You Won't Have a Hard Time Spotting the 2020 Toyota Tundra - From the Side, Anyway
This May sees Toyota mark the 20th anniversary of the start of Tundra production. When that happy date arrives, there’s be two full generations of full-size truck memories to look back on. Yes, the Tundra is old, with the current generation bowing for the 2007 model year. A significant refresh came in 2014, with minor tweaks occuring ever since.
While testing a loaded 2018 crew cab variant a while back, this writer couldn’t help noticing the Tundra’s advancing age, despite the addition of new creature comforts and tech. The rig I piloted also weighed nearly 900 pounds more than a comparable Ford F-150.
Well, there’s good news for that uniquely loyal crop of Toyota truck owners. A new Tundra is on the way, but it won’t entirely break from the past. You’ll certainly recognize the cab.
Spy photos of a partially disguised 2020 Tundra are making the internet rounds (see the AutoGuide bundle here), revealing a pickup that’s only partially revamped from the long-running current generation. It seems Toyota has a Ram HD-like heavy refresh in mind, with the truck remaining on its current platform, though likely in a modified form. Looking around the segment, there’s no lack of pressure to shave every last possible ounce of weight from this vehicle.
In the linked photos, the cab remains the same, too, with outward styling updates relegated to the grille, front fenders, rear flanks, and tailgate. Sadly, the current-gen’s faceful of chrome (arguably, the model’s most appealing outward feature) appears destined from the dustbin, replaced by a heavy horizontal bar. Inside, expect a more contemporary layout.
Much has been made of the low-hanging fringes concealing the new Tundra’s rear underbelly, but speculation about an independent rear suspension seems far reaching. An available air suspension isn’t out of the question, however. As for power, there’s little to go on; Toyota will be under the gun to eke out more mileage from whatever’s under the hood, as my parched Tundra guzzled gas to the tune of 13 mpg during a tepid week-long test. Expect the transmission (currently a six-speed) to gain several additional cogs.
Despite not posing a real threat to the likes of Ford, GM, and Ram, Toyota Tundra sales remained remarkably consistent over the past number of years — a testament to Toyota’s brand loyalty. Even with new or almost-new full-size trucks on offer from the Detroit Three, Toyota only sold 11 fewer Tundras in December when compared to the previous year. 2018’s sales tally shows the truck up 1.6 percent over 2017.
It’s little wonder why Toyota took its time getting around to a new Tundra.
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- CoastieLenn So the Camaro is getting the axe, the Challenger is belly up, the Charger is also fading out of existence. Maaaaan Michigan better have a game plan on how to inject some soul back into the American carscape. The Mustang and Corvette can't do it on their own. Dark times we're living in, bro's. How long do you think it'll be before the US starts to backpedal on our EV mandates now that the EU has rolled back their ICE bans with synthetic fuel usage?
- Duke Woolworth We have old school Chevrolet Bolts, only feasible to charge at home because they are so slow. Travel? Fly or rent luxury.
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- El scotto Another year the Nissan Rogue is safe.
Perhaps Toyota should "pull a Supra" and partner up with another company to have a truck that's competitive against the domestic companies. This way they could have a truck with a twin turbo V6, 10 speed transmission, and an aluminum body. Except that VW has partnered with Ford. Well they could still have a truck with cylinder deactivation, active air suspension and active grill shutters.
Correct me if I'm wrong, but I believe the first truck to have an aluminum DOHC V8 with 32 valves was the Lincoln Blackwood.