'08 Tundra: Damn The NRDC, Full Steam Ahead!
Is Toyota trying to piss off the NRDC or prevent Michael Karesh at TrueDelta from expanding his exhaustively excellent vehicle spec data set to pickups? Anyway, Bloomberg reports ToMoCo's hoping to pick up even more pickup sales by offering the '08 Tundra in 44 different flavors. (Triskaidekaphobics note: that's 13 more versions than the '07 model offered.) Their main push: the work truck market. The Japanese automaker (by way of Texas) hopes that offering "Tundra Grade" (decontented) versions of the DoubleCab and CrewMax will help it carve a slice of the $23 – 28K full-size pickup pie, which accounts for 25 percent of the overall market. But you have to wonder if the lower-priced Tundra will eat into Tacoma territory. Meanwhile, Tundra sales are up 58 percent so far in 2007, getting them within striking range of their goal of a 60 percent increase this year.
Hmm...getting down and dirty with Detroit in the fleet truck market? Its just a matter of time before Toyota's resale value follows suit. But I'm all for seeing more pickups with rubber floors and more reasonable asking prices.
I would welcome the return of the real working pick-up truck.My '85 F-150 is getting a little long in the tooth, with over 200k miles. When I say "real" work truck,I mean 8' box that's low enough to actually see into, rubber floor mats and a bench seat.Simple,functional styling instead of the mean,agressive/angry look of today's offerings.When I park my old timer next to a new pick-up, it looks positively tiny, but it does everything the new truck does.(Well,no cup holders and the laptop has to slide under the seat...)
I agree with Jeffer that usable pickups are rare these days. How did we get to this insanity of higher,higher, higher off the ground being in any way desirable anywhere outside of a monster truck show? Jeep websites carry old ads in which Kaiser touted its Gladiator pickup and Wagoneer as being the LOWEST 4WD pickup and utility wagons in the industry. They were proud, back then, of vehicles that were engineered for a good balance of ground clearance for severe conditions and low liftover height for good everyday usability. I use my Ranger in city delivery and since I don't carry anything bulkier/heavier than 140 bundles of newsprint at any one time, it serves me well. But what of individuals and companies that need to haul large,bulky items on a route-type basis? Anything bigger than a Ranger has high sides and a high-liftover tailgate.
When I checked last week, there was no version of the Tundra that was available with a manual transmission. None. Here's to hoping the stripped-down Tundra will be available with a 5 or 6 speed MT. Fortunately, the Tacoma is still available with the 6m.