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  • Full-Size Truck Comparision: 2007 Chevrolet Silverado vs. 2007 Toyota Tundra

Full-Size Truck Comparision: 2007 Chevrolet Silverado vs. 2007 Toyota Tundra

All-American Grudge Match: Here's what we know

Mark WilliamsJan 18, 2007
What happens when the two biggest car companies in the world come out with all-new trucks in the largest market at the same time? Here's a clue: Both are made in America solely for the truck-crazy market--and you can expect the head-to-head battle to be fierce. The two heavy hitters in this fight aren't Ford and Chevy, but Chevy and Toyota.
Make no mistake: GM's new GMT900 is critically important for the company's stability and survival. Typically worth over 400,000 vehicle sales per year, the Chevy Silverado has come out of the gate with all of its cab and bed configurations ready to supply every new and emerging niche in the truck-buying marketplace. Clearly, GM had a long way to go to catch up to or even surpass the other five half-ton truck-makers, but now it has its sights on being the segment leader in power, style, and handling.
Photo 2/4   |   Toyota Tundra Dash
On the other side of the battle, with a good amount of truck study behind it, Toyota is fully cocked and ready to fire off its most important full-size shot to date. It can be argued that the new Tundra (bigger and stronger) will be Toyota's first real full-size truck for this market. Toyota is exercising caution by not releasing too much information at one time, but judging by what we've seen at the last SEMA show (look for full coverage in our next issue) and heard through the grapevine, the new Tundra looks like a serious player. With an all-new plant in the heart of truck country, Toyota has the ability to make new Tundras, Sienna minivans, and Toyota Sequoias in whatever combination it likes. That means there'll be two plants in the U.S. ready to make full-size Tundras (Princeton, Indiana, and San Antonio, Texas). Toyota executives won't be happy until Tundra sales hit 200,000 units per year, basically double what they are today. While Toyota won't steal many Ford or Chevy loyalists, Dodge and Nissan buyers, notoriously price conscious, could be more easily persuaded. And, of course, Toyota has a ready stock of current Tundra and Tacoma buyers (more than 200,000 per year) that could be ready for something bigger.
Photo 3/4   |   Chevrolet Silverado Dash
Bottom line: There's a fight for truck supremacy out there, and the battleground is going to get bloody.
Unfortunately, detailed information on the upcoming Tundra is not yet available. You'll see more in upcoming issues of Truck Trend (see sidebar). Until then, here's how the Chevy goes head to head with the Tundra.
Photo 4/4
Next Issue: Round 2
Silverado vs. Tundra--Ultimate Torture Test
Now that we've laid the groundwork and given you all the available details, the only thing left is to get these two trucks into the ring to see what happens. We call it our ultimate torture test, where we'll push and pull these two vehicles to their limits to see what they're made of, and how close their max payload, towing, and performance numbers rate in the real world. Some might say it's too early to match these heavyweights, but we know there can be only one king in the truck world, so let's get ready to rummmmblllle!--M.W.
Chevrolet SilveradoToyota Tundra
Beds
Reg Cabs - 6'5" and 8'0" boxes
Ext Cabs - 5'9", 6'6", and 8'0" boxes
Crew Cabs - only 5'9" box
Reg Cabs - 6'6" and 8'1" beds
Double Cabs - 6'6" and 8'1" beds
"Big Daddy" - unnamed as of yet, unsure if only one box length will be offered, probably smaller than 6'0"
Engines
-4.3L V-6 (late availability) 260 hp/275 lb-ft
-4.8L V-8 (base engine, cast-iron) 295 hp/305 lb-ft
-5.3L V-8 (cast-aluminum block) 315 hp/338 lb-ft
-5.3L V-8 (cast-iron block) 315 hp/338 lb-ft
-6.0L V-8 (cast-iron block) 367 hp/375 lb-ft
-6.2L V-8 (cast-aluminum block) 400 hp/415 lb-ft (rumored for late usage in a performance package)
-4.0L V-6 (cast-iron block) 236 hp/266 lb-ft (2006 numbers)
-4.7L V-8 (cast-iron block) 271 hp/313 lb-ft (2006 numbers)
