The exterior changes made to the refreshed 2014 Toyota Tundra may help bring full-size pickup buyers to the Toyota brand. But with only carryover engines, the model is at somewhat of a disadvantage against trucks with newer drivetrains. With updated engine options, the 2014 Tundra could have been much more than just a cosmetic refresh. But what drivetrains should power Toyota's full-size truck? Instead of choosing practical, real-world options, we let our imaginations run wild. Here are a few of our picks below.
Diesel Hybrid Setup From Hino Box Truck: Many forget that Toyota has parts from its commercial truck subsidiary Hino at its disposal. One drivetrain in particular that could benefit the Tundra is the company's diesel-electric hybrid system. That utilizes a 210-hp, 440-lb-ft 5.0-liter turbodiesel I-4 paired with an electric traction motor generating 48 hp and 258-lb-ft of torque. Considering Toyota's experience and history with hybrids, an electrified Tundra might make sense for the brand. A diesel Tundra could also become the workhorse of the lineup.
Lexus IS F 5.0-Liter V-8: A high-performance version may not be what the Tundra needs for success, but it would be pretty cool. The high-revving, naturally aspired 5.0-liter V-8 out of the Lexus IS F could make for one fast pickup, with its output of 416 hp and 371 lb-ft. Such a truck could be positioned against the Ford F-150 SVT Raptor, or tuned for on-road performance similar to the Jeep Grand Cherokee SRT8.
Lexus LFA V-10: Though it won't have a 10-cylinder Ram SRT10 to compete with, a Tundra packing the Lexus LFA's 552-hp, 354-lb-ft 4.8-liter V-10 would probably be absurdly fun. With the LFA now out of production, Toyota has a world-class sports car engine design just begging for a new home. Why not make it the Tundra?
NASCAR V-8: Another entry in the "why not" category, the Tundra race truck's 5.8-liter pushrod V-8 used in the NASCAR truck series could be used as a basis for a production version. Granted, the carburetor and other non-road-legal parts would have to go, but adapting a race engine design for street use wouldn't be impossible. TRD dropped such an engine into a Camry a few years back for the 2010 SEMA Show. If any NASCAR-powered Toyota model has a shot at production, though, it's the Tundra.
What drivetrain would you like to see in the 2014 Toyota Tundra? Vote in the poll below and share your thoughts in the comments section.