Not the RAV4 or the Highlander or Tacoma. Certainly not the 4Runner. The 2022 Tundra is the most technologically advanced Toyota you can buy today.
For its third generation, the 2022 Toyota Tundra pickup truck received a complete redesign.
For this makeover, the Tundra underwent top-to-bottom changes inside and out.
There are three main areas where the truck has the latest technology of any Toyota vehicle: powertrain, towing and infotainment.
One of the powertrain options available on the new Tundra is a 3.5-liter turbocharged V6 mated to an electric motor. This hybrid powertrain can return the driver 437 horsepower and 583 pound-feet of torque.
But the engine, dubbed i-Force Max, doesn’t behave like the hybrid engine used in the Toyota Prius, which would run the electric motor instead of the gasoline engine according to a set of parameters. Instead, power allocation differs based on user-selected drive modes.
In an interview, Craig Herring, senior director of powertrain engineering for the Tundra, said Newsweek that the engine operates on a series of algorithms that determine the most efficient use case for the power source.
Front and center is a “power-based algorithm”.
“There are a lot of different variables that come into play,” he explained. “But one of the main key attributes is really the driver’s input or load requirements. So based on the speed of his vehicle, how hard is he pressing the accelerator pedal? How much power What torque does he want to put on the wheels?
Jay Sackett, executive program manager for the Tundra, added that there are algorithms determining these elements in each driving mode. “Not only is there an algorithm for normal driving, but there are algorithms…in the different driving modes depending on what the driver is experiencing,” he said.
Because driver simplicity was a key goal in developing the Tundra, Herring noted that the powertrain and design teams collaborated on how best to show customers where the power was going and when, which, according to him, is not part of their usual development cycle.
“A lot of the time designers don’t really understand how the powertrain works and the powertrain designers don’t understand the design requirements,” he said.
Usually the powertrain team thinks about how they want to emphasize the power dynamics, but don’t overload the drivers with information. Additional work in the vehicle with the design team, he says, was key to finding that balance.
The towing system has also been revised. Sackett, who oversaw much of its development, said customer research has shown more people use the Tundra for towing than competitors’ full-size vehicles.
From the start of creating the next-generation Tundra, he says, the goal was to make a “premium towing machine” that would give drivers “competent, natural performance.”
The Tundra comes with two towing modes, Tow/Haul and Tow/Haul+.
These two modes were designed based on what Toyota considered the average towing customer and the 95th percentile towing customer. The average customer, towing about 5,000 pounds (lbs), would use Tow/Haul while the 95th percentile, towing 12,000 pounds, would engage Tow/Haul +.
Tow/Haul mode increases the truck’s throttle response for towing lighter objects, such as utility trailers or smaller boats. Tow/Haul+ allows for more aggressive throttle response for hauling a larger trailer or RV.
“We’ve changed the shift points, we’ve changed the throttle mapping, we’ve changed the wastegate control to be able to give better engine response based on the total vehicle load on the road and the mass of the trailer,” Herring explained.
Steering inputs, suspension stiffness and ride height are also adjusted for the weight and length of whatever you’re hauling.
Trailer Back Guide technology can help drivers by instructing them to make steering commands when backing up a trailer, with Straight Path Assist going even further by automating those steering commands to take some of the stress out linked to the reverse gear of a trailer in a confined space.
Ford’s F-150 line of pickup trucks offers a Pro Trailer Backup Assist steering system and trailer reverse guidance similar to the Tundra’s Trailer Back Guide and Straight Path Assist. The 2022 Chevrolet Silverado and 2022 GMC Sierra towing packages allow for up to 15 different viewpoints from a number of rear-facing cameras to aid in towing.
Safety features such as blind spot monitoring have been extended to take a trailer into account. When a tow mode is active and a trailer is attached, the Tundra will adjust the car’s blind spot to extend six meters behind a trailer up to 60 meters in length.
Toyota’s general manager and chief engineer, Brian Inouye, oversaw the development of the new multimedia audio system, what the company internally calls “21MM”.
He said Newsweek that the aim was to correct some of the mistakes the company made in the past with the introduction of new technologies, which tended to confuse customers and didn’t blend well into the overall driving experience, that many Toyota vehicle reviews have noted over the years
“It has to add value for the customer,” he said. “That’s what we focused on. So we kept it simple. People ask ‘why don’t you make more apps and XYZ’ and we will over time. But we wanted to start by regaining the trust of customers. We recognize and have heard you loud and clear from past platforms and here is our best foot forward.”
A central feature of the new multimedia setup is the intelligent assistant. Similar to Siri in an iPhone – and other voice assistants employed by other automakers – a driver can say “Hey Toyota” can perform a number of functions like find and navigate to a point of interest.
The voice assistant was built in-house, which means Toyota can set the parameters for how fast it responds and what information to provide to the caller.
Inouye says this allows the company to be “the traffic cop”, filtering out relevant information to answer a query. If the on-board unit can answer a simple question, there is no need to search for an answer in the cloud, saving the driver time searching databases.
A Toyota team is constantly adding new information to the system, such as jokes, math problems, and health-related information.
Toyota continues to work to make the assistant anticipate the driver’s needs. In the near future, if a driver wants to listen to a certain podcast while on a trip or has a favorite place to stop for a coffee, they will suggest those based on the regularity of those activities and the time of day. of the day.
Inouye says the aim is to reduce the time spent answering “the million questions” about where you want to go and what to listen to, “so you can just focus on your driving pleasure”. .
The system’s new User Profile feature can save personalized vehicle settings, including climate information, to the Toyota app. These profiles can extend to all Toyota vehicles, not just the one sitting in the driveway.
The Tundra can also act as a 4G LTE Wi-Fi hotspot with the ability to connect up to 10 devices at once.
However, six different subscription services underpin it all. Toyota offers every new Tundra with 30 days to three years of free trials for services.
The new multimedia system and many of the new technologies the company has developed for the Tundra will soon appear in other new vehicles in Toyota’s lineup.
This includes the recently unveiled 2023 Toyota Sequoia, where the i-Force Max hybrid engine will be standard.
The Tundra is built on the company’s new TNGA-F platform, which will also serve as the basis for the new Sequoia, as well as the Tacoma, Land Cruiser and Lexus LX.