Will the next full-size Tundra pickup truly challenge the likes of the Ford F-150 and Ram 1500?
UPDATE: We've included exclusive MotorTrend renders based on leaks and various prototypes running around, showing aggressive front bumper and cutaways underneath the headlights. It should prove to be an interesting, bold evolution of the sort of styling Toyota has been exploring in its TRD Pro models, albeit much more extreme.
The current Toyota Tundra impressed us enough to earn the MotorTrend Truck of the Year award…in 2008. Since then, the Japanese automaker has merely put coats of lipstick on its aging pickup while rivals such as the Chevrolet Silverado, Ford F-150, GMC Sierra, and Ram 1500 received at least one full-on redesign. In other words, the Tundra's been left in the dust. However, Toyota finally is doing something about it.
The 2022 Toyota Tundra is due to ride on the company's latest truck chassis. Reportedly coined Toyota New Global Architecture-F (or TNGA-F), the Tundra's body-on-frame underpinnings ought to benefit from greater use of high-strength steel and other weight-saving materials. Like the Ram 1500, we anticipate the next-gen Tundra will adopt coil springs—in place of the current truck's leaf springs—to go with its live rear axle. Such a setup will surely improve the truck's ride quality. Likewise, we expect the lither 2022 Tundra to notably improve upon the outgoing model's maximum 1,730-pound payload and 10,200-pound towing figures. Of course, it will have to, with more-modern light-duty competitors offering capacities that far outstrip those dated numbers.
Say goodbye to the Tundra's V-8 engines, because Toyota's big pickup will reportedly enter the world with a V-6-only powertrain lineup. Look for higher-end Tundra variants to utilize a variant of the 416-hp 3.4-liter unit found under the hood of the Lexus LS500. Lesser Tundras will likely employ the naturally aspirated 278-hp 3.5-liter V-6 engine of the Tacoma (possibly massaged to produce more than 300 horses).
Given Toyota's hybrid history, the brand may offer the 2022 Tundra with a gasoline-electric hybrid powertrain option, putting it on the vanguard in a segment that is just now warming up to electrification. Such a setup will allow the Toyota truck to properly compete with the 2021 Ford F-150 and its available hybrid powertrain.
2022 Toyota Tundra's Truck-Like Looks
Despite its relatively radical mechanical changes, the 2022 Toyota Tundra is anticipated to evolve upon the styling of today's truck. That's no bad thing, as the current Tundra has finally grown into its skin—the original version looked like a four-wheeled fish of some sort—and comes across as innocuous enough, if not fully handsome. Still, look for the big Toyota truck to sport a brasher front-end design incorporating a large grille and tall hood, providing the new Tundra with a flashier mug.
Inside, the new Tundra will welcome Toyota's latest Entune infotainment technology. This includes an available 12.0-inch touchscreen infotainment system and a large head-up display unit. Toyota's full Safety Sense suite of goodies are sure to be available, too, including automatic braking, advanced radar cruise control, automatic lane centering and lane-keep assist, and much more.
2022 Toyota Tundra On-Sale Date And Price
Although we expect Toyota to unveil the 2022 Tundra before the middle of next year, we don't anticipate the model rolling forth from Toyota's San Antonio, Texas, factory and reaching dealerships until the end of 2021. When it arrives, the 2022 Tundra may sport a base price close to that of the current truck's approximately $35,000 figure, or the brand might reintroduce lower, less-equipment-rich trim levels to the lineup in an attempt to capture fleet or entry-level buyers.
No matter what, opting for four-wheel drive, more technology, a larger cab or bed, and more powerful or advanced powertrain options will raise the truck's cost. Plan to spend north of $55,000 to get into the 2022 Tundra's pricier trims.