New Toyota Tundra 4.6L Engine
A few weeks ago, we acquired some photos and video of the 2010 Toyota Tundra work truck package that was shown at the San Diego auto show. At the time, it appeared that the 2010 Tundra would be more of the same. Rumors of a new Tundra 4.6L V8 surfaced a few months ago, but we determined that the 2011 Tundra would get the new engine (along with some other improvements) and our sources seemed to agree.
Evidently, Toyota has decided to step-up their time frame – the new 2010 Tundra will feature the new 4.6L V8. Based on the larger 5.7L, the new 4.6L is a short-stroke version of the big motor that generates 381hp. The new 4.6L will replace the nearly 10 year old 4.7L.
Here are the benefits of the new 4.6L Tundra motor:
- Smaller size = better fuel economy than the 4.7L. Early estimates are 15 city and 20 highway.
- Same architecture as the more powerful 5.7 = more power than the 4.7L. The new 4.6 has 310 hp and 327 lb-ft of torque, about 40 more hp and 15 lb-ft of torque than the 4.7.
- The biggest benefit of all – the new 4.6 is paired with a 6-speed transmission!
The big addition here – the one that should get everyone excited – is that the new 4.6L comes with a 6-speed transmission. It won’t be the fastest truck on the road, but it will give the popular GM 5.3L a lot of competition in terms of performance while matching fuel economy (despite the smaller size).
Toyota is hoping that the Tundra captures the “best in class” fuel economy rating, but we’re thinking that’s optimistic (especially with Ford’s EcoBoost motor on the way). Still, every little bit helps, and Toyota can now claim the Tundra has 300+ hp and still gets 20mpg.
This is an important enhancement in the world of SUVs, as the Sequoia will benefit greatly from a more powerful and more fuel-efficient small V8. Same goes for the Land Cruiser.
Just as importantly, cost-cutting Toyota has figured out a way to use the same basic engine design to make two different V8’s, and they’ve also figured out a way to use a transmission for the 4.6 that’s very similar to the transmission in the 5.7 (gear ratios are different). These two changes will probably result in a manufacturing cost savings (and might explain the stepped-up time line).
Don’t be surprised if the 4.0L V6 Tundra engine dissapears in 2011 – the fuel economy ratings of the new 4.6L should be similar to the 4.0L V6, negating any benefit to offering the smaller engine on the Tundra. Eliminating the 4.0L V6 from the line-up reduces complexity and increases economies of scale for the 4.6 and 5.7 (and the transmissions). Of course, it also means that the 2011 Tundra might not be available with a manual transmission, but that seems to be an inevitable change for all vehicles. The F150, for example, is not available with a manual transmission (and hasn’t been for quite some time now).
Don’t be surprised if Toyota finds a way to get better than 20mpg highway too – this announcement timing smacks of a little one-upsmanship play. Toyota announces “preliminary” figures at 20mpg, then rolls out a “SFE” like package that gets 22mpg on the highway (which is feasible if Toyota uses a really low rear-end gear ratio like Ford did for their SFE truck). That would be a coup for sure.
Filed Under: Tundra News