2022 Toyota Tundra Hybrid Is Going after the F-150 PowerBoost

·3 min read
Photo credit: Ford, Toyota
Photo credit: Ford, Toyota
  • Toyota's new 2022 Tundra full-size pickup offers a twin-turbocharged 3.4-liter V-6 hybrid called iForce Max to compete with Ford's new F-150 PowerBoost hybrid.

  • The Tundra's hybrid powertrain produces 437 horsepower and 583 pound-feet of torque, while the F-150 PowerBoost has 430 horsepower and 570 pound-feet from its twin-turbo 3.5-liter V-6 hybrid.

  • Toyota hasn't announced fuel economy estimates, but the F-150 PowerBoost is EPA-rated at 25 mpg combined.

Hybridized full-size pickups seem like a no-brainer, given that hybrids tend to improve both torque and fuel economy, two areas in which manufacturers are always striving for better numbers. But Ram's hybrid system is a weak-sauce 48-volt motor-generator that can't propel the truck, and Chevy gave up on the Silverado hybrid long ago, concentrating its resources on the upcoming Silverado electric. Thus, the 2022 Toyota Tundra hybrid only has one real competitor: the Ford F-150 PowerBoost. Let's see how they compare.

Photo credit: Toyota
Photo credit: Toyota

Both the Tundra and the F-150 use a very similar architecture—a twin-turbo V-6 with an electric motor sandwiched between the engine and a 10-speed automatic transmission. The nonhybrid Tundra's 3.4-liter V-6 makes 389 horsepower and 479 pound-feet of torque. Adding the electric motor brings total output to 437 horsepower and 583 pound-feet, numbers that were clearly benchmarked to be a little bit better than the PowerBoost's 430 horsepower and 570 pound-feet of torque. Above 18 mph, the Tundra's gas engine is always running, which is also the case at all speeds in Tow/Haul mode. The F-150 can go into EV mode at speeds as high as 50 mph.

While Ford stashes a 1.5-kWh lithium-ion battery under the bed, Toyota uses an approximately 1.5-kWh nickel-metal hydride battery mounted under the rear seat, presumably impacting interior storage space to some degree. The PowerBoost can also spin its engine to spin the electric motor as a generator, allowing owners to, say, run their houses during a blackout. The Tundra hybrid doesn't have a generator function.

Photo credit: Andi Hedrick - Car and Driver
Photo credit: Andi Hedrick - Car and Driver

Toyota has yet to release price or fuel-economy numbers for the hybrid powertrain, which is dubbed iForce Max. But Toyota sees the hybrid as its flagship, as indicated by the fact that it's the only powertrain offered on the TRD Pro. The iForce Max is an option on Limited, Platinum, and 1794 trims, meaning it'll go with the pricey trucks. Ford, on the other hand, will let you order the hybrid powertrain on even a base XL work truck (about $44,000).

We'll have to get these two together for a real-world test once the 2022 Tundra hits the street. But on paper it looks like the F-150—with its generator, underbed lithium battery, and high-speed EV-mode capability—holds the advantage.

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