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2022 Toyota Tundra debuts with hybrid engine, 12,000-pound towing capacity

Mark Phelan, Detroit Free Press on

Published in Automotive News

Success in the full-size pickup market has been elusive for Toyota thus far, but the automaker brings its A-game to the fray with its 2022 Tundra, a brawny new truck that has the Ford F-150, Chevy Silverado and Ram 1500 in its sights.

The top Tundra model will be the first pickup to get Toyota's legendary hybrid technology to boost fuel economy and performance. The '22 Tundra, new from the ground up and going on sale in late 2021, will also have a 12,000-pound towing capacity and an independent rear suspension like the Ram 1500.

The Detroit Three's pickups are moving targets, though. Ford already is in blitz mode promoting the electric F-150 coming next spring. News of a matching electric Silverado and GMC Sierra is expected soon. Gasoline-powered pickups will remain the vast majority of sales for at least the rest of this decade, but Toyota remains less enthusiastic about electric vehicles than Ford and GM.

The Tundra's upgrades are meaningful, though, bringing new capability, convenience and comfort.

"Our design goal from the beginning was to create the most powerful, rugged and sophisticated looking full-size pickup that will take Tundra to a whole new level," said Kevin Hunter, president of Toyota's U.S. design group. "Because recreation and an outdoor lifestyle are at the core of Toyota truck identity, we set out to create a muscular, chiseled and athletic design that also looks like it could handle the toughest towing demands."

Prices, fuel economy and other information will be announced closer to sales. The 2021 Tundra prices started at $35,365. The 2022 should begin within a few hundred dollars of that.

 

New pickup bed can carry more

The new Tundra will offer a pair of four-door cabs and 5.5-, 6.5- and 8.1-foot beds. It has a fully-boxed high-strength steel frame and an aluminum-reinforced composite bed. Toyota engineers widened the frame at the rear to improve ride and towing stability. The frame also has more and bigger cross members for greater stiffness

Upper trim levels — Limited, Platinum, 1794 and TRD Pro — get hydraulic cab mounts for comfort.

Toyota says the sheet-molded composite (SMC) bed is lighter and more resistant to dents than metal.

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