-5.7L V-8--Not much is known yet, but we'll assume this'll be one of the most sophisticated truck engines around. Like Nissan's DOHC 5.6L V-8 (320 hp/385 lb-ft), the Toyota engine will have four valves per cylinder. Early numbers are reported to be in excess of 375 horsepower, but don't be surprised if Toyota's holding back--the numbers could end up higher. Likewise, available intake and exhaust VVT-i could push torque numbers past 380 pound-feet.
Suspensions
The GMT900 pickups share the same front-coilover, double A-arm suspension as the GMT900 SUVs. Often criticized in the past, the ride and handling of the new pickup is one of its best performance features. Here are the Chevy offerings:
* Z83--base model for overall smooth ride: monotube shock in front, twin-tube in rear
* Z85--enhanced handling ride for trailer towing: monotube shocks front and rear
* Z71--enhanced ride height and stiffer springs: uniquely tuned monotubes front and rear
* Z60--designed for maximum street performance: monotube shocks front and rear
* NHT--designed for maximum towing capacity: 6.0-liter V-8, 9.25-inch rearend, disc brakes, high-capacity rear springs, monotube shocks in rear. (Only available on Ext Cab and Crew Cab models.)
The new Tundra uses a modified version of the previous IFS setup--coilover, double A-arm. To go after the heart of the truck market, Toyota should offer as many suspension options as possible. Recently, we saw a concept Tundra in Las Vegas with a TRD-lowered suspension, factory available 22-inch rims, and high-performance tires, and heard little work was needed to make it a huge performer. Likewise, we'd anticipate a TRD 4x4 package to be made available in just as many cab versions as the Chevy Z71.
Cabs & Wheelbases
* Regular Cabs will have late availability, with 119.0 and 133.0 wheelbases
* Extended Cabs will have 133.7-, 143.5-, and 157.5-inch wheelbase options
* Crew Cabs will only offer one wheelbase at 143.5 inches
Regular Cab and Double Cab (four regular-opening doors) versions of the Tundra were recently shown at the State Fair of Texas. Both will be offered in short- and long-wheelbase configurations. Luckily, we brought our tape measure: Regular Cab longbed versions will be 145.5 inches, and short-wheelbase models will be around 120.0 inches. Double Cab longbed wheelbases are 164.5 inches, and short-wheelbase models (we found one at SEMA) are 145.5. No word yet if the rumored "Big Daddy" (we hear it's much like the Dodge Mega Cab) will offer a long-wheelbase model.
Transmissions
- No manual transmissions slated until the 4.3L V-6 arrives
- 4-speed auto (4L65-E) column shifter for 4.8L, 5.3L
- 4-speed auto (4L70-E) column shifter for 6.0L
- 6-speed auto (6L80-E) column shifter with thumb-touch for 6.2L (widespread use in future models)
The vehicles at the Chicago auto show last March had center-console-mounted six-speed automatics. No word yet as to how much availability this will get, but it was clearly designed with the big V-8 in mind to help with fuel economy. As with Chevy, expect to see a six-speed manual offered with the V-6 and an automatic shared between the V-6 and smaller V-8.
Interiors
Chevrolet offers two distinct interiors.
1) The "Pure Pickup," offered on WT and LT models: flatter gauge and HVAC/radio look, dual glove boxes, center console seat-back storage, lockable seat storage, 40/20/40 bucket/bench seats.
2) The second interior (pictured) is identical to the GMT900 SUV look: center-console armrest, waterfall center stack, navigation option, message center, bucket seats, strong refinement.
Toyota will have to offer two or three different interiors if it expects to keep up with Ford and GM. We've only seen the column-shifter model, but it wouldn't make any sense for a vehicle so specifically tuned at the commercial-use market (Toyota marketing mavens are hitting the construction supervisors hard) and not offer a column-shifter, bench seat option as well. Cab size in the Regular and Double Cabs feels huge, with a dash so wide it's designed like it's been split in two.

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