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Toyota Tundra ditches V6 for 2015

Fri, 12 Sep 2014

The Toyota Tundra debuted in new-ish form for the 2014 model year, but as we head into 2015, the truck boasts a couple of small updates. Most notably, the base V6 engine has been discontinued. On top of that, there's the new TRD Pro model on offer for 2015, which we've told you about before.

Why kill the V6? Simple – it was very low-volume. "The Tundra V6 take rate was significantly less than five percent," a Toyota spokesperson confirmed via email to Autoblog. So for 2015, the two V8 engine options remain – a 4.6-liter unit with 310 horsepower and 327 pound-feet of torque, or the more powerful 5.7-liter powerplant with 381 hp and 401 lb-ft. Both engines are mated to a six-speed automatic transmission, and rear-wheel drive is standard. Four-wheel drive, of course, is available with either engine.

The only other noteworthy changes for 2015 include an optional integrated trailer brake for the 5.7-liter models, a new rear under-seat tray storage system for Double Cab trucks, and a spray-in bed-liner. Scroll down for the official press blast.

Toyota Tundra: The All-America Full-Size Pickup Goes All V8 and "Pro" for 2015

- All-V8 Lineup for 2015
- New TRD Pro Off-Road Model with Special Suspension and More
- New Optional Integrated Trailer Brake for 5.7-liter Models
- New Rear Under Seat Tray Storage Added to Select Double Cab Models
- Newly Available Spray-in Bed Liner
- Assembled Exclusively in Texas

After a dramatic redesign for the 2014 model year the Toyota Tundra half-ton full-size pickup truck comes back with an encore for 2015. The most stylish, value-driven and capable Tundra yet gets more upgrades, including standard V8 power across the board, a new TRD Pro model with special off-road suspension and an available spray-in bed liner.

The brawnier, more chiseled look of the Tundra presented an ideal platform for the 2015 TRD Pro off-road model. You'll know it when you see it: special blackout TOYOTA grille, TRD Pro bed panel stamping, skid plate, matte satin black badges and black headlight bezels. It takes an aggressive stance on 18-inch TRD black alloy wheels wrapped in exclusive Michelin Off-Road Package tires, and announces its arrival with the throaty growl of the 5.7-liter V8 with a TRD dual exhaust system.

Beneath the brawn, the Tundra TRD Pro is ready for any terrain with a complete TRD suspension upgrade that raises the front of the vehicle two inches for a level ride height and extends wheel travel at all four corners. The package includes larger diameter TRD-tuned Bilstein High-Performance shocks with internal hydraulic bump stops and piggyback external reservoirs.

Available in Attitude Black, Super White or the all-new exclusive color, Inferno, the Tundra TRD Pro is a take-no-prisoners kind of truck devised to embody the best of Toyota quality, durability and reliability.

American Roots

The current Tundra was primarily designed by Toyota's Calty Design Research centers in Newport Beach, Calif., and Ann Arbor, Mich., with some engineering by Toyota Technical Center in Ann Arbor, Mich., and is assembled exclusively at Toyota Motor Manufacturing in San Antonio, Tex. Its V8 engines are assembled at Toyota Motor Manufacturing Alabama, Inc., and transmissions are manufactured in North Carolina.

The Tundra works and plays like a full-size American pickup should, while delivering Toyota value through a clear model grade strategy. In addition to the new TRD Pro, the line includes the hard-working SR, volume-leading SR5, the well-appointed Limited, and two premium grades, the Platinum and unique 1794 Edition.

Named for the ranch, founded in 1794, on which the Tundra plant is located in San Antonio, the 1794 Edition reflects a western lifestyle theme with exclusive saddle brown premium leather-trimmed seating with embossed leather and ultra-suede accents. Matching soft-touch materials also accent the shift console, the front and rear door trim, and the instrument panel. Like the Platinum, the 1794 Edition includes such luxuries as heated and ventilated front seats, and Entune® Premium JBL Audio with navigation.

Adding a distinctive design touch that's also a functional benefit, the Platinum and 1794 Edition feature LED daytime running lights (DRLs).

