Toyota Tundra Diesel Undergoing Testing

Toyota Tundra Diesel Undergoing Testing

The Ram 1500 is the only half-ton pickup truck to offer a diesel option, but that won’t be true for long.

While Nissan has said it will offer a new diesel option for the Titan, Toyota is also investigating a diesel powertrain, with a source familiar to the project informing AutoGuide that diesel Tundras are already undergoing testing.

Speaking with Tundra chief engineer Mike Sweers, he wouldn’t confirm or deny the reports but did say that the earliest any such option would arrive would be 2017. The reason for the date is that new Corporate Average Fuel Economy (CAFE) regulations come into place then, essentially making any current diesel engine irrelevant.

According to Sweers a diesel designed to meet current emissions regulations would be obsolete in 2017 while an engine designed to run past 2017 would, presumably, be either uncompetitive, too expensive or both in the current market.

SEE ALSO: 2014 Ram 1500 EcoDiesel Review

Despite that, the next-generation Nissan Titan is rumored to launch in 2015 and will be powered by a 5.0-liter Cummins turbodiesel V8 making around 300 hp and 500 lb-ft of torque.

Currently, the Ram 1500 EcoDiesel makes use of a 3.0-liter turbodiesel making 240 hp and 430 lb-ft of torque enabling it to tow 9,200 lbs while achieving 27 MPG combined.

Sweers spoke highly of diesel engines and commended Ram for the risks they took with the new 1500, including not just the diesel, but also the air ride suspension and eight-speed transmission, commenting that the gambles appear to have paid off.

Discuss this story at our Toyota Tundra forum.

  • Soult3k

    Bottom line, Toyota will no longer have its respect for being original anymore if you guys fold like Nissan and put out sourced products in your trucks. Might as well sell off your tundra line and rename it to something else because it won’t be a true tundra anymore with a cummins engine. I bought Toyota for Toyota parts. Been a diehard toyota customer since I was young. And I swear I’ll never refer or but Toyota ever again if this is the kind of shit to expect from a brand that has always paved its ‘own’ path. Make your own diesel if you guys want a diesel so bad. Make it better then any engine on the market! Keep the name strong and the pride to say yaaa that’s a original toyota. Not some hacked up cross over.

  • creativename

    Dude, the Nissan is getting a cummins according to the article, not the Tundra.

    Second, making a whole new engine when there are already proven platforms available isn’t always the way to go. It’s not really novel concept either, especially with diesels. Ford did it for a long time with international, GMC still does with Isuzu, dodge with cummins. Some of these have almost legendary reliability.

  • toyotech

    soult3k is saying IF Toyota folds like Nissan and use a non toyota made diesel.

  • Soult3k

    I don’t care what the article says, rumor has it that Toyota has been thinking of doing the same thing. Even if they go with some other out sources engine. It’s retarded for them not to make their own for the tundra.

    Thats the entire thing about brand. You just made it crystal clear on how lazy people are getting and that we should just use other things to fill in the blank. Well fuck we might as well all piggy back off the same company right? Thats more jobs for american’s that need work. Unemployment is bullshit and thats a industry waiting to help people in need of work and can help stabilize our countries work force.

    But hey if Toyota wants to fold and use outsourced stuff they break their name. Reason why i like Toyota because they use good Japanese parts. And thats one of the points i’m trying to get across. I don’t like american manufactures e.g; gmc, ford, chevy or dodge. But if Toyota is going to use someone else’s shit. I rather go with a brand that’s already proven they run good diesels in a full size truck. No one seems to give a shit about quality anymore or the reason why they buy a certain product.

  • ThomasVanHoesen

    What? Toyota is built solely in the USof A. Ford not so much , GM not so much, Dodge not so much….try Mexico and Canada. Sure they have a plant of two stateside but majority of them are not built by American. Tundra is……Hino diesel is Toyota’s baby they make outstanding diesel engines why put an inferior engine in the Tundra that won’t pass cafe standards was their point. Nissan did……

  • Soult3k

    I’m aware of how the Tundra is an American contract and is built here in the states and not out sourced in mexico or canada as you mentioned the other manufactures do. And thats the thing I was trying to point out. Toyota will lose my respect if they use shitty parts that aren’t their own. I’m all about being original and paving my own path. And thats why I like Toyota. Cause they do the same thing. And all this bullshit about using cummins or maybe some other engine that isn’t theirs pisses me off and thats why I wrote what I did.

  • soapstk

    well said

  • Andy Pritchard

    Doesn’t say anywhere in that article that Toyota was going to use Cummins. And they have a diesel platform already in every other country in the world except USA.

  • ThomasVanHoesen

    Toyota owns Hino diesel. I’m quite sure they will build their own engines from scratch. They put more money in research and developement than any car maker. This will be no different. 2017 I might be looking for a new truck and diesel might peak my interest if the mpg’s are there. Also tq……Why use cummins.

  • Chugcatsts01

    I was a CUMMINS dealer for 40 years. V-6’s and V-8’s are never as successful as inline diesels. Two rods on one crankshaft pin leads to less torque and durability. There may be a few exceptions but only a few. The inline Cat’s, GM’s, Navistar and the rest are still out there pounding it out. CUMMINS V’s were no different. The HINO’s I saw were also good engines until you had to repair it, apparently the Japanese think price is no object. Italians make better V’s than most and they put out more horsepower per cubic inch than any manufacture I know of. The word diesel should mean economy and durability.

  • JJJ

    I have driven numerous Toyota diesel platforms in other countries. Having said that Toyota would go with something like Cummins under their hood. Regardless can’t wait for a diesel Tundra to strut. It is long overdue.

  • JJJ

    I meant to say I can’t see Toyota putting a Cummins under their hood.

  • Kacela

    Toyota, just bring the friggin’ Hilux to North America – you’re missing the boat!

