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An open letter to the chief engineer of the Toyota Tundra: don't mess this up

Discussion in 'General Tundra Discussion' started by COMiamiFan, Nov 6, 2019.

  1. Nov 6, 2019 at 10:18 AM
    #1
    COMiamiFan

    COMiamiFan [OP] Super Secret Elite Member #3

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    https://driving.ca/toyota/tundra/fe...gineer-of-the-toyota-tundra-dont-mess-this-up

    I didn't write it

    Dear Mike Sweers,

    Hello, my friend. It’s been a year-and-a-half since I last wrote to you, wondering why you appeared to have given up on the Toyota Tundra, a truck so many of us love but one that hasn’t seen a significant overhaul in more than 12 years.

    As executive chief engineer for the Toyota Tundra, Sequoia, Tacoma and 4Runner, you are obviously busy.

    But we’ve all seen spy shots of a new Tundra in the works and, man, we’re excited!

    As the Tundra boss and a diehard truck guy, your fingerprints will, of course, be all over the upcoming 2021 Tundra. But I absolutely have to tell you how many people are hoping you get this right, and how many of us Tundra owners want the all-new truck to be the best it can be, considering this third-generation truck will likely be with us for another dozen years. So I need to share with you the things we’re hoping for.

    [​IMG]

    First off, you have to pull off the magic trick of improving fuel economy without cutting power. I’m sure you realize how horrendous the urban fuel economy of your 5.7-litre V8 is — 22 L/100 km is pretty common, although things get better on the highway at about 12 to 14. You do know the new Ram Ecodiesel 4×4 can achieve 11.1 L/100 km in the city, right? That’s better than your best highway with a strong tailwind.

    Beside the expense of fuel, have you thought about the carbon footprint of all your Tundras burning so much gasoline? Glum Greta would not approve. Bigger fuel tanks are not the solution. Nor is cutting power. While 401 lb.-ft. of torque is not terrible, it’s still light considering the Sierra now has 460 and Ford’s F-150 Limited boasts 510 lb.-ft. of torque. Game on, buddy.

    Are we getting air suspension? Spy shots suggest so. That would be pretty trick, and certainly help prevent some suspension sag when these trucks get loaded up. That might help the small-ish payload, too. I mean, 725 kgs isn’t all that great when most half-ton competitors are over 1,000. Towing numbers could benefit from a slight bump, too, although the current 8,800 to 10,000 is nothing to complain about. But an air suspension would really advance the ride quality, even though that’s never been a big issue with the Tundra — the truck rides really well despite its age.

    And it steers well too, so please keep the hydraulic steering. Lots of us could live with the current and very stout six-speed transmission, but the electronically-controlled eight-speed from the Lexus LX would be sweet, with the bonus of helping improve fuel economy. And if you’re poaching parts from Lexus, can you tuck under your arm the LX’s full-time four-wheel drive with Torsen limited-slip center differential? And with all the advancements to high-strength, light-weight steel, is now the time to go to a fully boxed frame? Might that allow an optional 6.5-foot bed with the Crewmax?

    The bigger need for the Tundra is convenience. Steal GM’s bumper-step idea because it’s hard to climb in and out of a Tundra bed. Borrow the Honda Ridgeline’s in-bed storage as well as its dual-swing tailgate, or copy the smart dual-gate idea from Ram. LED lighting all around is a must, with a special focus on headlights to make them the brightest and sharpest on the market. Take a look at what Ford offers in terms of lighting — some F-150s light up like an oil refinery. We don’t just use our trucks in the day, so give us the means to see when working at night. That also means giving us some proper lighting inside the bed, with a switch in the bed, and when hooking up a trailer.

    While we’re back there, please add lots more tie-downs and better front and rear tow hooks (see Chevy’s Silverado) and maybe some unique storage options. And, please, put a goddamn power outlet in the back with at least 15-amp capability — I’m sure you know how many times truck owners need some quick and immediate power in the field. Whatever you do, do not lose the power sliding rear window, too many of us love that feature too much.