Beneath that Tough Exterior, A Lot of Smarts

Tundra offers three cab styles: two-door Regular Cab, four-door Double Cab, and the super-sized four-door CrewMax. Tundra Regular Cab models come exclusively with a long bed (8.1-foot) configuration. Double Cab models are offered in both standard bed (6.5-foot) or long bed (8.1-foot) configurations and include Rear Under Seat Tray Storage on the SR5 and Limited grades. The CrewMax comes with a 5.5-foot bed. All beds are 22.2-in. deep.

As tough as it looks, the Tundra design is also quite sophisticated in its function. For example, patented aerodynamic stabilizer fins on the tail lamp lenses and mirror bases help reduce the air turbulence along the sides of the vehicle. These "Aero-Fins" also help to enhance straight-line stability during normal driving conditions and while towing.

Then there's function that can help save money. The front and rear bumpers, which were new in the 2014 redesign, use three-piece construction for lower replacement costs. The new available spray-in bed liner also adds value for the owner.

The easy-lower-and-lift tailgate lowers slowly with no slam, can easily be removed when necessary and comes standard with a lock feature to help prevent theft. Limited trim Double Cab models come standard with a power sliding horizontal rear window, while the CrewMax models have a power vertical sliding rear window.

Two Engine Choices, Both Powerful V8s

Tundra customers want V8s. For 2015, the Tundra comes standard with the 4.6-liter i-Force V8 that doles out 310 horsepower at 5,600 rpm and 327 lb.-ft. of peak torque at 3,400 rpm. The most popular Tundra engine, still one of the most capable and advanced in the full-size pickup segment, is the 5.7-liter i-Force V8. A real workhorse, it's also remarkably refined as it generates 381 horsepower at 5,600 rpm and 401 lb.-ft. of peak torque at 3,600 rpm. The 5.7-liter is offered in both gasoline and Flex Fuel variants.

Both V8s feature an aluminum cylinder block and double overhead-cam heads with four valves per cylinder. In both, Dual Independent Variable Valve Timing with intelligence (VVT-i) and Acoustic Control Induction System get credit for a broad torque curve and helping to optimize efficiency. Both V8s come teamed with with a 6-speed electronically controlled automatic transmission and rear-wheel drive, with 4WD optional.

Stronger Than Dirt

The foundation for Tundra's strength and up to 10,500-lb. towing capacity (SAE J2807 towing standard compliant) is its advanced TripleTech frame. The "Triple" refers to the wide, full-boxed rails for the front portion, a reinforced C-channel under the cab and an open C-channel beneath the bed for strength, ride quality and durability. The double A-arm front suspension uses coil-over spring shock units, and a front-mounted steering rack helps enhance steering feel and response, while decreasing the overall turning diameter.

The rear suspension uses staggered shocks mounted outboard of the springs to help improve dampening efficiency. Spring rates are tuned to provide a flat vehicle stance when fully loaded.

The Tundra SR and SR5 grades ride on 18-inch styled steel wheels, while the Limited, Platinum and 1794 Edition feature 20-inch alloy wheels, with a design specific to each grade. Tundra comes with plenty of "whoa" power, too, with class-leading 4-wheel disc brakes with ventilated rotors: 13.9 inches and 1.26-inches thick in front with segment-exclusive 4-piston calipers, and 13.6 x 0.71-inch rear rotors with 2-piston calipers.

The Tundra's Vehicle Stability Control (VSC) system integrates traction control (TRAC) that enhances grip on or off-road. A built-in technology called Automatic Limited-Slip Differential (Auto-LSD) provides better performance in deep sand or mud and on mixed-friction surfaces. Compared to a conventional mechanical limited slip differential, the Auto-LSD system is much more responsive and has better wear characteristics since it utilizes the vehicles brakes to limit wheelspin.

The Tundra driver gets a definite say in how these technologies work, via a mode selector. In normal mode, VSC, TRAC and Auto-LSD all function to help enable traction and control capability. TRAC Off and Auto-LSD modes activate Auto-LSD to help extricate the Tundra from extreme conditions by allowing full, unrestricted engine output and transferring power to the wheel with the most traction. The VSC Off mode turns off all three of these systems.

Tundra 4x4 models use an on-demand, electronically controlled four-wheel drive system featuring a six-pinion planetary reduction gear set to provide 4x2, 4x4 Hi and 4x4 Lo ranges. The driver selects the drive mode using a dial on the dash. Included with the 4WDemand part-time 4WD system is Active Traction Control (A-TRAC), which operates like Auto-LSD, except it allows full, unrestricted engine output and transfers power to the wheel with the most traction on both the front and rear axles.

