Changes In Store for Future Toyota Trucks, SUVs
Emphasis on Smaller Engines as Fuel Economy Targets Loom
With the distracting and embarrassing unintended acceleration cases and associated recalls out-of-the-way, intense competition coming from every corner of the globe, Toyota is stepping up its investment in future product, with some changes coming to its truck and SUV lines specifically, according to Automotive News.
A new RAV4 is expected in the fall. The prevailing opinion is that the 269-hp 3.5-liter V-6 is headed for the chopping block. Though beloved by enthusiasts and automotive journalists for its unexpected punch in the compact SUV, the increased demand for fuel economy from both consumers and government regulators will likely spell the V-6's demise with the 2013 refresh. Expect the new model to bring with it a six-speed automatic.
Few major changes are expected in the near future for the 4Runner SUV and Sienna minivan, both of which received a redesign in recent years. The Tundra fullsize pickup is due for a major freshening in 2013. It is expected to keep a three-engine lineup consisting of a V-6 and two optional V-8s, but expect an increased emphasis on the 4.0-liter V-6, which could receive direct injection to bring its output to 300 hp. Toyota is also believed to be working with its wholly-owned Hino truck subsidiary for a possible diesel version of the Tundra, although there are currently few substantial details on that project.
The Tacoma is destined for a redesign in 2014 along with its overseas cousin, the Hilux, to better meet future fuel economy standards. Its platform-mate 4Runner may receive a redesign a year later.
Source: Automotive News (subscription required)