Toyota had to do something with the Tundra truck, since the sales were declining. The Japanese truckmaker didn’t dip into the diesel world, although the interest was very high. US companies took advantage of it. The new generation updated the look and the engine(s). But, the result is not as good as bosses expected. That could lead us to the next big move – the Toyota Tundra HD truck.
This is just speculation, but we must take it seriously. Toyota is still a player in the truck industry. Tacoma is the best-seller in the midsize class, and Hilux is the most reliable pickup truck worldwide. The new Tundra showed a lot of flaws ever since its debut. Engineers and designers have a lot of work to do. The image must be restored soon and a new flagship model is the best way to draw attention. Stout is a compact pickup, so real truckers will be more interested in the Toyota Tundra HD.
Heavy-Duty Truck Market Preview
There are only three lineups of HD trucks available. Leading US truckmakers are competing here. Ram HD, Ford Super Duty and GM twins are all out with similar offers. First, all the models are using big V8 petrol engines as the base configuration. Truckers are looking for the best towing capacity, and diesel powerplants are the way better choice here. Properly equipped, these trucks can tow more than 30,000 pounds. Every year we see improvements and the current leader in this segment is Ram 3500 HD Dually truck with 36,000 lbs. Outputs are around 400-450 hp, while the torque exceeds 1,000 lb-ft.
Can Toyota Tundra HD Be Competitive?
This is the main question and obstacle that slows down the Japanese company. The competition is not numerous, but it is huge. It is not easy to achieve such numbers and meet the demands of the heavy-duty truck market. The Toyota Tundra HD needs to be everything the regular half-ton truck is not. The Japanese company has been known for its reliability, but the latest generation of the pickup harmed the image. There are too many issues and reported problems Toyota fans didn’t get used to seeing from their favorite company.
To be competitive, the Toyota Tundra HD will need potent engines, both petrol and diesel units. The manufacturer dropped one of the most reliable and durable V8 plants and replaced it with a more efficient turbocharged V6. Also, there is a hybrid system, unique in the half-ton market. It can be carried over to the HD segment but in combination with a V8 engine. Still, with a petrol unit only, there is no future for the Tundra in the heavy-duty world.
The truck needs a diesel powertrain to match the outputs and capabilities of the existing models. Toyota is not so keen on this move. Tundra and Tacoma fans were waiting for years, but it never happened. In the meantime, the competition was taking advantage of oil burners’ towing potential. In the heavy-duty realm, Toyota can’t survive without high towing capacity provided by diesel engines.
Toyota Tundra HD Renders
It is not the first time that fans are conceptualize the Toyota Tundra HD. A few years ago, there were some hints the company might go after this version of the truck. Now, you can find a full video review on Youtube. The concept is based on the standard Tundra. Designers made the cabin a bit larger. Some cool color options are presented. The company might actually use them for ideas for the existing models. The most important part is missing – an engine choice. We can’t find any diesel drivetrain that can fit the Toyota Tundra HD and make it competitive. An old 5.7-liter V8 petrol unit might be good as an entry-level gasoline option.
It is hard to believe the Japanese company will change its stance towards diesel engines. Fans were hoping the truckmaker is trying to trick the competition when saying oil burners won’t be available for Tacoma and Tundra trucks. The latest moves in the powertrain rooms show that engineers have the same task. Current plants were downsized – instead of a V8, Tundra now features a turbo-V6; and Tacoma is using a V6 no more, but a turbocharged I4 mill. Another common thing is electric support. Hybrid systems are making everything cleaner and the ultimate goal is a zero-emission truck. Well, Toyota needs to catch up here as well, since all US truckmakers are already out with their concepts.
To sum it up – the Toyota Tundra HD is not happening in 2024 for sure. Even beyond, we can seriously doubt that Japanese carmaker will try its luck and waste development and production potential to the heavy-duty truck segment.