2014 Tundra – What To Expect
Over the next few months and years, we’ll be adding content to this page about the next major Tundra re-design to debut, projected to be a 2014 model available in 2013. What follows below is projected enhancements, categorized as definite, likely, and possible.
» NOTE: Looking for info on the 2013/2014 Tacoma? Check out this post about Direct Injection in the 2013/2014 Tacoma
Please bookmark this post as it will be updated regularly. Last updated March 25,2012.
1. Larger fuel tank. Based on comments from Toyota engineer Mike Sweers (the man currently in charge of designing and developing the next generation Tundra) in this Wall Street Journal article, we know that the new truck will have a larger fuel tank.
2. More traditional styling. From the same article above, we learn that the truck will have a more traditional and aggressive truck like look. Hopefully, we’ll see a glimpse of this new look in the next year or two on a Toyota concept.
3. More aerodynamics and a lower ride height. One of the easiest ways to improve truck fuel economy is to reduce the ride height a little bit as well as flatten the underside the vehicle. The trick is doing these things without impacting ground clearance.
4. New dash. This is almost a foregone conclusion. While we may still see the over-sized knobs, we’ll definitely see better quality materials, new gauges, and a modified layout.
5. Direct injection. A source has confirmed that the 2014 Tundra will be offered with at least one direct injection engine. It’s unknown as to whether this will be the same direct injection V6 that is added to the 2014 Tacoma or direct injection for the 4.6L & 5.7L. Here’s to hoping it’s all three. Direct gasoline injection is a great way to improve fuel economy – it’s estimated that it can improve gas mileage from 5-10%, depending on the engine. (NOTE: We’ve heard from less reliable sources that Toyota will replace the 4.6L V8 with a smaller turbocharged V6…but this is still very much speculation.)
1. Variable valve lift. Variable valve timing (VVT) is commonplace, but variable valve lift is still a newer feature on most vehicles. Toyota, long a fan of VVT, currently has a couple of engines running a variable-valve lift system. This should make it’s way into all Toyota vehicles in by the middle of the decade.
2. Electric steering. Hydraulic steering pumps are less efficient than electric motors. GM and Ford both plan to move this into their full-size trucks soon, and Toyota will likely follow. In fact, this will be a common feature industry wide.
3. Weight reduction. Toyota will definitely be emphasizing a lower curb weight in the next generation Tundra. However, what they will do to reduce weight is to be determined. It could be that we’ll see a composite pickup bed (similar to the Tacoma), increased use of high-strength steel (which is lighter albeit more expensive), and more expensive sound-deadening materials that dampen road noise without adding weight.
4. New frame design. Between the Tundra frame rust fiasco and complaints about harsh ride and bed bounce, the current Tundra’s frame is a weak spot in many consumer’s eyes. While it’s true that Toyota’s frame is similar in design to heavy-duty trucks offered by GM and Ford, the fact of the matter is that the current frame doesn’t have a good reputation. Look for Toyota to come up with something new.
5. Integrated trailer brake controller. If this feature isn’t already an option, it will be by 2014. Here’s to hoping it comes along sooner.
6. Engine stop-start. This system shuts off the engine at stop lights and then quickly restarts when it’s time to go. It’s a pretty good idea, it saves fuel, and the technology has been around for years. Takeshi Uchiyamada, Toyota executive VP in charge of R&D, has been quoted as saying that stop-start will be added to select products. Considering the amount of fuel used during idle by a big V8 – and considering the special allowance for stop-start systems in the most recent set of CAFE regulations – stop-start seems like a logical addition to the Tundra.
7. A new smaller and more efficient V6. Toyota is bringing out a replacement to the 4.0L V6 in the Tundra and Tacoma – the only question is when.
NOTE: These items are based on informed speculation…but speculation none the less.
1. A diesel version of the half-ton Tundra. Once again, rumors of a diesel half-ton Tundra are picking up steam. While we’re highly skeptical, this is added to the list of “possibles.”
2. A Turbocharged V6 to replace the 4.6L V8. Based on the success of the EcoBoost F150 and comments from a handful of Toyota execs, Toyota seems likely to add a turbo-charged engine to the Tundra line-up at some point. Our best guess is that it will be a turbo-charged version of the new direct injection V6 that debuts in the Tundra and Tacoma. But will it be ready for 2014? Probably not. 2016 seems more likely.
3. More configuration options. We’ve been told that Toyota recognizes the Tundra’s limited configurations hamper sales – especially fleet sales. If Toyota allowed customers to pick and choose options, they could probably gain some sales. Initially, this seemed likely to be addressed in the redesign. However, recent conversations indicate that the next generation Tundra will likely have the same number of limited options that the current generation has.
4. A Hybrid Tundra is guaranteed, but it’s unlikely it will debut prior to 2016.
1. HD version. An HD Tundra will not debut in 2014 – the future of the HD truck is still very much unknown, in fact, and may never be built.
2. 6.5′ bed on crew cabs. This option has been desired by a few in the comments section, but our source says it’s off the table.
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