2015 Toyota Tundra TRD Pro – Denver Auto Show Closeup

We got the chance to see the new 2015 Toyota Tundra TRD Pro up close at the 2014 Denver Auto Show. One thing is for sure, these vehicles are getting a lot of attention.

2015 Toyota Tundra TRD PRO - Denver Auto Show Closeup

The TRD Pro Tundra on display at the 2014 Denver Auto Show.

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Toyota Issues Tech Tip – 2014 Tundra Pickups Park Assist Issue

Toyota has issued a tech tip to make technicians aware of a possible issue with the park assist system and a steel bumper. The system is triggering a false reading if the clip isn’t installed correctly.

Toyota Issues Tech Tip - 2014 Tundra Pickups Park Assist Issue

Toyota has issued a tech tip to address false readings with the park assist system.

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2014 Denver Auto Show Recap – Tundra Frame Changes?

I was recently at the  2014 Denver Auto show for the media days. Between eating and drinking too much, I learned a few things. Here is a recap.

I found this Tundra TRD PRO sitting next to the Tacoma and 4Runner. What’s interesting is this truck is the same one used in the videos and it is the same one which was unveiled in Chicago. Apparently, there really is only one Tundra TRD PRO in the world. I climbed underneath and you could see all the dirt and how much Toyota has beat this truck up testing it. I hear the testing period is over and they are making final adjustments before it goes to production. Look for it in the fall.


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Atkinson Variable Displacement V8 Coming To The Tundra

When rumors of a V8 Lexus coupe with “variable displacement” hit the automotive press a few months ago, I was more than a little skeptical. Quite a few Toyota employees have said that the typical variable displacement technologies employed by GM and Chrysler-Fiat are “not in the best interests of the consumer,” which is Toyota-speak for “variable displacement is a stupid gimmick,” at least when GM and Chrysler-Fiat do it.

Considering all the problems GM trucks have had with their active fuel management systems (which can consume 1-2 quarts of oil between changes), Toyota’s stance makes sense. Yet a number of sources claimed Toyota’s new V8 Lexus coupe would have variable displacement technology, and I found myself a bit dismayed. Would Toyota succumb to the allure of variable displacement systems that raises a vehicle’s EPA rating without any real-world benefits?

The Lexus RC F 5.0L with variable displacement.

Today’s announcement from Toyota about a new family of “thermally efficient” engines all but guarantees that the Tundra will be getting a variable displacement V8, similar to the system found on the new Lexus RC F 5.0L V8 (shown).

Fortunately, the answer is no. The new Lexus RC F comes with a 5.0L V8 that can operate both as a traditional Otto cycle engine and as an efficient Atkinson cycle engine, which – in a manner of speaking – means the engine is variable displacement. When you combine this news with today’s announcement from Toyota about a “new series of gas engines,” it’s safe to say that the Tundra will be getting a variable displacement V8. Probably in the next 2 years. Read more…

Toyota Manufacturing Reverses Course – More Humans, Less Robots

The big news from Toyota manufacturing lately is a pretty radical change in philosophy. Instead of adding more robots and pumping up production, Toyota says it wants to reduce the number of robots it uses and add more humans.

Why would they do this? They want to improve their product quality – profits be damned.

Toyota Manufacturing Reverses Course - More Humans, Less Robots

Toyota is rethinking its production and may use less robots.

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