Built to Tow

When a pickup makes a claim about towing, ask to see its SAE J2807 towing standard certification. The Toyota Tundra was the first to adopt this standard and has been compliant since 2011.

With a Tow Package, Tundra offers a maximum tow capacity of 10,500 pounds (4x2 Regular Cab). So equipped, Tundra gets a one-piece towing receiver integrated into the frame prior to bed installation. Special Tow Package rear springs help provide level full-load rear suspension height and maintain a full range of suspension travel.

Toyota engineers tow, too, so they thought of everything. The Tow Package upgrades Tundra's cooling and electrical systems. Integrated engine and transmission oil coolers help handle the demands of towing under a full load, and a heavy-duty battery and alternator are added, as well. The 7-and 4-pin towing hitch connectors sit above the hitch to help avoid damage during high-departure-angle driving.

Later in 2014, Tundra models equipped with the 5.7-liter V8 and Tow Package will offer an Integrated Trailer Brake Controller (ITBC). The ITBC system includes analog controls near the driver's right knee. System feedback is displayed on the standard 3.5-inch Multi-Information Display in the combination meter. Models with the 4.6-liter V8 include an under-dash pre-wire for consumer installation of a trailer brake controller.

Order a Tundra equipped with a Tow Package, and you get a selectable TOW/HAUL shift mode for the 6-speed automatic transmission. The TOW/HAUL mode adjusts throttle sensitivity and transmission shift control, favoring and holding lower gears when accelerating or decelerating to help enhance control and safety.

Anyone who tows will appreciate Trailer Sway Control. A function of Vehicle Stability Control, Trailer Sway Control helps counteract handling forces that can cause trailer sway. On 5.7-liter models, heated, power, outside tow mirrors with turn signal indicators and manual-extend feature are available. All Tundra models come standard with a backup camera (viewed from the audio display screen or available navigation screen).

Rugged Interior Has a Softer Side, Too

The Tundra interior has a rugged, interlocked construction design that's chock full of clever ideas. The large knobs can be operated while wearing work gloves. The console offers multiple storage areas for personal items and electronics. Gauges are grouped in a clear, easy-to-see design and there's a center-mounted multi-information (LCD) display screen.

Double Cab and CrewMax models are available with bench or bucket seats for the front row. Double Cab and CrewMax rear seats can be folded up for additional cargo carrying capability.

From Work Truck to Luxury Truck

All Tundras start out with a quiet cabin, made even quieter by comprehensive new sound insulation methods and materials. So, even in the base SR model, the ride is amazingly civilized.

From there, the Tundra becomes what you need it to be. All models come with a standard back-up camera, Bluetooth® hands-free phone and audio streaming. All have a standard windshield wiper de-icer, front and rear mudguards, power window and door locks, and heated, power, outside mirrors. Standard High Solar Energy-Absorbing (HSEA) glass helps filter solar heat and most UV light energy entering the vehicle. This helps reduce occupant sun exposure, helps to keep the interior cooler, and enhances durability of interior materials.

The SR5 cabin design features a "professional gear" theme, with unique driver and passenger zones, metallic accents and bold contrasting fabric. Premium surface treatments include high-granulated paint on the center cluster and unique seat stitching to enhance interior quality and durability.

Want a touch of luxury in your hard-working Tundra? The Limited grade adds leather seating surfaces in Black, Sand Beige or Graphite with matching soft-touch door and console surfaces, and wood-style interior trims. The list of added amenities include dual zone air conditioning and a 10-way power driver seat with power lumbar support. The exterior is dressed out with chrome door handles and side mirrors, 20-inch alloy wheels and a deck rail system.

The Platinum and 1794 Edition upgrade to perforated, premium leather-trimmed seats and matching door and instrument panel inserts, and chrome console accent badging for an upscale, yet urban feel. Standard amenities include a 12-way power driver's seat with memory and a 4-way power passenger's seat, both with heat and ventilation; a 12-speaker touch-screen Entune Premium JBL Audio system with navigation; a power moonroof; parking sonar; auto-dimming rearview mirror with compass, and HomeLink® universal transceiver.