    [​IMG]

    The Tundra should also look to the Ram for some interior storage solutions. We need places to store tools, straps and so much of the equipment we truck owners carry. We need in-floor pockets, behind and under the rear-seat cubbies, any kind of novel way to create storage. Your center bin is nice and deep, but how about including some organizers and a light, instead of forcing us to buy them aftermarket? And can you make a glove box that can actually hold something other than a pair of gloves and the owner’s manual? Have you seen the dual glove boxes on the Ram and GM trucks? They’re awesome. Make the cubbies so they work for how users use them — pockets that hold 25-foot tapes, holders that accept Nalgene bottles.

    Your infotainment system could use an update, too. Sharper, clearer graphics on bigger screens with better haptic feedback would be such a huge leap forward. Lexus does a good job of this, can’t you borrow some of its technology? I’m not sure you need to go digital for the instrumentation, but please make sure you allow drivers to adjust all the vehicle settings they want, instead of having them visit the dealer. Oh, and for the love of trucks, can you finally make a heated steering wheel available? How about adding wireless charging and enough USB ports for the whole crew? And boost the temperature of those pathetic heated seats.

    [​IMG]

    You’ve been excellent at adding safety, Mike, but shouldn’t blind spot monitoring be standard too? Most of us don’t need automatic systems for backing up a trailer, but a bit of tech that monitors the trailer while underway would be helpful, and it would catch up to the rich trailering ecosystems offered in the competition.

    Since the truck is going to be all-new, now would be the time to silence the cabin since it can be a bit noisy. Tighten up some of the squeaks or rattles, too, since nothing is more maddening than interior cabin noises. If you can drop in a kick-ass JBL sound system, too, we’d be impressed.

    Design-wise, well, that’s more in the hands of designers than yours. But I promise you this: if you make the 2021 Tundra good-looking, upgrade the powertrain to make it efficient, add many of the features outlined above while improving the interior, refinement and tech while adding a few breakthrough surprises, you’ll have won over us Tundra fans and maybe even grow your audience. Thanks for considering all this — can’t wait to see the new truck.

    P.S. Don’t miss the comments from readers who also have suggestions. Ignore the haters.

    Sincerely, Derek
     
  2. Nov 6, 2019 at 10:26 AM
    #2
    GreatBigAbyss

    GreatBigAbyss New Member

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    In case y'all are wondering, this is a Canadian publication, so all the payload/fuel figures are in Metric.

    Yes, we Canucks love trucks as much as you guys south of the border do.
     
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  3. Nov 6, 2019 at 10:30 AM
    #3
    FirstGenVol

    FirstGenVol New Member

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    Uh, those 2 things certainly seem to contradict each other.

    Toyota isn't going to give us 20% of the things he's asking for.
     
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  4. Nov 6, 2019 at 10:32 AM
    #4
    knoxville36

    knoxville36 New Member

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    While I do not disagree with some, all those things in that letter are the exact things everyone complains about the most and why they bought Tundras on here.......

    For the most part, Nobody on here wants a 6 cylinder turbo engine matted to an 8 speed transmission as the big 3's are not as reliable as what is in the Tundra. Just one example.

    I just find it interesting that every thing in that letter is what people are complaining about.
     
  5. Nov 6, 2019 at 10:35 AM
    #5
    OR18TRD

    OR18TRD Pândâ Crëw

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    We will see if anyone is listening. :boink:
     
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  6. Nov 6, 2019 at 10:36 AM
    #6
    Tierhog

    Tierhog SIG-AHOLIC

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    Well written.. Agree with everything but the carbon footprint, which we already Trump the Prius boys based on lengevity alone.
     
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  7. Nov 6, 2019 at 10:37 AM
    #7
    GreatBigAbyss

    GreatBigAbyss New Member

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    I dunno, those Priuses are doing insane miles in the hands of the taxi companies.
     
  8. Nov 6, 2019 at 10:40 AM
    #8
    OR18TRD

    OR18TRD Pândâ Crëw

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    And now they have AWD-e :monocle:
     
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  9. Nov 6, 2019 at 10:43 AM
    #9
    e30cabrio

    e30cabrio I'm e30cabrio, I'm a modaholic

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    Sequoia LED Headlights! D.T. L.T. headers, dual exh., BDX, S&B intake, 2018 seat skins.
    Good read. Hopefully they listen.
     
