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Rumored 2021 Toyota Tundra Hybrid With These Updates Would Make The Redesign a Sure Hit

The Toyota Tundra has not seen a new design since 2007. Big changes are coming, possibly for 2021. Plenty of rumors are swirling, with even talk of a Hybrid Tundra version. But, what would be the best changes to make this new redesign of a Hybrid 2021 Tundra a sure winner?


The Toyota Tundra is due a complete redesign, potentially as soon as 2021 model year. Tundra testing and planning are ongoing as we speak, leaving us guessing as to what will happen next with this third generation full-size beast. A hybrid Tundra is rumored.

A quick history of Tundra to catch us up to speed

Toyota first introduced the Toyota Tundra with the 2000 model. Truck buyers had the choice of a 3.4-liter V6 and a 4.7-liter V8 engine. That seems like a very long time ago.

A second generation Tundra was introduced in 2007, and this truck was super-sized into what we know today. There have been refreshes along the way, both in 2010 and in 2014. But, relatively speaking, the Toyota Tundra is ready for a redesign.

And big changes are coming…

So what is Toyota testing right now?

Whenever an important model redesign is within a couple years to retail, there comes with it a chaotic flurry of speculation and rumors. Nobody really knows. But everyone wants to be the first to know what’s new. This couldn’t be more accurate than with the upcoming 2021 Toyota Tundra.

According to rumors, several possibilities exist.

• The next generation of Tundra and Tacoma will share a same platform. The benefits of this Toyota New Global Architecture (TNGA) are many and include improved ride quality, more responsive steering, lightweight designs including powertrain, improved gas efficiency and improved production times.

• A potential shocker within the truck community would be the introduction of a new Tundra hybrid system. This rumored hybrid would be powered by a twin-turbocharged 3.5-liter V6 engine. It is speculated that this will produced mpg upwards of 30 miles per gallon and produce 450 horsepower and get you going with 500 lb.-ft. torque.

• Toyota could be testing a new rear suspension. Recent spy photos of the new Tundra, with its lower rear end draped mysteriously in thick wrapping, have led to speculation of a completely different rear suspension. Might there be a modernized new coil or air spring suspension revealed in the near future?

But what improvements would make the most sense?

It has been over a decade since Toyota Tundra received a new body. We do appreciate the facelifts in the meantime though. Dr. Frankenstein is ready – now let us make the monster. Amidst tough competitors in a crowded full-size playing field, many feel it is time to make a splash. Here are some changes I think would be most impactful.

Powertrain Improvements

We all have opinions on what engines would be ideal. Some would like to see the 5.7-liter V8 engine stick around. I mean, it does produce 381hp and 401 lb.-ft. torque. Many have guessed a 5.0-liter or 6.0-liter V8 is the way to go. A hybrid option would really help, but will it actually come to fruition? And, I have been hearing rumors of a Tundra diesel for at least a decade.

I would honestly like Toyota to keep around the 5.7-liter engine as one option. It is proven for over a full decade now. Perhaps pair it with a 6.0-liter option and the twin-turbocharged 3.5-liter hybrid. Not sure they would keep a 5.7 AND 6.0 though. Whatever the engine choices Toyota reveals to us, I would like to see in excess of 400 horsepower, and hopefully up to 450hp, with a healthy increase in torque. The torque must be more than the horsepower. We need to pull!

I think the new Tundra would be best served with an 8-speed or even 10-speed automatic transmission. I don’t suppose Toyota could also throw us truck enthusiasts a bone and offer at least one grade level as a manual transmission, could they?

Feel free to leave your ideas for the new Tundra powertrain. It is quite possible 100 people will give 100 different suggestions. Who will be right though?

What should towing capabilities be?

Currently the 2019 Toyota Tundra has grade levels with a minimum tow capacity of 6,400 pounds and up to 10,200 pounds. Not everyone needs to tow/haul things this heavy, so not every Tundra requires this maximum rating. However, I have heard enough feedback from my truck enthusiast forum to know they would like to see a towing capacity in excess of 12,000 on some Tundra configurations. I agree.

