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2020 Toyota Tundra Spied Testing – New Design, 30 MPG Expected


Spy photos from Trucks.com are out on a possible 2020 Toyota Tundra spied driving around their technical facility in Ann Arbor, Michigan. It is expected to make its debut at the upcoming 2019 Chicago Auto Show.

The full-size Toyota Tundra has been the automaker’s largest truck offering for years growing from the T-100 into its current size. While battling the Big 3, it has stayed at a near constant 10k vehicles a month sold while sharing space at the San Antonio, Texas plant with the Toyota Tacoma. Now with expanded plant capacity on the horizon, it looks like Toyota is ramping up to catch up with the competition.

The spy photos show a new front-end and box design is likely while the current generation cabin looks to be a carryover.

On the front, we can see what appears to be a new design and a new design for the headlamps probably with new LEDs and DRL design. Also, there could be new design lines on the fenders.

For the rear, the entire box is covered leading one to believe there are changes on its design and maybe even the material used. The Toyota Tacoma has used a composite, plastic bed for years to cut down on weight and the Tundra might be joining suit.

There is also question on what’s going on underneath the box. A lot of attention seems to be paid to hiding the rear-axle leading some speculation of an independent-rear suspension or a coil-link suspension getting rid of the solid axle. This type of change would improve ride quality and drop weight.

Speaking of dropping weight, the Tundra has been one of the heaviest half-ton trucks on the market for sometime. The new design could be more about dropping weight as well as the rear axle to help it achieve a rumored target of 30 MPG highway.

They will likely need the help of a hybrid engine from Lexus and at least an 8-speed transmission to get there. Although, a turbo-charged V6 with enough weight loss might be able to do the same thing. Some people are holding off hope for a diesel variant, but this is hard to see with Toyota’s past negative view on diesels.

Our speculation is we will see this at the 2019 Chicago Auto Show coming up in the first full week of February. Until then, we can only look at the pictures and speculate.

Tim Esterdahl

Automotive Journalist Tim Esterdahl has been a lover of trucks and SUVs for years. He has covered the industry since 2011 and has pieces in many national magazines and newspapers. In his spare time, he is often found tinkering on his '62 C10 pickup, playing golf, going hunting and hanging out with his wife and kids in Nebraska.

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  1. NoQDR Tundra January 26, 2019

    The fuel mileage for a 2019 Toyota Highlander Hybrid that weighs about 4800 lbs is 30/28 city/hwy. So, unless Toyota can drastically redesign the full size Tundra, a full frame truck, and still achieve 10K towing, the 30 MPG is nothing but wishful thinking.

    1. Tim Esterdahl January 26, 2019

      Probably wishful thinking. It is just what I’m hearing. Can’t wait to see what it actually comes out like.


  2. breathing borla January 29, 2019

    Hey Tim

    Long time no talk. Maybe after all these years of double or nothing 6 packs on a significantly redesigned tundra this will be the one finally.

    I think 2021 is more like the new truck release and nothing will be at the Chicago auto show this year.

    I sure hope we still have a large V8 option.

    1. Tim Esterdahl February 2, 2019

      Hey, sorry I’ve been traveling. Yeah, I’m less inclined to think the new Tundra will be at Chicago. Still hopeful.

      I did a long interview with chief Mike Sweers. Keep an eye out for that coming soon.

      Good hearing from you!


  3. TheDrummer04 February 20, 2019

    I think the Tundra’s towing capacity needs to be drastically increased. Also, there needs to be a v8 diesel version and even possibly a dually version. As of the exterior, Tundra needs to add some new colors, like green. The interior needs to be modernized, including a larger touch-screen.

  4. David Trafican May 18, 2019

    Hopefully new tundra will have same as Chevy volt. Half electric and gas or just electric for few miles or so. Maybe try to use all electric truck? Just wait and see what future look like

  5. Jim Osekowsky July 7, 2019

    Let Tundra continue to be the “fat boy”. Make Tacoma in the image of the Earlier Tundra, for most people a leaner Tundra but a slightly bigger Tacoma would sell. That’s the earlier Tundra.


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