Toyota Tundra in bigger size comes from two USA truck plants

2007, Toyota, Tundra

SAN ANTONIO, Tex. -- At a really big automotive factory, one might logically expect to see some really big vehicles rolling off the assembly line.

That's certainly the case in San Antonio, Tex., where a new $1.28 billion assembly plant of Toyota is making as many as 200,000 annual units of Toyota's really big pickup truck -- the Tundra.

Additional variations of the Tundra -- more than 100,000 annual units -- come together at another Toyota plant, this one pitched in the heart of America's Corn Belt at Gibson County, Indiana.

Additional variations of the Tundra -- more than 100,000 annual units -- come together at another Toyota plant, this one pitched in the heart of America's Corn Belt at Gibson County, Indiana.

In 2004 a stretched-cab version emerged as the Tundra Double Cab. It varied from Tundra's Regular Cab and Access Cab editions by employing a different superstructure and different sheetmetal. In effect, the roof of Tundra Double Cab measured about three inches taller than Tundra Regular Cab and the width of the truck expanded by four inches.

For the 2007 models, Toyota's largest truck grows in size again with a second generation of designs coming out of the plants in Texas and Indiana.

Developed for head-to-head competition against full-size domestic pickups, Tundra 2007 is larger in size and stronger in capability than all previous iterations.

It shows up with three different cab configurations, three powertrain choices including a new 5.7-liter V8 rated at 381 horsepower, and as many as 31 different models with three trim choices for rear-wheel-drive (RWD) and four-wheel-drive (4WD) traction.

New Tundra amounts to a home-grown effort aimed at America's full-size truck market.

Planning for the truck came from headquarters of Toyota Motor Sales USA in California with the engineering worked out in Michigan at Toyota's technical center and the truck's new styling drafted at Toyota's research and design operations in Michigan and California.

Tundra in the new format stands high and stretches long. It measures over 20 feet in length for the longest edition and more than six feet tall and six-and-a-half wide.

And it's a hefty vehicle, weighing in at 4610 pounds for the lightest 2WD version and up to 5705 pounds for the stoutest 4WD edition.

The sheetmetal has changed, starting up front with a fat-lip bumper, massive grille ringed in black or chrome, and articulated headlamp clusters etched into a smooth face of stepped fenders.

Tundra's profile is clean with a windswept windshield raking over the thick cab and side panels interrupted by fender flares ringing the wheel openings.

Wheels are bigger now, with the standard size bumped up to 18 inches and options reaching to 20 inches. The suspension is an independent double wishbone design in front with coil-over-spring low-pressure gas shocks and a solid axle at the rear with leaf springs and low-pressure gas shocks.

Vehicle control comes through sophisticated mechanisms like Tundra's power-assisted rack and pinion steering and disc brakes with huge rotors (13.9 inches in front and 13.6 inches in back).

The acronyms in vehicle safety aboard Tundra include an anti-lock brake system (ABS), electronic brake distribution (EBD) and electronic brake assist (EBA).

Tundra in 2WD format stocks an automatic limited-slip differential (A-LSD) tied to an advanced vehicle anti-skid system -- vehicle stability control (VSC) with traction control (TRAC) -- which unites the ABS and TRAC through a computer that can automatically correct oversteer or understeer when cornering.

And for a 4WD Tundra, there's electronic four-wheel traction control, dubbed active traction control (A-TRAC). Tundra's part-time 4WD equipment uses a planetary reduction gearset for high and low ranges with shift-on-the fly switching via a dial on the dashboard.

Tundra has three different trim designations -- entry-level DL, well-equipped SR5 and top-tier Limited.

There are three different cab styles -- Regular Cab (two doors and a 40/20/40-split bench with stow space behind the seats), Double Cab (a spacious four-door cab with front buckets or bench and a big back bench sized for three adults), and CrewMax (a super-size four-door cab with legroom for rear passengers resembling the space in a limousine -- it extends for more than 44 inches).

There are three different lengths for the rear truck bed -- Short Box (66.7 inches) for CrewMax only, Standard Box (78.7 inches) and Long Box (97.6 inches) for Regular Cab and Double Cab. All of the boxes stock a gas-charged damping strut on the tailgate for smooth opening drop and easy lift for closing. And an optional rail kit adds adjustable tie-down cleats to secure a load of cargo.

There are three different powertrains -- an economical six-cylinder plant for 2WD Tundra Regular Cab and Double Cab, a 4.7-liter V8 option that's the stock plant for Tundra CrewMax, and a massive new 5.7-liter V8 available for all three cab versions.

Toyota's 4.0-liter aluminum V6 with VVT-i (variable valve timing with intelligence) works with a five-speed electronically-controlled automatic transmission and delivers 236 hp at 5200 rpm and 266 lb-ft at 4000 rpm.

The V8s begin with a 4.7-liter plant off an iron block with aluminum cylinder heads and VVT-i. It punches out 271 hp at 5400 rpm and torque to 313 lb-ft at 3400 rpm through the five-speed automatic.

The new 5.7-liter aluminum V8 engine features dual independent VVT-i and teams with a heavy-duty six-speed automatic transmission.

It produces 381 hp at 5600 rpm and truck-hauling torque of 401 lb-ft at 3600 rpm.

When properly equipped, Tundra with the 5.7-liter V8 scores a maximum towing capacity in excess of 10000 pounds.

Tundra's cabs contain a nice assortment of standard equipment with gear increasing up the trim ladder, but there are some fancy options, such as a DVD-based GPS navigation system, backseat video entertainment kit, deluxe JBL sound package and for CrewMax a moonroof.

Toyota's MSRP points for new Tundra reach from $ 22,290 to $ 41,850

By Bob Plunkett

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Images of the 2007, Toyota Tundra

2007 Toyota Tundra front view
2007 Toyota Tundra front view
2007 Toyota Tundra interior view
2007 Toyota Tundra interior view
2007 Toyota Tundra dash view
2007 Toyota Tundra dash view
2007 Toyota Tundra rearview
2007 Toyota Tundra rearview