A new CrewMax option with a longer bed

In my dream scenario, Toyota will continue with a choice for consumers between Double Cab and CrewMax. But, I would love to see Tundra pairing the larger engine with a CrewMax that offers both a 5.5 foot and a 6 foot or 6.5 foot bed. I do not feel CrewMax rear seating size should be decreased. That would defeat the benefit of why people buy the CrewMax – they enjoy this extra space for taller passengers. But, with this alternative, it gives you what I would call the best of both worlds.

How about new Tundra comfort and convenience?

Let’s get this out of the way. The 2020 Toyota Tundra will offer both Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. Logic says we should not even worry – these popular applications will be on the new Tundra redesign.

I think the new interior should have a simple layout, with buttons and controls equally easy-to-reach for drivers and co-pilots. It should be loaded up with new technology (varying based on grade level, of course) and it will feature a minimum 7” touch-screen. Don’t be surprised to see a much larger touch-screen in the 11”-12” range on higher level grades such as the Platinum equivalent.

To help families on big road trips, I would like to see as much storage space as possible. I will cross my fingers that Tundra has more under-seat storage bins and compartments.

Toyota is known for long-term quality and should stay that way

In the midst of all these rumors and speculation over what a new-and-improved 2021 Toyota Tundra will look and drive like, it is crucial that Tundra retain its reputation for quality, reliability and dependability over the long haul. These are all reasons why Tundra, along with Tacoma sit right at the top of Kelley Blue Book’s Highest Resale Value for 2019.

READ MORE: Factors to help you decide between a Tundra and a Tacoma

One of my viewers perhaps summed it up best. “It’s important that Tundra stay smooth, powerful and reliable. My 2007 Tundra has 275k miles on her with little to no issues at all. I would like to see over 400hp though.” Toyota Pride my friends…Toyota Pride.

Thanks for reading everyone. Feel free to check out and subscribe to my “Toyotajeff” Toyota YouTube channel. See you next story…

Jeff Teague is a Toyota news reporter at Torque News. You can reach Jeff on Facebook and follow his Instagram for his popular "Toyotajeff Minute" quick Toyota reviews. Follow him on Twitter at @toyotajeff1 and tweet him tips for new stories. Jeff also shares Toyota news videos on his Youtube Channel at ToyotaJeff1.


Digitaldoc (not verified)    May 26, 2019 - 6:27PM

A twin turbo charged V-6 in a Toyota pickup? This is the same company that refuses to put turbochargers into anything other than a Supra these days unless it has a Lexus badge on it, and only upgrades engines once a decade or so.

I really doubt we will see a turbo V-6, and at best the 5.7 V-8 will carry over. They really seem to be trailing the market with engine design, and with infotainment for the last decade, but time will tell.

A hybrid pickup seems more progressive than I guess they would do at this point, but hope I am wrong.

Jeff Teague    May 27, 2019 - 10:32AM

In reply to by Digitaldoc (not verified)

Hey Doc! Yeah there is so much rumor going around about what Toyota will do. I think the 5.7L will carry over, BUT I wonder if it can keep up with the EPA standards for all vehicles that will be coming out eventually....I expect a huge upgrade in infotainment.

Billy Bob (not verified)    May 28, 2019 - 12:31PM

The facts are as follows. The EPA is requiring all manufacturers to acheive a C.A.F.E. standard of 54.5 MPG by the year 2025. This means that trucks, since becoming the family vehicle will have to do their share of fuel saving. Going to a 6.0 litre engine would very definitely defeat the goals of 54.5MPG. Hybrids, Turbos and electrics ARE THE FUTURE of this industry. Like it or not, the V8 engine will be gone in the very near future, unless the manufacturers re-invent the engine and it can magically get 50mpg. Ford went with turbos, and so will most of the other manufacturers in the very near future. Toyota has incredibly excellent hybrid technology which will be in heavy use across thier line-up bu 2021. Most, if not all Toyota's will have at least one hybrid version. Tundra's will be all hybrid by 2021.