Standard Next-Generation Entune® Audio

The Tundra's quiet interior is ideal for enjoying the sound quality of the standard next-generation Entune Audio systems. Standard on the SR grade, the Entune Audio Multimedia Bundle includes a 6.1-inch touchscreen display; AM/FM CD Player with MP3/WMA playback capability; aux jack; USB 2.0 port with increased charging capability and iPod® connectivity and control; hands-free phone capability; phone book access and music streaming via Bluetooth wireless technology; and advanced voice recognition.

The SR5 models have even more. The SR5 comes standard with Entune Audio Plus, which includes the Entune Multimedia Bundle with Hi-Res 7.0-inch touch-screen display; HD Radio with iTunes tagging and HD Traffic and Weather (metro areas only); and SiriusXM® satellite radio (3-month complimentary trial).

Standard on the Limited grade models and available on the SR5, the Entune Premium Audio with navigation includes the Entune App Suite. Using your paired smartphone, you can access apps including Bing™, iHeartRadio,, Open Table®, Pandora®, Yelp and Facebook Places, and real-time info including traffic, weather, fuel prices, sports, and stocks – all through the Tundra's touch screen.

The Platinum and 1794 Edition CrewMax models get the works, the Entune Premium JBL® Audio with Navigation and Entune App Suite. This package is optional for the Limited grade.

Toyota's STAR Safety and Segment-First Available Blind Spot Monitor with Rear Cross Traffic Alert

The Tundra in 2014 became the first full-size pickup to be equipped with a standard backup camera on all grades. Tundra raises the bar for safety again with the available Blind Spot Monitor with Rear Cross Traffic Alert (Limited CrewMax, Platinum and 1794 Edition), which detects vehicles not visible using mirrors alone. The Cross Traffic Alert feature warns drivers of cross traffic via indicator lights in side-view mirrors and a warning buzzer.

The standard Toyota Star Safety System™ includes Vehicle Stability Control (VSC), Traction Control (TRAC), an Anti-lock Braking System (ABS), Electronic Brake-force Distribution (EBD), Brake Assist (BA), and Smart Stop (SST) brake override technology.

The eight standard airbags include front seat-mounted side airbags, and front and rear Roll-sensing Side Curtain Airbags (RSCA) driver and front outboard passenger airbags with an Advanced Airbag System, and the segment's first standard driver and front outboard passenger knee airbags.

Ordering Simplicity

With all the available capability and luxury, the Tundra is actually a very easy pickup to spec out and order – a refreshing difference in the full-size pickup segment. The Tundra SR5 models offer an Upgrade Package that includes front bucket seats with power driver seat and power lumbar support; floor-mounted urethane shift lever and knob; tilt and telescopic urethane steering wheel; three front cup holders; a front console box; a rear under seat storage tray (Double Cab only), auto-dimming rearview mirror with compass and Homelink® universal transceiver, and anti-theft system with alarm.

Heading off-road? Choose the TRD Off-Road Package on SR5 or Limited models to combine off-road tuned suspension. The package includes:
- Bilstein gas-charged mono-tube shock absorbers
- 18-inch TRD Off-Road alloy wheels
- rear side privacy glass
- engine skid plate
- front tow hooks on 4x2 models
- TRD unique badging

A Premium Package for the Limited adds:
- front and rear parking sonar
- power windows with driver and front passenger auto up/down
- illuminated entry system
- glass breakage sensor

Additional stand-alone options include:
- power tilt/slide moonroof with sliding sunshade on Limited CrewMax models
- heated power outside tow mirrors with turn signal indicators and manual-extend feature on all 5.7-liter V8 models
- deck rail system with four adjustable tie-down cleats on SR and SR5 grades (standard on Limited, Platinum, 1794 Edition and TRD Pro)
- tow hitch on 4.6-liter models and various wheel/tire packages

Limited Warranty and Toyota Care

Toyota's 36-month/36,000 mile basic new-vehicle warranty applies to all components other than normal wear and maintenance items. Additional 60-month warranties cover the powertrain for 60,000 miles and corrosion with no mileage limitation. Toyota dealers have complete details on the limited warranty. Tundra also comes standard with Toyota Care, a complimentary plan covering normal factory-scheduled maintenance and 24-hour roadside assistance for two years or 25,000 miles, whichever comes first.

By Steven J. Ewing

See also: 130,000 Toyota Tundra pickups recalled over airbag issue, Fuel cells will flop outside Japan, says VW, Toyota U2 urban utility concept inspired by Maker Faire [w/video].