Toyota Tundra gets first major redesign since 2007

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  • Image: 2014 Tundra INT.jpg
Image: 2014 Toyota Tundra.jpg

The 2014 Toyota Tundra (Limited grade shown) was engineered by Toyota Technical Center in Ann Arbor, MI. It was designed by Calty Design Research centers in Newport Beach, CA, and Michigan. Tundra will be assembled at Toyota Motor Manufacturing in San Antonio, TX.

The revamped 2014 Toyota Tundra follows the Ford Atlas concept pickup’s unveil at the 2013 North American International Auto Show, the reveal in December 2013 of the 2014 Chevrolet Silverado and GMC Sierra, and the redesigned Ram 1500’s recent arrival in dealerships as light-duty truck competition heats up.

“The 2014 Tundra represents the first major change for Tundra since the introduction of the current model for the 2007 MY,” Mike Sweers, Chief Engineer for Tundra and Tacoma, and Toyota Technical Center’s Vice President-Engineering Design, noted prior to the truck’s world debut at a 2013 Chicago Auto Show media preview.

Tundra’s alterations include the use of patented technologies such as new off-road tires and aerodynamic stabilizer fins.

Technical specialists with Toyota and Michelin were involved in the development of a new off-road tire that has a patented tread pattern and unique sidewall design. “This new tire outperforms the off-road tire on the 2013 Tundra in all categories, and cabin noise is reduced as a result of the new tread pattern,” Sweers noted.

Aero-fins were added to the outside surface of the rear taillamp lens and the outside mirror bases. The aero-fins reduce the air turbulence along the sides of the vehicle, resulting in improved straight-line stability during normal driving conditions and while towing, according to Sweers.

Steering system modifications “reduce the inputs from the road variations and imperfections, resulting in improved straight-line stability and less driver fatigue,” according to Sweers. Shock absorber valving/tuning modifications help improve the full-size pickup truck’s ride over harsh surfaces.

Tundra’s equipment list includes a standard backup camera, standard Bluetooth connectivity, as well as an available blind-spot monitor with rear cross-traffic alert. An integrated trailer brake controller will be available mid-model year.

The 2014 truck retains its engine offerings: a 5.7-L V8 with 381 hp (284 kW) and 401 lb·ft (544 N·m), a 4.6-L V8 producing 310 hp (231 kW) and 327 lb·ft (443 N·m), and a 4.0-L V6 with 270 hp (201 kW) and 278 lb·ft (377 N·m). A flex-fuel 5.7-L V8 is available with the Tundra 4x4 model.

The V8 engines were modified for emissions reduction. A cylinder imbalance monitor was adopted to the OBD system on the gasoline-fueled engines, while engine calibration changes were made to the gasoline-fueled and flex-fuel engines to improve cold-start emissions.

“At this point we cannot release fuel economy values. Evaluations are ongoing, [so] estimates and final [values] are not available at this time,” according to Sweers.

Tundra’s exterior alterations accent a new chiseled front-end design as well as an all-new bed and tailgate design with an integrated spoiler in the deck. The reshaped exterior addresses comments from current customers and focus group participants who wanted a more truck-like/less SUV appearance, according to Sweers.

“The interior changes addressed feedback to improve the ergonomics for the driver and provide added features and technology that are beneficial to the customer while not overwhelming them with technology that is redundant, difficult to use, or difficult to understand,” Sweers noted.

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