Natureboy Neal (not verified)    May 31, 2019 - 6:22PM

If I’m not mistaken, M Sweers ruled out the idea of increasing bed length of CrewMax, saying that was a hazard. Sorry to bum...

vbondjr (not verified)    June 7, 2019 - 9:30PM

Personally, I'd love to see a few new V8 options for the Tundra, especially in a TRD Street Version of the Tundra. Not everyone off roads their truck and quite honestly someone needs to bring back street performance trucks. A 440hp 6.0L V8 10-speed auto truck with a performance setup on the suspension, brakes, exhaust, intake, etc is something Toyota should invest in. I think the whole off road thing is cool and i'm all for that as well. Along with the high end luxury version and a diesel version. All of this needs to happen. Toyota is an awesome company and with a few tweaks they'd be all the way on the money. This might be off topic, but I'd love to see the Camry move to a RWD platform with a true performance 415hp 3.5L Twin turbo, 10-speed AWD setup. It'd be the best thing ever. Sorry, it was kind of off topic. But back to the tundra, multiple V8 options, 400 plus HP, TRD upgrades including a Supercharger, if you must to a v6 twin turbo hybrid option fine, but dont take away the V8 engines please and thank you

Mike (not verified)    June 9, 2019 - 7:56PM

Ive owned many Toyota vehicles, specifically including 2 Tundras. Toyota is careful not to introduce to much technology and extra stuff on thier vehicles that can cause isses with QDR (quality, durability, reliability). This is a smart move as they still sell plenty of vehicles, including trucks. Since 2000, Toyota has always used the Land Cruiser and other sister companies (Hinux) to test technology and eventually apply it to the Tundra. If you look at todays oversees Toyota based vehicles, I expect one or several of the redesigned Tundra pacakges to include an 8-speed transmission and a improved version of the 5.7 liter V8, specifically with direct and port fuel injection to improve both hp and fuel economy. People who say the current 5.7 lier V8 is old are misinformed. It still has dual vvt-i with chain drive seperate on intake and exhaust, which unlike some trucks still only have vvt tied into intake and exhaust.A slight update to this engine will make it ahead of others just like Toyota did in 2007!

BRENT TESKY (not verified)    June 26, 2019 - 10:25AM

I heard (rumor) that they are going to put an e-locker in the tundra!! i hope so!! i think it would be beneficial. at least it would for me since I'm in the snow a lot

Tracy (not verified)    July 11, 2019 - 11:04PM

I would like to see an 8' bed 'max haul' version. Possible 3-4k pounds capacity with a wider rear track. I've always hauled more in the bed then I've had need to pull. Most campers and trailers don't really exceed the 7000-8000 pound that the average 1/2 ton truck buyer would pull from my experience. On the other hand, many of us would like to be able to drop a yard of dirt into the back without making two trips. What do others think?

Jim (not verified)    July 24, 2019 - 1:07AM

My 14' Tundra is used for towing a RV trailer. ( 29' / 8,000 lbs wet) At this time Toyota is the last in line for towing capacity, dead last. AND dead last in hitch capacity 980 lbs. Last in bed cargo capacity, dead last and by a large amount. Love my Tundra, but after 12 years with no "real" increase in the tow rating I would hate to jump ship to ? Ford F-250, Ram ?....all the other 1/2 tons have capacities (towing, hitch & bed)

One point of observation is the double cab in the Tundra has the best seating comfort / room over Ford and Chevy double cabs. I would have to go to a crew cab to get enough room.

Just hoping in the next 12-18 months there is something coming out of Toyota on a new, next gen Tundra, otherwise I have to start "pondering" other brands.

Jeff (not verified)    July 27, 2019 - 4:09PM

I would like to see a power tailgate and some form of a tailgate step. They are available after market why not make them standard on all Tundras? In addition, a more powerful air conditioning system would be welcomed to cool down the cab faster. I’m looking forward to the 2921 model.

Sarah (not verified)    August 5, 2019 - 2:53PM

I would love to see the Tundra CrewMax bring back the reclining seats and the back seats that fold down. There is so much room behind the seats that is not utilized in the Tundras after I think 2014. Its a big reason why I have not bought a new one truck.

MO17 (not verified)    August 6, 2019 - 7:36AM

I would like to have a manual transmission. I just bought a 2019 Toyota Tundra, so I am good for say, 8 years. But if Toyota offered a stick with a good interior package I am in.

