Toyota continued its excruciatingly slow-drip tease of the 2022 Tundra Tuesday by releasing an image of the new half-ton's engine cover, confirming rumors of the new "iForce MAX" engine designation that were prompted by a trademark filing discovered in 2020. To call Toyota's accompanying information "sparse" would be drastically overselling it, but it adds yet another brick to our meager foundation of Tundra news.
We know next to nothing about the new engine apart from what Toyota has told us, but rumors have suggested for a while that Toyota is working on a new turbocharged and electrified six-cylinder to replace the range-topping 5.7L V8. We now know that a 3.5-liter gasoline V6 with 415 horsepower and 480 pound-feet of torque will power the new Toyota Land Cruiser, with which the Tundra should share at least some of its underlying architecture. While we can't say for certain, it seems unlikely they they'd develop two six-cylinder engines simultaneously for what are ultimately similar packages and applications. The smart money would be on the Land Cruiser's V6, but we won't know for certain until Toyota sees fit to give us a proper briefing on the new Tundra.
Toyota has used some version of the "iForce" moniker for as long as it has sold the Tundra. It first showed up in in 2000 with the 4.7-liter V8 that powered the first-generation pickup. When Toyota overhauled the truck in 2007, the name migrated to the new 5.7-liter DOHC V8. The Tundra hasn't moved on since then, its i-Force V8 making the same 381 hp and 401 lb-ft. it launched with more than a decade ago.
We did get one last hint: Toyota's press release headline says the iForce MAX will "lead" the new Tundra, which may be a subtle indication that there will be yet another engine slotted beneath it. With the 5.7L V8 likely departing, we suspect the Tundra's smaller V8 is on the chopping block as well; what will ultimately take its place is anybody's guess.