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The all-new Toyota Tundra is a more macho creature

The pickup sports a hybrid powertrain for the first time

The all-new Toyota Tundra promises reliability and versatility. PHOTO FROM TOYOTA

Full-size pickup trucks are a rarity in our country with the Ram 1500 and the Ford F-150 being the only ones officially imported here. Of course, the gray market is one entry point for many other alternatives like the Toyota Tundra. Most Filipinos aren’t aware of the model’s existence, craning their necks in awe whenever they spot one as it just dwarfs the ubiquitous Hilux.

And if you’ve also noticed, the world has had the same XK50 Tundra since 2007. Because the truck had long been getting long in the tooth, Toyota just gave it a full redesign from the ground up for 2022.

TRD appearance packages seem to be popular in the US. PHOTOS FROM TOYOTA

The all-new Tundra sports a bold, macho overall styling with boxier flared fenders and sharper lines—fitting for a truck of its stature. It also has a front fascia that’s eerily reminiscent of WWE wrestler Hulk Hogan’s handlebar mustache. It’s a new look that we’ve seen Toyota use on the Land Cruiser 300, and we’re all for the new design direction.

The twin-turbo hybrid V6 packs over 400hp. PHOTO FROM TOYOTA

The interior also gets an overhaul, offering a new (but optional) 14-inch Toyota Audio Multimedia infotainment system that supports wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, and a 12.3-inch instrument cluster screen. Other optional creature comforts include a panoramic roof, heated and ventilated front seats, a rear sunshade, and a heated steering wheel.

Toyota Safety Sense 2.5 also comes as standard on all model grades, featuring driver aids like Pre-Collision System with Pedestrian Detection, Dynamic Radar Cruise Control, Lane Departure Alert, and Lane Tracing Assist.

The Tundra's rear axle now gets coil-spring suspension. PHOTOS FROM TOYOTA

Instead of the outgoing model’s V8, the Tundra gets a new pair of engines: a twin-turbo V6 and a hybrid twin-turbo V6 (called the i-Force Max), both mated to a 10-speed automatic transmission. The former has an output of 389hp and 649Nm—just as good as the V8’s. As for the i-Force Max, it’s rated at 437hp and 790Nm. The hybrid Tundra can be driven in pure EV mode, and the electric motor provides extra grunt for towing.

Speaking of towing applications, Toyota is particularly proud of the Tundra’s capability to haul up to 5,443kg and its maximum payload of 1,880kg. This is courtesy of the all-new chassis, which we assume is a TNGA body-on-frame platform. It also ditches the leaf springs at the back for coil springs to improve ride comfort, handling, straight-line stability, and towing capability.

The Tundra comes with several new features to make towing much easier. The Tow/Haul and Tow/Haul+ modes improve throttle response, while the car’s camera system helps drivers be aware of their surroundings with such features as the Panoramic View Monitor, Trailer Back Guidance, and Straight Path Assist. The Blind Spot Monitor also recognizes blind spots behind the trailer, with LED trailering lights to illuminate whatever you’re towing at night or during low-visibility situations. There is optional air suspension to level the truck’s ride height when towing.

Ride quality will surely improve with the new suspension layout. PHOTOS FROM TOYOTA

Not towing anything but wanting to go off-road? You can opt for the TRD Off-Road package (available on the SR5, Limited and 1794 trim levels), which has 18- or 20-inch wheels, off-road suspension, and cosmetics (grille, skid plates, mudguards, and leather shift knob). Four-wheel-drive models will also get an electronic rear differential lock, Multi-Terrain Select, and Crawl Control.

If you want your full-size truck to feel sporty, the TRD Sport package is available for the SR5 variant. It comes with 20-inch wheels, a TRD grille, a leather shift knob, and lowered sports suspension.

Towing will be easier with the Tundra's trailering aids. PHOTOS FROM TOYOTA

Model grades for the Tundra are the SR, the SR5, the Limited, the Platinum, the 1794 and the TRD Pro. The TRD Pro only comes with the i-Force Max engine, while all the other trim levels have a choice between the two powertrains. The TRD Pro comes with Fox shocks, a TRD Pro front stabilizer bar, additional underbody protection, and all-terrain Falken tires.

The truck will only be offered in two four-door cab styles: Double Cab and CrewMax. The former comes with either a 1.98m or 2.47m bed, while the latter can be specced with a 1.68m or 1.98m bed. Pricing will be announced closer to the car’s sale date, which is expected to be around late 2021. Should Toyota introduce this pickup to our market, or is it too big for our roads?

Sam Surla

Sam is the youngest member of our editorial team. And he is our managing editor (believe it or not). He specializes in photography and videography, but he also happens to like writing about cars a lot.