Toyota To Build "Ironman" Tundra

Jonny Lieberman
by Jonny Lieberman
toyota to build ironman tundra

Truck sales are in the toilet, Toyota will be all hybrid by 2015. And yet there's this: The Ironman Toyota Tundra. No, ToMoCo's not trying to supporting Robert Downey Jr. rehabilitation (as Audi did). They're naming the most powerful-ever Toyota anything after truck racing legend Ivan "Ironman" Stewart. Hey why not? Along with the mu macho moniker comes 501 horsepower and 550 supercharged lbs.-ft. of torque. Autoblog reports that other, ahem, enhancements include "Magnaflow cat-back exhaust, Bilstein shocks, Hella lamps, a Hurst pistol-grip shifter and 20-inch Alcoa aluminum-alloy rims with General tires." All that kit should add $20k or so to the price of the heavily discounted, dust-gathering, Texas-built full-size pickup. No word on fuel consumption, but we predict somewhere between unconscionable and just plain awful.

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  • NiloC NiloC on Jun 24, 2008

    Boy I'm sick of the "trucks as fashion statements" urban cowboy trend and I'm hoping the new fuel reality finally kills it off. Could you pick a less efficient, less comfortable way to get around? Seriously, create the largest possible vehicle with the largest possible engine but the least passenger space for it's wheelbase, overtall, poor road manners, difficult to manoeuver and park and what do you get: the full-size pickup. Before anybody starts flaming me here's some bio: I've owned many trucks and through my business I currently own four trucks in various configurations so I know their utility value when it's truly needed. Do I want to drive one around on a daily basis to pick up the groceries, drop off the kids, etc? Hell no! Give me something sporty, lower to the ground, better suspension for urban road conditions, easier to park and better fuel economy. This truck will be owned by the type of guy that would shudder at the thought of dropping something heavy or greasy into the bed, think of the damage you could do to the paint! I've got no problem with folks wanting to spend a little extra on their ride, even show off a little, but if you've got the cash for this dressed up cow, why not buy the high performance sedan of your choice and get a ten year old F150 or whatever for work duty (should be able to get one for a steal in today's market). Anyone who is being honest will admit that for same money you can get better performance by any parameter you choose to measure (except hauling) with better economy out of a passenger car than a truck. BTW when I need to buy a new truck, it won't be one of these. I look for long term cost of ownership and ease of maintenance. Generally to be found in the lower trim levels with the smaller engines.

  • CarnotCycle CarnotCycle on Jun 24, 2008

    I don't think Toyota is necessarily making a "mistake" here, at least strategically. The Final Frontier for Toyota in the North American market is, for the lack of a better term, the “Heartlanders.” Left-leaning cynics at Berkeley and Obama advisers would call this same market “NASCAR dads,” “the red states,” or “sister-humping rednecks” if they are feeling mean that day etc, though I think its more of a cultural archetype than a political one. You won’t find this kind of market anywhere else in the world, but cumulatively they have some $trillions$ in buying power and purchase millions of rides every year. Without this market’s support, Buick, Lincoln, Mercury, - all the fringe domestic brands - would die. Add those brands together, and its millions of rides going off the lot every year. The cultural disconnect between this bunch and any – and I mean any – foreign automaker is pronounced. The one thing all the Prius, Porsche, and 3-series drivers on this site don’t realize is that these Heartlanders actually like their big fluffy cars and fat, inefficient trucks. Its not that they are too stupid to figure out the difference, its that they like the things for whatever reason, and will continue to do so. That market isn’t changing any sooner than the Southern Baptist convention – of which many of this demographic are members - claims Darwinian evolution as the gospel. Toyota is not a brand associated with some automotive archetype like performance sedans or econoboxes, at least in the modern perception they enjoy in the market. They are everything, just a reliable example of it - that is their gimmick. It’s why they can get away with hawking Pri and Yari right next to a Sequoia or a Tundra without looking like hypocrites, because they aren’t being hypocrites, they’re just selling well-built, reliable examples of what best they can figure out various people want, and that’s it. Its what GM was very good at doing fifty years ago, but through a constellation of archetype brands, instead of one big brand like Toyota. Toyota realizes they need “street cred” with the Heartlanders. That means NASCAR racing with Tony Stewart, that means Big Stupid Trucks, even Big Stupid Trucks with superchargers and pistol grip shifters, etc. How many of us have seen a Chevy shortbox with a ten-inch lift on 36” mudders sitting at some red-light? Don’t forget the No Fear stickers and welded ag-pipe bumpers! Just like a SL Benz coupe, that truck is just useless, grotesque, automotive Viagra - but for a different click at the high-school. Don’t get me wrong, I’d love a twelve-popper SL600 with the turbos and all the toys, but I realize it has no empirical use really, it’s a want not a have thing. Ford, or GM, or Dodge will die, this website has demise-related journals going on all three of these outfits for a reason. As they die, change, whatever…someone will have to be there for the Heartlanders with fat trucks and wafty narcoleptic sedans that you can drive with your thumb…Heartlander rides. Toyota will be there with the street-cred and obscene vehicles that this crew likes, and no one else…none of the transplants anyways, will have a shot at this market. In the long view, it takes money to make money and Toy is looking ten years down the road before the cultural cash-in this big stupid truck is about will begin to pay on the investment.

  • Rkolk Rkolk on Jun 25, 2008

    Has Toyota lost their mind people are losing their homes to foreclosure and they are going to create a truck..that doesn't get better fuel economy, no, build it bigger and add 20K to the price. Nice going Toyota give the US manufacturers time to further their lead in the truck market. Go Ford!

    • LectroByte LectroByte on Jan 07, 2010

      Didn't Ford just announce a Raptor F150 in the $60K price range? I'm not really in the market for either one, but I can't fault Toyota for wanting to compete on a whole bunch of categories.

  • Ricky Spanish Ricky Spanish on Jun 25, 2008

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