The next generation of the most-reliable pickup truck on the market is definitely one of the most anticipated things for the next year, at least when it comes to the truck world. Therefore, every news draws a lot of attention, including this one. You probably haven’t heard, but the Japanese manufacturer has applied for the “I-Force Max” trademark. For those who aren’t too deep into Tundra’s specs and history, this probably doesn’t’ mean anything. On the other side, something that says 2021 Toyota Tundra I-Force Max clearly indicates that the new Hybrid version won’t be the only one in the offer.
This makes perfect sense for many reasons. First of all, electrification in the truck world is something completely new, so many truck drivers still feel a little bit skeptical about them. On the other side, the I-Force has been praised for its unparalleled reliability and durability for decades. Also, keep in mind that this version would also feature a more affordable price, which also plays a significant role.
The first I-Force engine appeared in the early 2000s, with the original Tundra. At the time, Toyota needed a large and powerful V8 engine, that would be suitable for the new full-size pickup truck. The first version features 4.7 liters in displacement and a max output of 245 horsepower and 315 pound-feet of torque. During these two decades, the engine has received several updates. It was even available in a version with Supercharger, while the latest iteration powers the current generation of this full-size pickup truck, as well as models like Sequoia, Land Cruiser etc. Of course, we are talking about a 5.7-liter unit that is good for 381 horsepower and 401 pound-feet of torque.
This engine is still impressive in many ways, especially when it comes to reliability and durability. However, it also has a couple of drawbacks and the biggest among them is poor fuel economy. With 13 mpg in the city and 17 mpg on the highway are currently the lowest ratings in the class. Therefore, improvements are more than required.
2021 Toyota Tundra I-Force Max Expectations
At this point, we don’t know any details about the new 2021 Toyota Tundra I-Force Max, so there’s a lot of room for speculation. As you already know, the next generation is about to come with a hybrid setup, which should be impressive both in terms of power and efficiency. The new setup will be based on a V6 engine, which should feature a max output of 450 horsepower and 500 pound-feet of torque. In terms of fuel efficiency, it is expected that the new version will be able to return more than 30 mpg combined, which sounds beyond impressive.
Many believe that the new 2021 Toyota Tundra I-Force Max will be name reserved for this hybrid setup. However, the fact is that this isn’t a new setup, but rather a modified version of the powertrain that already powers Lexus LS 500h. Therefore, it doesn’t make too much sense to give a new nameplate to it. Furthermore, the “I-Force” has been reserved for V8 units so far. Also, we presume Toyota would rather add something else than “Max” to accentuate its electrified character.
Therefore, we believe that this “Max” stands for something that means maximized performances of a gasoline engine. Will this be a completely new engine, or just an updated version of the current unit. In any case, it’s pretty obvious what will be the priorities for this engine. In the first place, it’s fuel economy. The new engine needs to improve significantly in this aspect and to reach class-average at least, in order to be competitive. A power boost is also expected, though we don’t expect to see some significant increase.
What We Know About Next-Generation Tundra
Besides the new powertrain options, the next-generation Tundra is expected to come with all kinds of other novelties. Of course, the first thing that comes to mind is a new platform. It has been codenamed F1 and it is a BoF version of Toyota’s actual TNGA platform. Naturally, it will bring significant improvements and that’s no wonder at all, considering that the current model has been around for a very long time. After 13 years, it’s not that hard to make progress. In this case, we count on weight reduction and significant improvements in comfort and overall ride quality. Speaking of the ride quality, the new model will come with new rear suspension setup, with either coil springs or with air components.
Big novelties are expected in terms of aesthetics as well. When it comes to the exterior design, we expect an evolutionary approach, with proven design solutions. On the other side, the cabin will be completely new, with significant improvement in terms of aesthetics, materials quality etc. We also count on a full load of the latest tech goodies.