Toyota has confirmed an extensive development program in Australia for the Tundra full size pick-up, hinting at its intention to re-engineer the American-built Tundra in right-hand-drive (RHD) format and evaluate the vehicle against Australia’s unique local conditions and tough customer use.
Toyota has partnered with Melbourne-based Walkinshaw Automotive Group, for its extensive experience in this type of work, to develop and build Tundra RHD vehicles for Australia.
With Toyota’s unwavering obsession with quality, durability and reliability, the Tundra RHD development program is expected to be one of the most thorough development projects undertaken for a vehicle of this type in Australia.
After significant development in-house, prototype testing on public roads is scheduled to begin in September 2022. Starting from quarter four 2023, Toyota will deploy about 300 Tundra prototypes all around Australia, as part of the final stage of the RHD re-engineering program. These vehicles will not be for sale but will involve monitoring under real world usage conditions in Australia.
The program is expected to set a new benchmark in Australia for the re-engineering of a full-sized pick-up truck from LHD to RHD. It will include the adoption of key components from Toyota’s comprehensive global parts catalogue, including the steering column and rack, accelerator, brake pedals and shift lever from the LandCruiser 300 platform.
The Tundra models will be equipped with a new inline hybrid system featuring a twin-turbo 3.5-litre petrol V6 – the most advanced and fuel-efficient powertrain available on this model.
While this is exciting news for Toyota and Tundra fans alike – an Australian RHD Tundra faces further checkpoints in Toyota’s global approval process before its retail introduction can be confirmed.
Toyota Australia Vice President Sales, Marketing and Franchise Operations Sean Hanley said the local company and its dealers were eagerly anticipating being part of this unique program.
“This a dedicated re-engineering program, led by Toyota Australia and made possible by our global partners and is closely supported by our parent company and Toyota North America. It will utilise OE levels of design, development, testing and componentry rooted in Toyota’s deep commitment to quality, durability and reliability.”
“This project shows just how serious we are at Toyota about quality, and a RHD Tundra will not be available for sale in Australia, until we are totally satisfied.
“We are really excited to get such a significant project to this stage, and look forward to seeing development prototypes on our roads and test tracks in the weeks and months ahead.”
If green lighted for sale in Australia, the Toyota Tundra will compete against other RHD full size pick-ups already on sale in Australia, including the RAM 1500 and Chevrolet Silverado, plus the Ford F-150 which is headed Down Under in 2023.