In 2000, the Toyota Motor Corporation came up with its new full-sized pickup truck named Toyota Tundra. Tundra was regarded as the first full-sized import-brand truck assembled and manufactured with a hint of American styling and look. It was powered by V8 engine. The popularity of Tundra can be seen from the fact that it was chosen for the North American Truck of the Year award as well nominated for the Motor Trend Magazine’s Truck of the Year for 2000 and 2008. Since 2008, the Tundra is assembled and manufactured in San Antonio, Texas.
There were so many features common in first generation Tundra and the previous Toyota T100 and the compact Toyota Tacoma. The most prominent feature shared by these three models was the engine used, i.e. 3.4-L V6 engine. It was one of the best engines used in Tacoma and T100. However, it was used as a base engine in the Tundra and the most powerful powerplant that was introduced for the first time in a Toyota truck was 4.7-L V8 engine.
First Generation (2000-2006)
In May 1999, the first generation Tundra was launched as a 2000 model. Initially, the prototypes and “show trucks” were referred to as T150s. The Ford and its supporters soon realized that the name T150 used by Toyota was closely resembled the market leader Ford F-150, eventually a lawsuit was filed by Ford against the Toyota. Following the lawsuit, Toyota renamed its truck as Tundra. Later, Toyota countersued the Ford for using the name Lincoln LS sedan, claiming that it was too close to the Lexus LS.
The Tundra was offered with different engine variants including a 24-valve 3.4-L V6 engine rated at 190 hp (140 kW) and torque of 220 lb-ft (298 Nm) and a LEV certified 32-valve 4.7-L “i-Force” V8 engine rated at 245 hp (183 kW) and torque of 315 lb-ft (427 Nm). In 2005, a new engine was added in a lineup of Tundra, i.e. a 4.0-L V6 engine generating 236 hp (176 kW) and 266 lb-ft (361 Nm) of torque. The VVT-i (variable valve timing) technology was introduced in the previous 4.7-L V8 engine that increased the engine power to 282 hp (210 kW) and 325 lb-ft (441 Nm) of torque. As of transmission, the 5-speed manual was replaced by 6-speed manual and a 5-speed automatic was replaced by 4-speed automatic transmission.
Second Generation (2007-Present)
The second generation relatively larger Tundra was revealed at the Chicago Auto Show in 2006 as 2007 model. The second generation Tundra shared many of its features with the Toyota Tacoma and the Toyota FTX concept truck. The new Tundra came with several new features like increased towing capacity up to 10,000+ lbs, a payload capacity of more than 2000 lbs (910 kg), and a new 5.7-L 3UR-FE V8 engine paired with a new 6-speed automatic transmission. The new Tundra is available with three engine variants including: a new 5.7-L V8 generating 381 horsepower (284 kW) and 401 lb-ft (544 Nm) of torque, a 4.7-L 2UZ-FE V8 produces 276 horsepower (206 kW) and 313 lb-ft (424 Nm) of torque, and the previous 4.0-L 1GR-FE V6 generating 236 horsepower (176 kW) and 266 lb-ft (361 Nm) of torque.
The new Tundra was introduced with 31 configurations, i.e. 3 bed lengths, 3 cab configurations, 4 wheel-bases and 2 transmissions. The previous Access Cab is replaced by the new Double Cab and the previously released Double Cab is replaced by the new Crew Max.