Toyota enters the full-size market with a new V-8 pickup made in America. Toyota is building an all-new, full-size pickup truck that the company claims will haul more, tow more and set a new standard for handling and ride comfort.The Tundra's 4.7-liter engine will be the first double-overhead cam, 32-valve V-8 offered in its category and the first V-8 engine to be classified by the EPA as a low-emission vehicle. It will deliver about 245 hp and 315 lbs. ft. of torque.

This powerful V-8 engine will provide the strength to haul a maximum load of 1 ton and pull a maximum of 7,200 lbs.

The pickup also will be offered with a 3.4-liter, double-overhead cam, 24-valve V-6 engine.

Both the V-6 and V-8 models will be available with 2- or 4-wd with a four-speed automatic transmission. The V-6 also will be offered with a five-speed manual transmission.

Toyota says that the Tundra will have an all-new chassis that is larger, stronger and more rigid than that of its T100.

A comfortable ride. According to Toyota spokesperson Joe Tetherow, the Tundra will have "a great suspension for a more car-like ride."

Buyers can choose a two-door regular cab with an 8-ft. bed or a four-door access cab with a 61/2-ft. bed. The pickup will have an overall length of 2171/2 in. and will be about 75 in. wide, with a wheelbase of about 128 in.

The access cab features a large entry area. According to Toyota, the Tundra will be the only four-door pickup to have an exterior handle on each door, providing easier operation from the outside than the doorjamb mechanism commonly used for rear doors.

Tundra can be ordered with either a 60/40 split-bench front seat or dual-controlled captain's chairs. Standard features will include two 12v power outlets, driver-and passenger-side air bags with a passenger air bag cutoff switch, sun visors with pullout extensions, solar energy-absorbing glass and an all-new sound system.

Born in the USA. The pickup will arrive in dealerships in the United States and Canada in early June of this year and will be announced as a model-year 2000 truck. It is being built exclusively at Toyota's new $1.2 billion facility near Princeton, IN. The 2-million-sq.-ft. plant has the capacity to produce 100,000 pickups/yr., and it eventually will employ approximately 2,300 people.Toyota will also produce a new full-size sport utility vehicle, based on the Tundra, at the new plant. The new SUV won't be introduced until 2001.

Price of the Tundra has not yet been determined, but Tetherow claims that "it will be very competitive with the price of other trucks in Tundra's category." For more information, contact Toyota Motor Sales, Dept. FIN, 19001 S. Western Ave., Torrance, CA 90509, 800/468-69682.