Jacob (not verified)    August 22, 2019 - 11:09AM

I really think the Tundra needs an 8 or 10-speed auto transmission. I would say that it needs 4 engine options. 3.5 L v6 engine should be the base engine with 300+ horsepower (the same one that should be in the Tacoma and 4Runner). Then have a 4.6 L v8 with at least 355 Horsepower. Then the 5.7 L v8 with at least 400 horsepower. Finally, there MUST be a 5.0 L v8 turbo diesel engine with a minimum of 340 horsepower and 575 ft/lbs of torque. Tundra needs a crewmax with a 6.5 ft bed. I would also like 2500, 3500, and maybe even a 4500 option. The 2500 should have the 5.7 L v8 come standard. An upgrade engine should be a 6.7 L v8 gas engine with at least 445 horsepower. And for the main one, there should be a 6.7 L v8 turbo diesel with at least 450 horsepower and hopefully 1000 lbs/ft torque. The 3500 should be similar, only no 5.7, beefier suspension, and a dually option. If they ever make a 4500, have it standard with the 6.7 diesel, and an option for a 7.7 L v8 with at least 500 horsepower and 1500 lbs/ft torque

Digitaldoc (not verified)    August 22, 2019 - 7:37PM

In reply to by Jacob (not verified)

Toyota has not traditionally offered so many engine choices in their vehicles, but it would be welcomed.

Would love to see an improved 3.5L with around 300 hp used in the Tundra, 4Runner and Tacoma, and would push me to look at those vehicles, which currently I would not consider.

Jerry (not verified)    September 13, 2019 - 8:40AM

I’ve been a Toyota fan since the 70’s and have experienced the Toyota trucks as they matured. The Tundra is by far my favorite. Folks asking for 450 or more horsepower are nuts. It’s a pickup not a race car. That means low weight on the rear axle which translates to slippage. If you were to remove the derating program in the current 5.7 engines computer you couldn’t even apply fuel without spinning out with the 381 hp it has now. Reality is the majority of truck owners seldom carry or pull loads needing that much horsepower not to mention most people are already driving way past their own skill levels now. I would love to see a Tundra model with a 5.7 Diesel engine and a six speed manual transmission though. Also they can throw the Toyota Safety Sense in the garbage, its junk at best!

Danny Day (not verified)    September 19, 2019 - 6:46PM

I have been buying Toyotas since I bought my first truck a 1984 Toyota extra cab 4x4 22r 5spd truck and currently own 8 Toyota vehicles. I like to restore older trucks and 4runners my favorite is my 1988 4runner with 9 inch lift and 35 " Mickey's . I plan to buy a new Tundra soon so I would like to most of all stop putting inferior engines in Toyota's . The New Tundra needs to have a V8 5.7 or Larger a Twin Turbo V6 that if attached to a Hybrid system must be a plug in so my Solar Panels can charge it . Also it needs a Diesel from there design or there apparent Truck company Hino . Make a Raptor killer not this wimpy TRD Pro they need to design it based off the Ivan Stewart and BJ “Ballistic” Baldwin Off Road Racing Championship Trucks if they need help they should contact me .

Daniel Baginska (not verified)    October 23, 2019 - 12:54PM

Its Been Over 10 years with the same drivetrain.. This Truck needs an update.. yes the 5.7L 6sp has been super reliable. But enough is enough. There needs to be an option for a smaller engine, either turbo or hybrid and lets go with an updated transmission. Its shameful that they have a v6 turbo engine they use on lexus they could put on the tundra..They spend so much on RD why not give the Tundra an upgrade.

Daniel Baginska (not verified)    October 23, 2019 - 3:21PM

Its Been Over 10 years with the same drivetrain.. This Truck needs an update.. yes the 5.7L 6sp has been super reliable. But enough is enough. There needs to be an option for a smaller engine, either turbo or hybrid and lets go with an updated transmission. Its shameful that they have a v6 turbo engine they use on lexus they could put on the tundra..They spend so much on RD why not give the Tundra an upgrade.

Darryl E (not verified)    December 27, 2019 - 6:10PM

Use the Lexus 5.0 V8 And tune it for a pickup. Love to see a hybrid or turbo engine. They must improve MPG. Update the interior with a nice big touchscreen and new design. Add 4auto drive and crawl control.

JC (not verified)    January 6, 2020 - 1:39PM

I bought my present 2000 Tundra Limited long ago when it had 14,000 miles. Other than the paint's clear coat wearing off on top and hood, the truck remains dependable so much so that its my only vehicle.

I'd like Toyota to redesign the rear with more appealing and modern LED tail lights on all trim levels. Long overdue.