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  10. Nov 6, 2019 at 10:44 AM
    #10
    FirstGenVol

    FirstGenVol New Member

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    I do think Toyota is capable of making a powerful V8 that gets better MPG. Will they? I don't know.
     
  11. Nov 6, 2019 at 10:52 AM
    #11
    GreatBigAbyss

    GreatBigAbyss New Member

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    I had heard twin-turbo V6 with hybridization. Not sure where I read it from.

    That would certainly make it more fuel efficient while retaining (or increasing) power. And leave it to Toyota to make a long-lasting turbo engine. Their hybrid systems are pretty dialed in and essentially bulletproof, too.

    While that combination certainly wouldn't sound as good as the 5.7L V8, it would certainly be effective.
     
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  12. Nov 6, 2019 at 12:17 PM
    #12
    Outbound

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    PS: Also find a way to keep the crewmax 4x4 TRD Off Road version at a sub $40,000 CAD price point.

    I can't even look at brand new trucks anymore since most are pushing 50K+ here unless I want zero options and even then a truck will be near the 40K point. Even low mileage used trucks are in the high 30's.

    Kinda hard to justify buying new at those prices. Gonna keep my 1st gen as long as i can I guess.
     
  13. Nov 6, 2019 at 12:25 PM
    #13
    bensky

    bensky PlatinumPro

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    What the heck? Since we’re asking for the impossible. Could you make a truck that produces gasoline instead of using it? Also, please make an adjustable bed. Sometimes I want 8’ and other times just 4’ would work.
     
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  14. Nov 6, 2019 at 12:49 PM
    #14
    ViktorG

    ViktorG Lexus/Toyota Master Tech

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    Speaking to one of the Toyota Canada QA guys last year, he told me it will be a twin turbo 3.5L V6 out of the Lexus LS500.
    I doubt Toyota will design an all new V8, everyone is moving away from that.
     
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  15. Nov 6, 2019 at 12:56 PM
    #15
    2014 Tundra Boy

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    Two words. Rear Locker.
     
  16. Nov 6, 2019 at 1:01 PM
    #16
    GreatBigAbyss

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    Unfortunately, as inflation keeps on inflating, and features keep on being added, the price of trucks will keep going up. Currently Tundra is the cheapest truck you can buy, option for option (obviously there are cheaper Fords, Dodges and Chevy's, but they have base models that are less equipped than Tundra). But Tundra is cheap because it's a 13-year old design. These trucks tend to have fewer features than the competition, worse fuel economy, etc. and therefore Toyota has been continuously dropping the price on them as time goes on, especially compared to the competition.

    Once Toyota renews the platform, expect prices to jump back up in-line with what the Domestics are charging for their trucks. If you wanna play, you gotta pay!
     
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  17. Nov 6, 2019 at 1:08 PM
    #17
    Hbjeff

    Hbjeff New Member

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    I can summarize this letter:


    Dear Mr toyota,

    Please add every feature that the big 3 have, except the horrible reliability problems, and make it a 1 ton truck, but ride like a half ton, and i hope it’s still cheaper than ford.

    Thanks
     
  18. Nov 6, 2019 at 1:18 PM
    #18
    Outbound

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    I hear you. Inflation is a bitch. In 2011, I bought a brand new GMC Sierra, 4x4, crew cab, Z71 Off Road package with every option except Bose stereo, leather and sunroof. I paid 38,200 out the door.. including taxes, dealer fees etc.

    In 2016, I went back the same sales guy at the same GM dealer with my 2011 build sheet to buy a replacement. The absolute best he could do was 46,000 + tax and fees. Identical truck, just 5 years newer.

    Hence I drive a paid off 2005 truck while I save up for a newer one.
     
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  19. Nov 6, 2019 at 1:28 PM
    #19
    Kerch71

    Kerch71 DUNE RNR DVM

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    Definitely rear locker, and factory installed roof mounts. And cupholders that actually hold cups.
     
  20. Nov 6, 2019 at 1:38 PM
    #20
    GravityGear

    GravityGear Parking Lot Prerunner

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    Fuck innovating, just get everything from everyone else. Take their good, leave their bad. Also I ABSOLUTELY LOVE the "I want everything with ZERO compromises or you fail" mentality through out this. I really hope this is satire. If not, I will live on the street for a week if I get to kick this dude in JUST the right ball so more force goes to it instead of being distributed through both.
     
