Toyota Australia has begun selling the US made Tundra pickup truck with the first “re-engineered” [converted locally to] right hand drive vehicles now in customer hands.
A so called Tundra Insider Program will see 300 potential customers lease the Tundra on a full service lease basis as part of a real-world evaluation and validation program, “reporting back regularly to Toyota on their experience”.
Sales and marketing chief Sean Hanley said this was an important step in what was a world first local re engineering programme for Toyota “to ensure the Tundra is perfectly suited to the demands of Australian customers”.
Ram and Ford F-series pickups have been on sale in Australia for several years, also converted to RHD alongside US GM sportscar models. LHD vehicles are banned from sale in the country though there are exemptions for classic cars over a certain age.
“We know there is a demand for full size pickups like the Tundra but we wanted to ensure that the local right hand drive conversion and the vehicle as a whole met Toyota’s exacting standards for quality and the needs of our customers,” Hanley said.
“Our engineers have been working on this project since 2019 and now, together with our partners at Walkinshaw Automotive Group, it’s great to see vehicles being delivered to our customers.
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Walkinshaw Automotive Group is currently building the 300 customer vehicles with all deliveries expected to be completed by April 2024.
Apart from moving the steering wheel and pedals to the right hand side of the vehicle, the US-built Tundra Limited features several new or modified components.
These include the steering rack, instrument panel, firewall, headlights, cabling, harnesses, front seats, carpet and trim with many of the new components sourced from the Toyota LandCruiser 300 Series.
The Australian Tundra Limited is powered by a 3.5-litre twin turbo V6 petrol engine with a maximum power output of 290kW at 5200rpm and peak torque of 650Nm between 2400rpm and 3600rpm.
That is paired with a 36kW/250Nm electric motor generator and 6.5Ahr nickel metal hydride battery (Ni-MH) that delivers total system maximum outputs of 326kW and 790Nm.
The engine drives through a 10 speed automatic transmission with Eco, Normal and Sport modes that is combined with a part time all wheel drive system with a two speed transfer case and automatic limited slip differential.
As a vehicle designed for heavy towing, the Tundra comes standard with a 3500kg tongue and ball (capable of 4500kg with appropriate tongue and ball accessory), 12-pin wiring harness, trailer brake control system and a trailer back up guide that provides visual and audible assistance when reversing.