2016 Lexus LX 570 Revealed – 2017 Toyota Tundra Powertrain Preview?
Yesterday, Lexus unveiled a refreshed 2016 Lexus LX 570. While its “sweeping” new design, 20-inch wheels and an available heads-up display are great other items really stood out to us. We think these changes could easily show up in the 2017 Toyota Tundra.
Before we get to the changes, why would this vehicle’s equipment affect the Tundra? Easy. Toyota, like most OEMs, utilizes similar equipment and features throughout their lineup. This cuts cost and maximizes profit. For example, the Lexus LX 570 uses the same engine as the Tundra. This engine is officially known as the 3UR-FE and is found in: Toyota Tundra/Sequoia/Land Cruiser and Lexus LX570 Trucks. It is part of the UR family and is available in 4.6L, 5.0L and 5.7L.
Also, safety and technology features are also largely borrowed throughout the lineup. What does this mean for Tundra fans?
Undeniably the big news for truck fans is the 2016 Lexus LX 570 will come equipped with an 8-speed automatic transmission mated to the 5.7L engine. This transmission will improve fuel economy in the Lexus truck.Adding it to the Tundra really isn’t that big of a stretch of the imagination. The engine is the same and the transmission will likely just bolt right on. For Toyota, the real work is just setting the computerized shifting points to handle the two extra gears. With the experience gained from the Lexus LX 570, the should have this figured out in a short amount of it.
New Panaromic-View Camera
Also new in the Lexus LX 570 is a panaromic-view camera. Lexus calls this an “invaluable aid when hitching and maneuvering a trailer, viewing the surround terrain when off-roading, and helping view the area around the vehicle (sides, front and rear) when maneuvering tight spaces.” Sounds like ALL of these scenarios apply to Tundra owners as well. This seems really likely for a 2017 model.
This camera is viewed in a new, larger 12.3-inch screen. It shows several view combinations like: panoramic/driver’s side, panoramic/passenger’s side, panoramic/rear, panoramic/front, side/side, rear, front/side/side, underfloor/side/side, rear/side/side.
Better Fuel Economy
The new 8-speed transmission is a shoe-in for better fuel economy, but we see Toyota doing several other things. These things include items like weight reduction through additional high-strength steel, changes in aerodynamics with the weight loss, electric steering (like the Ford F-150 features) along with other nuisances. Add all of this up and around a 20 percent increase in fuel economy seems feasible.
This means, the Tundra could move from 15 mpg (combined) to 18 or 19 mpg (combined) in a 4×4, but that’s huge as far as CAFE is concerned.
BONUS: New Engine?
There is an ongoing debate going on between Jason and I on the timeline for the 5.7L V8 engine. The thinking is most Toyota engines have about a 10-year life span and the 5.7L V8 is getting real close to this age (2017).
Also, the new 2015 Lexus RC-F has a new 5.0L engine which seems pretty suitable for the Tundra. It is a 2UR-GSE V8 engine which features the Atkinson cycle. This engine could be plenty powerful 414 hp at 6,600 rpm and 373 lb·ft at 5,200 rpm. Toyota would likely change up these specs through reprogramming the engine. With the weight savings from the smaller displacement and Atkinson cycle, this engine could really push the fuel economy numbers higher.
Whatever happens, our guess is the 2016 Detroit Auto Show would likely be the debut spot for any Tundra changes. However, the 2016 Chicago Auto Show could be a strong possibility as well. In any event, we foresee something happening with regards to powertrain changes very soon.
Filed Under: Tundra News