  21. Nov 6, 2019 at 2:13 PM
    #21
    Tierhog

    Tierhog SIG-AHOLIC

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    I was referring to the ecological destruction of strip mining South America for every ounce of lithium that exists for the battery. Our trucks may guzzle gas, but people typically dismiss how the magic happens before the household plug and the how their cute little "harmless vehicle" is created. Sort of like the diesel train that lasts 50 years and replaces the eventual electric big rig.

    The shit comes from somewhere folks lol. Probably already hijacked, and for that I apologize. We get pretty beat up on fragile planet science vs politics out here in California and if the squawkers simply kept their vehicles longer they'd likely make the impact their looking for. It was mentioned in the letter and felt some objective questions/statements were relevant. Our trucks are built to last. I love my big fuel tank, and I try to keep vehicles for a long time, even if California commercialized our plates and charges $700 for tags
     
  22. Nov 6, 2019 at 2:43 PM
    #22
    careyrob

    careyrob In the field

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    Sorry guys. He lost me at "carbon footprint".

    I don't have time or patience for an eco-warrior that assumes he has the authority to represent the rest of the truck owning population that largely disagrees with his world view.

    Get lost pal. (My comments are directed at the original author of the letter, not the OP)
     
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  23. Nov 6, 2019 at 3:32 PM
    #23
    Melikeymy beer

    Melikeymy beer New Member

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    I really want a truck that works like a Transformer and flys. That would be so cool.
     
  24. Nov 6, 2019 at 3:56 PM
    #24
    djhase

    djhase New Member

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    Although the Tundra gets the worst gas mileage it has the best reliability rating. I say higher fuel costs but less maintenance costs is going to be cheaper than less fuel costs and higher maintenance costs. I keep my trucks for 10 years or more. My GMC got 18 - 20 mpg but cost me 3k in transmissions which would have been 7k had the second one not gone out under warranty. So I will take Tundra's poor fuel mileage over technology to get better mileage that doesn't last over the long haul.
     
  25. Nov 6, 2019 at 4:18 PM
    #25
    Baja Mike

    Baja Mike Baja Aficionado

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    The bean counters are always listening, then telling the designers/engineers what they can not do.


    I just hope they do the smartest, easiest and what will be the most well received upgrade to the interior of the Tundra. And that is to remove all the fucking chrome from the inside of the truck. Not some. Not most. ALL of it. Chrome has no business being on the inside of a vehicle.
     
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  26. Nov 6, 2019 at 4:26 PM
    #26
    Tierhog

    Tierhog SIG-AHOLIC

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    Get rid of those buttery thin interior plastics that scratch when you look at em!
     
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  27. Nov 6, 2019 at 4:37 PM
    #27
    dlowry81

    dlowry81 New Member

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    The carbon footprint of making these damn windmills is more than the footprint of a decade of Tundras I bet.

    Other than that I agree with some of the points, but most importantly the post above mine....decent plastic that doesn’t scratch!!!!
     
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  28. Nov 6, 2019 at 4:46 PM
    #28
    PWMDMD

    PWMDMD New Member

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    Whatever the new Tundra is going to be these decisions were made LONG ago and have been in motion for many years. This letter is silly.....

    I don't know that Toyota is ever going to be that serious about trying to challenge Ford, GM and Ram in any meaningful way. I'm not saying the Tundra isn't a great truck....just that it's age and lack of being updated for so long suggests Toyota is happy being a niche player in the pickup world.
     
  29. Nov 6, 2019 at 4:48 PM
    #29
    Stig

    Stig New Member

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    I didn't read that whole thing, but it appears the author keeps comparing the Tundra to other models, how their numbers are better.

    The thing is, nobody forces you to buy a Toyota. OlIf you care about the spec sheet, go buy one of the trucks being compared to in the article
     
  30. Nov 6, 2019 at 4:50 PM
    #30
    Stig

    Stig New Member

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    That was a given considering the author is another brainwashed global warming fanatic canadian
     
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