South Africa

New 2022 Toyota Tundra might help drive the next-gen Hilux

New 2022 Toyota Tundra might help drive the next-gen Hilux

Toyota on Sunday pulled the wraps off its all-new Tundra pickup. The exclusive preserve of the North American market, this aggressively chiselled truck is the Japanese marque's answer to rivals such as the Chevrolet Silverado, Dodge Ram and evergreen Ford F-150. 

Built on Toyota's new and ultra-rigid TNGA-F platform that debuted on the recently introduced Land Cruiser 300, the Tundra sports an all-new rear suspension system that promises to deliver improved handling and a more refined ride across a broader spread of terrains. Indeed, the somewhat crude leaf-spring arrangement of its predecessor has been ditched in favour of an arguably more sophisticated multi-link rear system. While a newly fettled double wishbone suspension does duty up front, Toyota is for the first time also offering the Tundra with the option of adaptive dampers and rear air suspension with three height modes. Standard models are fitted with twin-tube shocks, front and rear. 

This is promising news for Hilux fans as the next-generation of the immensely popular pickup (due 2024) is also expected to adopt the same chassis architecture as the Tundra. So we may very well see some of this technology filtering through into its development. 

Further improvements can be found under the bonnet of the Tundra where Toyota's newly developed 3.5-litre twin-turbocharged V6 petrol engine is tuned to deliver 290kW and 649Nm worth of torque. Customers seeking a little extra oomph will be pleased to know that the hybrid version puts out 326kW and an impressive 790Nm. In both variants, power is delivered to all four wheels via a 10-speed automatic transmission. 

The macho exterior design of the new Tundra mimics that of the Land Cruiser 300 with lots of bold, squared-off edges and a fantastically large front radiator grille that adds a significant air of menace. This tough geometric design language is continued inside the cabin where Toyota has really turned up the dial on features and tech. Highlights here include the option of a massive 14-inch touchscreen infotainment system, wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto connectivity, heated and ventilated front seats, a panoramic sunroof and a heated steering wheel. Toyota has also upgraded the Tundra's rear-view camera system to include views of the load-bed, which makes checking on cargo a cinch.

While the Tundra will never make it to SA shores, its design and technology offers a few clues as to what we can expect to see inside the all-new ninth-generation Hilux.