2014 Toyota Tundra Exterior – What They Were Thinking
Quite often, when people look at the new Tundra they ask, “What the heck was Toyota thinking?” Here then, in the most complete way possible, is what they were thinking.
Before any discussion of the Tundra can begin, it is important to understand that Toyota relies on customer feedback as an integral part of their design process. In fact, you could criticism them for listening too much! The exterior changes are then a reflection of what customer’s told them.
Focus group feedback:
- The current Tundra looks like the smallest truck on the market
- It doesn’t “look” like an American truck
- It is way too bubbly and looks weak
With this feedback, the Calty Design Research centers in Newport Beach, CA started a new design. Interestingly, the entire Tundra team got together at times to talk through the changes. I was told that during these meetings marketing, engineering, design and manufacturing would sit together to discuss changes. In fact, the story goes, that is how the Tundra stamp came back. Many of the Toyota guys remember when the Toyota stamp was standard fare on their trucks. They wanted to bring that heritage back.
Toyota says the new design is meant to give it a much more aggressive, brawny look. And it is meant to look more like an “American” truck. For example, the rear end. While part of the spoiler is due to wind tunnel tests, it is also supposed to make people think American. This last statement is odd though. Toyota claims that the Tundra is for an “independent” buyer and yet they have removed much of the unique look of the truck.
The new styling’s major points:
- Maintain platform size, re-utilize cabin assembly
- Move away from rounded, bubbly look—aim for a chiseled, masculine truck look
- Include a distinct look between trim levels
They also aimed to be more aggressive looking with the raised hood and brawny “shoulder” styling along the truck sides. Plus, see that line on the back of the tailgate below the lettering? It is meant to give it a more “chiseled” look. The goal was to make it look like a tough, chiseled truck.
In the end, what they got was a truck design that is pretty polarizing. This is part of a sweeping design change at Toyota with new products like the Corrola (see: dramatic change). Gone are the days of plain jane cars and trucks. Now days, there will be more direct feedback from customers, a loss of distinctive styling and a more Americanized look.
What do you think? Hate it or love it?
Filed Under: Tundra News