Now that the details of the new Tundra ladder frame have been revealed, Toyota is apparently back to work tweaking another new platform, this time for small trucks.
According to a report by Motor Trend, that includes the virtually indestructible Hilux pickup (watch this YouTuber try to destroy it and fail), which was edged out in the US market by the Tacoma in the 1990s and is very popular in other parts of the world. Hilux siblings Tacoma and 4Runner are also reportedly hitchhiking on the next platform.
The team at The reader observed Toyota’s platform development process, and it appears to be part of an overall strategy to unify Toyota’s most popular trucks and SUVs for economies of scale, practicality and quality. There has been speculation that Toyota will put all of its trucks on one platform, especially since the Taco and Tundra are made at the same plant in Texas and it would be more efficient for them to start with. the same base.
Mike Sweers, Toyota’s executive chief truck engineer, says he and a group of more than 40 engineers met in Japan to create a new platform when building the Tundra. They reviewed every facet of the Toyota New Global Architecture (TNGA) F-Series, which underpins full-size SUVs and full-size, body-on-chassis pickups. This includes the F0, F1 and F2 platforms with the aim of creating flexibility to adapt its modularity to all levels and make room for a wide variety of powertrains.
“There has been a lot of talk about how to get the best parts to work,” Sweers told me during a tour of the Tundra near the company’s headquarters in Plano, TX. “It was a Herculean task to bring them together.”
It remains to be seen whether Toyota will learn from the engineering team and use them for the small truck platform. If I read the tea leaves correctly, Toyota will continue to move towards greater consolidation of its platforms, which will help the brand improve the handling of its trucks and SUVs across the lineup. In the case of the 4Runner in particular, I hope that a new platform will breathe life into this old SUV, because even though it is an off-road star the way it is, it’s about time to give it a boost.
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