  • Bill

    Unless the cost of diesel drops drastically, buying and owning a diesel is going to be far from affordable. Most people don’t haul or tow anything so owning and servicing and cost to fill the fuel tank outweigh the reasons to own a diesel. Since more and more car companies are building diesel vehicles guess what’s going to happen to the cost of diesel….Its going to skyrocket worse than it already is.

  • CAKE

    More demand could actually end up getting the price of diesel down in the long run Bill. Half the gas stations these days don’t have diesel at all anymore…if there was higher demand they might start producing more which could lead to better scales of economy. Or I could be totally wrong. At this point a half ton diesel actually makes a ton of sense as a fleet/work truck with modest towing demands. I see a ton of 3/4 ton fleet trucks not towing a darn thing. If that dodge gets 27mpg then that’s a good 10 better mpg than most v8 half ton trucks get.

  • mega dodge

    It get 27mpg while towing

  • Mike

    I would like to point out that Toyota has a 4.5L V8 diesel in use in their over seas lineup with the D4D fuel injection. With more aggressive tuning it would be a torque monster for a Tundra. That motor in stock form makes 261HP with 479ft lb stock, and 305HP with 576 ft lb with a DP31 tuning module. I feel like that would make an awesome Tundra if only importing the diesel engine didn’t cost so much money. Those numbers were from an Australian Landcruiser 200 Series.

  • Robert Palleja

    I wanted a Tundra… but couldn’t stomach the idea of 15 mpg on the 5.7. Went with the the F-150 Ecoboost and have so far been thrilled. I have got up to 23 mpg with the Ecoboost and only wish I could have had a Toyota that did the same or better. I understand from a Cummins guy that the new engine they are developing for Nissan (a V8) is supposed to get up to 30 mpg…. with milage that high, diesel fuel can cost a little more and there is still a net savings.


    I just bought my first Toyota and it’s a Tundra! By far the best truck I have owned, driven to date. The GM sierra has a close second but I would rather pay a few extra bucks to have the performance and reliability that this truck will give me. As far as the F150 with Eccoboost, too many guys with problems and I had a Dodge before and never again. It was the worst vehicle that I ever had.

  • flasjdflajdslfal22

    The 3.0 liter Ram 1500 can only tow 6950 lbs. not the 9200 this article says. Go to ram’s website and do the ‘price and build’. How disappointing.

  • Russell

    Depending on how you rig it out (rear end, transmission cooler, etc.), the 3.0L EcoDiesel can tow as little as 7950 or as much as 9200 pounds. The 3.6L Pentastar gas-powered V6 can actually tow 7300 lbs if properly equipped.

    For reference, my 1993 Chevy 1500 with the 350 V8 was rated to tow 5000 lbs from the factory. I’ve since added a class V receiver, a transmission cooler, installed a 3.73 locking rear end, and rebuilt the engine. And I can still only tow 7500 pounds.

    I haul loaded cotton trailers and RV’s (albeit, small lightweight RV’s) with that old Chevy. I can vouch that 7000 pounds of tow capacity is nothing to sneeze at.

  • cathlabrn

    I have had F250 diesel, Sierra and a Tundra. The Tundra was by far the best truck I have owned. It felt like I had to be ginger w the other 2 trucks in fear of something breaking. The tundra pulled like a one ton on steroids. I drove the crap out of that thing and it wouldnt break. Lovd it. That will be my only choice for a truck. GMC’s are good but that F250 was the biggest pile of dung ever. It was always in the shop. Never again!

  • Hkihbubcckjntjcx


  • 9MPG

    I can’t brlieve how everyone is going A-wall over MPG

    Trucks are meant for work and towing! What good is 26MPG if you are spending twice as much on maintenance than a 23MPG vehicle

    I’m saying there are lots of considerations to be made, and people are going crazy over MPG

  • Russell

    All depends on what you need it for. If you’re doing a lot of towing it makes sense, but not just to run around town.

    Maintenance costs (most oil pans in diesels are 50% larger than gas engines–oil changes will cost much more than a gas engine)
    Resale value (Diesels will hold their value much better than gas-powered rigs)

    The gas V6 engines they’re putting in these trucks are quick, can tow a large amount, and are incredibly fuel efficient. I don’t tow nearly as much as I used to, but still haul quite a few loads around town and am looking at a Ram with the 3.6L Pentastar gas V6. It’s everything that I need.

    That said, if I still towed cotton trailers on a regular basis, I’d be all over that EcoDiesel. Even if the Hemi is rated to tow more.

    And lets be honest: have you ever seen a half ton that can effectively tow 9000 lbs? Because there’s not one on the market right now, no matter if they’re rated for 10,500 lbs or 11,700 lbs.

  • Candianmatt

    In the early 90’s I owned a Dodge D-50 that came with a Mitsubishi 4cyl diesel engine. It was one of the toughest little trucks I have ever owned and I was getting almost 900km to a tank of fuel. Why they stopped making these trucks I will never know, but it is very exciting times to see all the big companies gunning for small diesels once again. Dodge, GM, Nissan, and Toyota all looking at small Diesels in their trucks, I can’t wait! It is about damn time! Trust me, you will learn to love it!
    Yes Diesel is expensive now… But let’s not forget it is one of the least refined fuels. With a large demand for it, I believe the price will reflect the cost of gasoline.
    Go Diesel!!

  • Hayman

    Toyota was offered the Cummins engine first and Toyota accepted the offer and was going to put it in the Tundra. Cummins then went to Nissan and offered the same engine to them and they also accepted it to go into the Titan. Toyota then decided to drop the Cummins because they didn’t want the same engine as Nissan, “same engine-different wrapper”. Toyota may come with a diesel in 2017 but it wont be a Cummins.

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