Toyota’s Desert-Bashing Tundra TRD Pro Is Better Than Ever for 2022

After many years of speculation, months of teasing, loads of spy photos, and even a photo leak or two, the sheets have finally been pulled back from the all-new 2022 toyota tundra. In case there was any doubt that Toyota was serious about the third-generation Tundra, chief engineer Mike Sweers told us, “Every nut and bolt is new. There’s not a single part that has been reused.”

Like the previous generation, Toyota will offer the 2022 Tundra in six trims: SR, SR5, Limited, Platinum, 1794 Edition, and TRD Pro. For 2022, Toyota’s backcountry-exploring TRD Pro is now based on the Limited trim (instead of SR5) and moves into the lineup’s flagship position. We left dissecting the full 2022 toyota tundra lineup to our friends at MotorTrend, enabling us to take on gathering up all the nitty gritty details about the off-road ready 2022 Tundra TRD Pro.

Goodbye Floppy Frame and Leafy Suspension

Unsurprisingly, the 2022 Tundra’s chassis and suspension are all new. Improvements begin with an all-new fully boxed high-strength steel frame. The rear frame member has been widened to improve stability and towing. Frame crossmembers have doubled in size compared to the 2021 model, and hydraulic body mounts are employed on Limited trims and above, TRD Pro included.

The rear suspension has done away with traditional leaf springs in favor of a new five-link setup. Rear shocks are now mounted outside of the frame rails, which improves roll stiffness and increases towing confidence. Tundra’s front control arm suspension has been updated, as well. The front kingpin offset angle has been reduced to enhance straight-line stability and high-speed performance while the caster trail has also been increased for added stability. Roll steer has been reduced by 25-percent and the truck’s roll height center has been raised. In simple terms, the new Tundra will track straighter at high speeds and exhibit less body roll when cornering.

While all Tundra models receive these updates, the TRD Pro benefits from additional suspension tuning. Specifically, the 2.5-inch-diameter Fox internal bypass dampers are retained for the 2022 model year and are unique to TRD Pro. New for 2022, however, the Fox dampers now utilize oil that is infused with polytetrafluorethylene (PTFE), which helps reduce friction for a better on-road feel. The front shock’s TRD-tuned coil springs provided the truck with an additional 1.1-inch lift over other four-wheel-drive Tundras. TRD Pro models also receive a new front TRD anti-roll bar, which is painted red.

Electronic Traction Aids, Finally

Tundra TRD Pro owners have gotten the short end of the stick since day one. While Tacoma and 4Runner TRD Pro models were fitted with an electronic locking rear differential, Multi-Terrain Select, and Crawl Control, Tundra was left in the cold with little more than a limited-slip rear differential. All this changes for the 2022 model year, as the Tundra TRD Pro finally gets all the electronic hardware its siblings have already enjoyed.

For 2022 the Tundra TRD Pro, and all four-wheel-drive Tundras with the TRD Off-Road package, as well, add these three great features. The truck’s new electronic locking rear differential can be used when the truck is in low range, which is great, but we’d love to see it offered in high range or even two-wheel drive, as well. Also included is Toyota’s Multi-Terrain Select feature, which allows drivers to choose from a variety of terrain types, including the likes of Sand, Mud, and Rocks. Each of these settings comes with unique throttle, steering, transmission, and ABS system mapping. The truck will also be equipped with Downhill Assist Control, which is basically the same hill descent control every manufacturer employs these days.

Also included on the 2022 Tundra TRD Pro is the latest generation of Toyota’s Crawl Control. For those unfamiliar, Crawl Control allows drivers to select a certain speed while in low range, and the vehicle will take over throttle and brake control allowing the driver to focus fully on steering. This function was enabled by use of the vehicle’s antilock braking system, which resulted in a very (sometimes alarmingly) noisy operation. Toyota tells us that while the Crawl Control system on the 2022 Tundra will work as it always has, this latest version will be almost silent.

More Power, More Gears, and More … Electricity?

