Leapfrogging the current toyota tundra‘s technology doesn’t require much heavy lifting. The poor old dear started production in November 2006, and although it received a face-lift in 2014, its sole remaining powertrain for 2021—a 5.7-liter DOHC V-8 and six-speed automatic—has remained largely unchanged since day one. In a stunning realignment with the times, the 2022 toyota tundra bristles with turbos, laser-applied valve seats, machined cylinder head cooling channels, a 10-speed automatic, and—pearls-clutch—hybridization.
Yes, the all-new Tundra will once again offer two powertrain options, but both involve a Ford EcoBoost-evoking “3.5-liter” twin-turbo V-6 at their heart. Standing alone, this 3,445 cc six-banger produces 389 hp and 479 lb-ft of torque—that’s eight horses and 78 lb-ft more than the geriatric eight it replaces. By slipping an electric motor into the transmission bell housing between the flywheel and torque converter, those figures jump to 437 hp at 5,200 rpm and a class-walloping 583 lb-ft of torque at only 2,400 rpm. (Save the Googling—that’s 13 more than the Ford-150’s PowerBoost twin-turbo V-6 spools out and just 67 shy of the ridonk Ram 1500 TRX.)
Truckers need not fret that the new Tundra will suffer those e-CVT rubber-banding sound effects they’ve winced at in Prius taxi rides; nor need they be concerned about the PhD-level complicated setup in that virtual-10-speed hybrid found in the rear-drive Lexus LC500h. The 2022 Tundra’s system shares virtually nothing with any previous Toyota hybrid. You won’t even find any badges acknowledging the “H” word—rather, this is an “i-FORCE MAX.” The electric motor itself produces 48 hp and 184 lb-ft of torque, and the clutch that connects it to the engine is sandwiched inside the motor’s rotor. (The need to package a clutch eroded the potential packaging advantage that might have come with a slimmer axial-flux “pancake” motor.) This clutch allows the Tundra’s hybrid motor to start and instantly propel the truck after any auto stop/start event, though a traditional starter is also fitted and used for cold starts. The nickel-metal-hybrid battery pack positioned beneath the rear seat cushion has a capacity of 1.9 kWh. That’s small, but it’s reportedly sufficient enough to provide the assistance Toyota’s going for when it comes to acceleration, climbing grades, etc. Anything larger would only support electric-only range, which was not a priority here. For the full story, check out this article from Motor Trend.