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Crying laughing from this hand wringing over nothing
At the end of the day it comes down to who is making bank. Big V8s with torque and power is nothing new in North America trucks and I don't think it will stop anytime soon. However that hasn't stop Toyota from being competitive in the truck market obviously torque and power is not everything to the consumers in this market.I could say so many things about the state of Toyota in the last few years, but I'll keep that to myself. In the immediate context, Toyota needs to be very careful to listen to and meet the needs of North American customers and not alienate them. For body-on-frame trucks and SUVs, in North America people love powerful engines, and especially engines with lots of torque. The American competition in the last few years has gone into overdrive offering so many large engines. Ford, GM, Dodge, Jeep all have a variety of very powerful V8s available, especially in many of their off-road models. FCA has done a tremendous job offering V8s almost everywhere. They've taken a financial penalty due to CAFE or EPA rules I've heard, but if that's what it takes to satisfy the wants and needs of North American customers at this time, so be it. I'm not advocating Toyota do exactly this, but Toyota needs to just be very aware. The Wrangler has a huge V8 available, the Ram TRX is an extreme off-road machine, then you have the extremely competitive Bronco (with evidence that Ford will unveil even more extreme Bronco variants including possibly turbo V6 or V8 engines) and you have the new Ford Raptor which will also get even more extreme with the future Raptor R variant. So my question to Toyota, where are you in terms of competing? Where are the big, strong engines for your body-on-frame trucks and SUVs?
To keep this short, whatever engine and transmission combinations the new Tundra, Sequoia, 4Runner, Tacoma, etc. will have...they need be engines with lots of torque paired with responsive transmissions. Also the pedal and throttle response needs to be great, and not dull or laggy. Aside from being fast and powerful, the new generation vehicles need to also feel fast and powerful. The current Tacoma feels slow, and the current 4Runner is slow.
In Covid times here, Toyota could have easily virtually premiered the Tundra by now. What's the hold up? Even if the Tundra only reaches showrooms in December or early next year, doesn't matter, just premiere it now already. It's even more mind-boggling considering the exterior has already leaked out.
On the consumer side, a heavy-duty hybrid system from Toyota has been rumored for over 10 years now. On the commercial Hino side, Toyota has had a heavy-duty hybrid system available for over 20 years now.