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Toyota Tundra Buyers Prefer Bigger V8

While early reports suggested that sales of the Toyota Tundra were lagging, the truck is not only gaining sales momentum, but those sales are skewing heavily in favor of the optional 5.7-liter V8 engine, reported Bob Carter, general manager of Toyota Motor Sales, U.S.A.

Toyota TundraDespite an environment where $3 gas is common and $4 gas is seen in Toyota regional strongholds like California and the Northeast, customers are choosing the bigger 5.7-liter engine over the truck's base V6 and optional 4.7-liter V8 engines, he said.

"All of the orders are for the 5.7-liter," Carter said. Toyota underestimated demand for the biggest available engine, which now represents 70 percent of Tundra production. The 5.7-liter engine is $950 more expensive than the 4.7-liter engine, and adds a $1,760 premium over the base V6 engine. Carter, who recently took over Toyota after heading Lexus in recent years, said that he replaced an LS 460 with a Tundra CrewMax as part of the switch. He said he loves the truck, but after getting accustomed to the LS's self-park feature, he's "having to learn how to drive again."

Carter attended a meeting with dealers in Kansas City this week, who reported strong turnout at local events designed to introduce the Tundra to Midwestern customers. In contrast to events where consumers avoid dealer representatives in an effort to check out the new hardware in peace, these shoppers were actually filling out information cards and seeking out dealer reps, Carter said.

The 5.7-liter engine provides a muscular 381 horsepower and 401 pound-feet of torque, which is a noticeable upgrade in performance and hauling capability from the 4.7's 271 hp and 313 lb-ft and the V6's 236 hp and 266 lb-ft.

EPA gas mileage is slightly worse than for the 4.7-liter V8 in 4x4 configuration, at 14 mpg city and 18 mpg highway, compared to 15/17 for the four-wheel-drive 5.7. But in 4x2 configuration, the 5.7's mileage rating rises to 16/20, while the 4.7's mileage is unchanged. Further, the V6's highway mileage rating is the same as the 2WD 5.7's, and the six-cylinder only beats the 5.7 by 1 mpg in city driving, with a 17 mpg rating.

© Source: insideline
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