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Toyota Tundra History

The following historical data of the Toyota Tundra, manufactured by Toyota, were retrieved from many sources.

The Toyota Tundra is a full-size pickup introduced by Toyota in the year 2000. It was widely considered to be the first full-size import-brand truck built with an American look and feel and a refined V8 engine. The Tundra was eventually nominated for the North American Truck of the Year Award and was Motor Trend magazine’s Truck of the Year in 2000 and 2008. Currently the Tundra is assembled in San Antonio, Texas, where production was consolidated in 2008.

First Generation (2000-2006)

Publicly introduced in May 1999 as a 2000 model, the Tundra prototypes and “show trucks” were initially know as T150s. However, Ford and automotive pundits felt that this name was too close to the market-leader Ford F-150, and following a lawsuit by Ford, the production truck was renamed the Tundra. Toyota then countersued Ford regarding the name of their then-released Lincoln LS sedan, arguing it was too close to that of the Lexus LS.

The Tundra was slightly larger than the T100, but still suffered the perception of being too small and carlike to pose a serious threat to the domestic pickup trucks. With a production capacity of 120,000, sales were double the rate of the T100. At the time the Tundra also had the largest initial vehicle sales for Toyota in its history. It garnered impressive honors, including Motor Trend’s Truck of the Year award for 2000 and Best Full-Size Truck from Consumer Reports. Built in a new Toyota plant in Princeton, Indiana, with 65 percent domestic content, the Tundra showed that Toyota was serious about closing the gap on the “Big Three” in all major segments.

Engine choices available in the Tundra were a 24V 3.4L V6 engine and an LEV certified 32V 4.7L V8. A Toyota Racing Development (TRD) supercharger was already available for the 3.4L. TRD introduced a second supercharger for the V8 engine late into its second year of production. Although the V6 supercharger is still widely available, the V8 supercharger is rarer and harder to find because TRD stopped its production once Toyota released the updated VVT-I equipped 4.7L engine.

The grille was updated for 2003 and the Double Cab version was added to the lineup in 2004. The Double Cab model was a true crew cab with four normal doors, with interior and exterior details copied from the Toyota Sequoia. Its bed is nearly 5 inches longer than the competing Nissan Titan or Ford F-150. It is also 13 inches longer and 3 inches taller than the Regular and Access cab versions.

A new engine was introduced in 2005: a 4.0 L V6 and the existing 4.7 L V8 was updated with Toyota’s VVT-I variable valve timing technology. The 5-speed manual gave way to a 6-speed manual, and a 5-speed automatic replaced the 4-speed. With a towing capacity of just 6,900 lb and a 7,100 pounds towing capacity on the Access Cabs and Regular Cabs with a V8 engine, it still did not have enough muscle to compete with the heavy-duty offerings of the Big Three and Nissan. Domestic truck aficionados still derided it as a “7/8 scale” pickup.

Second Generation (2007-Present)

A larger Tundra was introduced at the 2006 Chicago Auto Show. It had lifted cues of its smaller brother the Toyota Tacoma along with some cues from the Toyota FTX concept truck. One unique styling element used fenders that bulged to resemble a bicep muscle. The truck had many enhancements, such as a towing capacity of up to 10,000+ lb, a payload capacity of over 2,000 lb, a new 5.7L V8 engine mated to a new 6-speed automatic transmission. The second generation Tundra has 3 engines available: the new 5.7L V8, and the carry over 4.7L V8, as well as the previous 4.0L V6.

When the new Tundra first came out in February 2007 it was available in 31 configurations, which consisted of three bed lengths, three cab configurations, four wheel-bases, and two transmissions. The new Double Cab replaces the previous generations Access Cab, and the all new Crew Max replaces the previous generations Double Cab, it is also built to compete with the Dodge Ram Mega Cab. The Double Cab is available with a 6.5’ bed, regular bed, or an 8’ long bed, while the Crew Max is only available with a 5.5’ short bed. The Tundra also features a new 6-speed automatic transmission which can lockup the torque converter in 5th and 6th gears with a manual shift mode which is standard with the 5.7L, and gives it a 0-60 time of 6.3 seconds, and a quarter mile time of 14.7 seconds.

Toyota made the new Tundra useful for many construction workers, by including extra large door handles, deck rail system, integrated tow hitch, and headrests that can fit a worker with his hard hat on. The Tundra also includes as standard: an automatic limited slip differential, Vehicle Stability Control, traction control, electronic brakeforce distribution, brake assist, anti-lock brakes and tailgate assist.

Some other changes Toyota included in the new Tundra are optional tow mirrors, a 26.4 US gallon fuel tank, available 22-inch alloy wheels, back-up camera, Bluetooth, large center console, extra-large disc brakes and calipers, and the aforementioned 6-speed sequential automatic transmission. All 5.7L Tundra’s come equipped with a tow package which includes engine oil and transmission coolers, integrated trailer hitch, 4.30:1 axle ratio, and large braking hardware for increased fade resistance.

The 2010 Tundra receives visual updates to the grille and tail lamps. A premium Platinum trim level is added, and a new 4.6L V8 paired with a 6-speed automatic replaces the previous 4.7L V8 engine. For added safety a driver and front passenger knee airbags becomes standard and NHTSA frontal crash test scores improved to five stars.

[Source: Wikipedia Toyota Tundra and Toyota]