Toyota has introduced a pair of new engine options for the 2022 Tundra, but the all-new Tundra TRD Pro comes with just a single drivetrain option. As the flagship trim in the Tundra lineup, the TRD Pro is fitted with the new i-Force Max engine. The i-Force Max is a twin-turbo 3.4L V-6 engine mated to a 10-speed automatic transmission that employs a hybrid electric motor. (Toyota calls it a 3.5L, but that’s a marketing decision to liberally round up.) The electric motor is located in the transmission bellhousing and is sandwiched between the flywheel and torque converter. The motor itself produces 48 hp and 184 lb-ft of torque and is fueled by a 1.87-kWh nickel-metal hydride battery. The i-Force Max produces 437 hp and 583 lb-ft of torque combined. For those keeping score at home, that’s more power and torque than Ford’s new PowerBoost hybrid F-150.

The i-Force Max drivetrain is standard on TRD Pro models but optional on Crew Max Platinum, Limited, and 1794 Edition trims as well.

Improved Towing and Payload

One of our biggest complaints about the outgoing Tundra model was its abysmal towing capacity. With some configurations rated at less than 10,000 pounds, it was quite embarrassing. Toyota has fixed this somewhat for 2022 by boosting maximum towing to a respectable 12,000 pounds. Payload has also increased to a max of 1,940 pounds. These figures, however, are with an i-Force-powered two-wheel-drive Double Cab.

The 2022 Tundra TRD Pro will come with a maximum tow rating of 11,300 pounds. This figure is reduced from the 12,000-pound maximum because of the additional weight of the Crew Max cab, hybrid drive system, and batteries. Payload is reduced, as well, but Toyota has not released exact figures at this time. We suspect it will be in the 1,200-pound range.

Questionable Interior and Exterior Choices

From the outside, the all-new 2022 Tundra is a balance of angular lines and muscular refinement. Toyota’s design teams worked tirelessly to ensure that the exterior of the Tundra not only looks great but is also functional and aerodynamic. When it comes to the TRD Pro model, however, the people we’ve talked to who have seen the truck are pretty evenly divided.

Toyota has applied a print and texture that it calls “Digital Camo” to the TRD Pro’s fender flares, grille, and seats. Much like the tire tread patterns Ram applied to Rebel’s seats when the truck was first introduced, the “Digital Camo” on TRD Pro is either loved or hated and is not optional. There’s also a fair bit of consternation about Toyota’s choice to offer orange LED clearance lights in the grille along with an LED light bar. The LED light bar is surely functional for off-road adventures and can be switched on any time the truck’s high-beams are activated. However, the LED clearance lights appear to have been a design choice aimed to mimic Ford’s Raptor and Ram’s TRX, two trucks that are significantly wider than their counterparts and needed the clearance lights by law. The TRD Pro Tundra’s track width is widened only slightly when compared to other four-wheel-drive Tundras, but only through the application of wheels with a wider offset.

If we may be granted one last point of grievance, it’s that the amazing rear under-seat storage offered on the 2022 Tundra is not available for TRD Pro. Let us explain. Selecting a Crew Max model Tundra brings a storage bin under the rear seat large enough for all of one’s recovery gear (tow straps, shackles, etc. ), spare parts bags, tools, even three full-size long guns, if hunting is your hobby. However, optioning the i-Force Max hybrid engine results in losing all that storage to batteries. Because the TRD Pro is only offered with the i-Force Max, it never has the ability to use that space for storage. [Rant over]

When Can I Get One and How Much?

The 2022 toyota tundra TRD Pro is slated to go on sale sometime this December, according to Toyota’s representatives. As far as pricing goes, that will be announced closer to the truck going on sale; all Toyota would tell us is that it will be “competitive.” If we were to bet, take a look at the F-150 Tremor, Ram Rebel, and Silverado ZR2 for a ballpark (about $45,000 to $50,000), and you probably won’t be far off. Toyota also wouldn’t comment on expected fuel economy other than to say it will be better than the outgoing V-8. Although we don’t expect Toyota’s i-Force Max to beat Ford’s PowerBoost hybrid in this arena, we’d venture a guess that it will be close.


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