Toyota grows Tundra

Toyota grows Tundra

ATLANTA. Here at The Work Truck Show yesterday Toyota Motor Sales U.S.A. (TMS) rolled out its all-new “next generation” Tundra full-size pickup truck

ATLANTA. Here at The Work Truck Show yesterday Toyota Motor Sales U.S.A. (TMS) rolled out its all-new “next generation” Tundra full-size pickup truck.

The 2007-model truck, due to arrive at dealers early next year, is “bigger and better” than the current model and was designed in the U.S. with business users in mind, said Al Smith, corporate manager-fleet/rental, at a show-floor news conference.

“A work truck configuration with an 8-ft. bed will be available for both the regular and extended cab versions, and all models will feature increased interior and exterior storage,” continued Smith. He said the Tundra fleet program will be “competitive” to help sell a total of 200,000 in the first year.

Key features will include an all-new U.S.-built 5.7-liter V8, as well as a 4.7-liter V8 and a 4.0-liter V6; new 6-sp. heavy-duty automatic; disc brakes all around; towing capacity of over 10,000 lb.; new chassis platform with 30% higher tensile strength steel; and a wheelbase of 145 in., which is 10 in. longer than the current model. In addition to its longer wheelbase, the new Tundra will gain nearly 5 in. height and will be 4 in. wider than the current version. The pickup will be offered in more than 30 different models, nearly double than what’s now available.

The new Tundra will be built at plants in Indiana and Texas.

“From bumper to bumper, under the hood and from the inside out, the new Tundra is a true American truck that will set a new benchmark in the full-size truck segment,” said Jim Lentz, TMS group vp & gm. “It will be aimed at the ‘True Trucker,’ the true opinion leaders among full-size owners. True Truckers are highly credible because they use, punish, and demand the most out of the pickups they buy.”

According to TMS, distinctive styling cues include a bold front grille, strong bumper and large headlights “with a steely glare, conveying a strong and powerful physical presence. The profile reveals a thicker body and taller doors with character lines and fender flares that add dimension and strength as well as an unwavering stance.”

The interior boasts a “command and control” center that TMS said provides an unobstructed view of the instrument panel and puts knobs, switches and buttons within close reach of the driver. All Tundra models will feature a roomy passenger cabin, providing front passengers with 4 in. more shoulder room. Two-row models will offer rear passengers nearly 3 in. more shoulder room. Front passengers will receive nearly 4 more in. of hip room, while rear passengers will gain 6 in. of additional hip room. Interior storage capacity will be increased with the addition of hidden storage compartments, second-row seats that double as work surfaces (two-row models only), and a larger center console box.

The new Tundra will feature a tailgate that can be opened and closed with just two fingers, said TMS. In addition, robust dampers on the hinges have been added to help cushion the tailgate when opening and also help reduce bouncing when driving with the tailgate down. Other design features with workers in mind include large door handles, inside and out, easy-to-turn HVAC knobs, and adjustable headrests, allowing drivers and passengers to ride to a work site without having to remove protective gear such as hardhats or gloves.

Safety features include extra large side mirrors to provide a wide field of view, while reducing wind noise and image vibration. A trailer hitch will be integrated into the Tundra’s frame for better stability when handling heavy loads. And a wide-screen backup camera will be integrated into the tailgate handle for enhanced rear-view safety.

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