Unmodified 2012 Toyota Tundra will tow the Space Shuttle Endeavor
Toyota has done a lot of great marketing with its trucks lately. Its outlandish commercials showing the Tundra do incredible jumps and other tricks that are faked comes to mind. As does their new Toyota Racing Dream Build Contest which will feature a heavily modified truck. However, one upcoming marketing program features a new Tundra doing something incredible and it is not a fake or a modified Tundra doing it.
Toyota is planning to tow the Space Shuttle Endeavor a quarter mile, the last quarter mile of its 12 mile journey from LAX to the Science Center. Although the Endeavor is 300,000 pounds, and the Tundra isn’t normally expected to tow anything near that weight, the folks from Toyota have done some tests and they are pretty confident all will go well. Keep in mind that towing ratings for trucks and other vehicles are incredibly conservative. In fact, they are so conservative because the rating is based on maximum loads heading up and down hills repeatedly. The Tundra will simply have to start out very slowly and keep the shuttle moving until it glides to a rest.
The exact Tundra that will be used is an unmodified 2012 ½ ton CrewMax. There are no differences between it and what any buyer could come home with from a dealership including the vehicle's maximum towing rating of only 10,000 pounds. The CrewMax sports a 5.7 liter V8 engine. A special dolly will be underneath the Endeavor. Toyota Motor Sales vice president of marketing communications commented on the promotional event for Toyota stating in a press release “The entire journey is something the world will be watching, and gives us a chance to prove that the ‘overbuilt’ Tundra is built to do any job – even tow the space shuttle.”
The final leg of the journey will culminate with a finish line celebration at Exposition Park on the evening of October 13th.