New Twin-Turbo V-6
The iconic 4×4 won’t likely be coming to the U.S., at least not badged as a Toyota. We suspect the Lexus-badged version, sold here as the LX, will make it stateside and with shared powertrain technology, as before—which is all the more reason to closely scrutinize the 2022 Land Cruiser’s engine lineup. Lo and behold, the new LC is set to arrive in global markets with a new twin-turbo 3.5-liter V-6 engine with specs that beat the current Tundra’s 5.7-liter V-8.
Guess which product used to come with the same 5.7-liter gas V-8 as the Tundra, before switching to that new twin-turbo V-6? Answer: The Land Cruiser!
Whereas the old 5.7-liter put down 381 hp and 401 lb-ft of torque in both the outgoing Land Cruiser and the Tundra pickup, the new V-6 throws down 409 hp and 479 lb-ft, improvements of 28 hp and 78 lb-ft. The new Land Cruiser also ups the transmission ratio count to 10 forward speeds from eight; the ancient Tundra, meanwhile, has been using a six-speed since it was last fully redesigned for 2007.
We’re less bullish on the Land Cruiser’s available turbodiesel 3.3-liter V-6 making it into the Tundra as the optional engine. With its 304 hp and 516 lb-ft of torque, it certainly seems spot-on for large truck duty. That said, given Toyota’s electrification and hybridization marketing priorities, a diesel doesn’t seem worthy of Bob Carter’s promise to “blow us away.” We’re banking on some sort of hybrid or fully-electric variant as the step-up from the base engine.
Set Up for Six-cess?
The new V-6’s power bump, as well as the 10-speed automatic transmission, would drag the entry-level Tundra into contention with full-size truck competitors equipped with their higher-output engine options. GM’s Silverado and Sierra twins, for example, are available with 420-hp 6.2-liter V-8s; the Ford F-150 is available with a similar twin-turbo 3.5-liter V-6 pushing 400 hp (430 hp with hybridization), and the Ram 1500 offers a 395-hp 5.7-liter V-8. Where the Tundra would set itself apart, of course, is offering a 400-hp-plus engine as standard equipment, not on pricey range-topping models.
Bolstering our speculation about the new V-6’s chances for the Tundra is the dearth of big-power engines floating around the Toyota and Lexus universe. Until now, every large truck and SUV in the brands’ portfolios used one of Toyota’s “UR” V-8 engines: the Tundra’s 5.7-liter V-8 (Land Cruiser, Sequoia, Lexus LX) or the 4.6-liter V-8 (the Lexus GX currently). There’s also a related a 5.0-liter version, but it’s tuned for revs and on-road performance in Lexus cars like the current RC F, and there was also a hybrid variant of the 5.0 that was used in the old LS600h. The current LS flagship sedan, meanwhile, is powered by a new twin-turbo 3.5-liter V-6 making similar power to the new Land Cruiser; the two vehicles’ engines are likely similar.
Considering the cost to federalize an engine for sale in the U.S., it’d make sense for Toyota to spread the twin-turbo V-6 around to as many products as possible to help amortize that cost. That’s why if it’s coming in one large truck application, it’s probably going to migrate to others. In fact, it’ll likely become the go-to big-power engine for large vehicles for both Toyota and Lexus products, just as the UR V-8 engine family was before. And since a version is already here in the LS500, that just adds that much more weight to the argument