687Nm 3.3-litre V6 turbo-diesel.


Although the Tundra is not currently offered with a diesel option, the shared petrol engines and architectural similarities mean the LandCruiser could be made available with version of the Tundra’s new petrol-electric hybrid driveline.


The GA-F platform is also understood to underpin the next-generation Toyota Sequoia full-size SUV, due in the United States by 2023 and tipped to arrive in both rear and four-wheel drive configurations.


Offered in three body styles and with a choice of three tray lengths, the new Tundra range offers up to 2470mm of bed length.


Payload is listed at just 879kg – less than the HiLux dual-cab sold locally – or 11 per cent more than the previous Tundra. The tray bed is formed of a lightweight sheet compound material supported by aluminium bracing as premiered on the smaller Toyota Tacoma.


Maximum braked towing capacity is listed at 5443kg or 17.6 per cent more than the outgoing model.


The new Tundra is suspended by all-coil suspension with twin-tube dampers standard across the range. TRD Pro variants use Fox brand dampers like those found under the Aussie Ranger Raptor and feature a body lift of 28mm.


Technology upgrades include a massive 14-inch infotainment screen with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto connectivity as standard, along with “Hey Toyota” voice prompts for navigation, audio and selected other features.


Road sign recognition, a 360-degree camera and automatic tailgate that can be opened and closed from the key fob or a switch on the taillight are also new.


High-end variants also receive a 12.3-inch TFT digital instrument cluster and integrated frontal light bar. Alloy bash plates, air suspension, a panoramic roof, and Wi-Fi connectivity are also available within the range.

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