The Sound, if Not the Cylinders

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Here’s a look – a listen – at the new Toyota Tundra’s replacement for displacement.

As you probably already know, the just-redesigned 2022 Tundra – which used to come standard with a big (5.7 liter) V8 – no longer offers one. Instead, a small (3.5 liter) V6 is now the only available engine. Twin turbos provide the boost needed to make this engine produce the output of a V8 that would otherwise be lost, along with the cylinders and size.

Why not just keep the V8?

That would make sense, but government regulations make non-sense of that. By reducing the physical size of the engine, you can potentially reduce the amount of gas it burns – as well as “emits” (in the form of carbon dioxide). In air-fingers-quotes to convey the actuality – that if the engine is boosted to produce V8 power, it will use about as much gas and emit about as much, too.

But on the tests that define regulatory compliance, the twice-turbo’d V6 is credited with 18 city, 24 highway vs. the V8’s 13 city, 17 highway.  It’s about a 4-5 MPG uptick, potentially. If you don’t actually push down too hard on the gas pedal. If you do – in order to get the V6 boosted such that it makes V8 power – the actual mileage difference is negligible. And because it is burning about the same amount of gas when boosted, it “emits” about the same amount of C02, too.

But, it is “compliant” – and that means Toyota can still offer the Tundra (sans the V8) for sale.

What does it mean, for you?

Well, for one, instead of paying about the same for gas, you pay more for the vehicle. The ’22 Tundra’s base price – with the new V6 in lieu of the old V8 – is $35,950 vs. $34,125 for the ’21 (with the V8), a difference of $1,825. At Let’s Go Brandon prices – currently about $4 nationally – that’s equivalent to about 456 gallons or enough to fill up the Tundra’s 22 gallon tank about 20 times.

Potentially, this cost could be offset by the 4-5 MPG farther the new Tundra can travel on a gallon.

But keep in mind the actuality.

And – to be fair – it’s not just the engine that’s new. The Tundra, itself, has been changed up and that encompasses some of the cost described above.

Even so, there is still cost. Potential – and actual. Including the potential cost of a not-as-long service life out of the boosted V6 vs. the under-stressed V8.

There is a a reason – a good reason – why trucks have, up to now, generally been powered by V8s, especially if intended to work. The trade-off has always been power – and durability – at the cost of gas mileage. Which truck buyers have been happy to pay, especially given the pay-off. That being a truck engine that could be counted on to outlast the truck, which would usually fall victim to rust before the V8 fell victim to wear-and-tear.

That is also why – until recently – turbos were bolted to already powerful engines, as in high-performance cars, as power adders. Not displacement replacers. Turbos made sense in high-performance cars, where the trade-off has always been more power and higher performance at the cost of durability. High-performance car buyers do not expect their high-performance cars to work for 15-20 years or more.

They expect them to perform.

But trucks are supposed to last.

Whether they will – or rather, whether these much smaller, heavily boosted (20 psi in the case of the Tundra’s V6) engines will is one of those we’ll-have-to-wait-and see deals. It is possible they’ll prove to be as durable as the V8s they’re replacing. But if not, then we’ll all know how much this business cost.

One thing it hasn’t cost – in the case of the new Tundra – is the sound. The 3.5 V6 sounds convincingly like a V8 when you give it gas.

And that is very good, indeed.

But – as it turns out – it’s not really the sound. Well, it is – and it isn’t. The sound is real – because you can hear it when you floor it. But it’s not the sound of the 3.5 V6 that replaced the 5.7 V8. It is a recording of the sound of the previous 5.7 V8, pumped through the sound system, when you floor it – to remind you of how V8s used to sound when you floored it – before the government forced Toyota (and the rest) to replace them with engines that don’t make that sound.

Girl you know it’s true . . . 

Except, of course, it isn’t.

Toyota isn’t the only company doing this, either. BMW is another – because a four cylinder engine does’t sound like the inline sixes that used to come standard in most BMWs, which have been replaced by turbocharged fours for the same reason that a turbocharged V6 has replaced the V8 in the Tundra. But people who spend $50k-plus on a BMW were unenthused about the sound of a four cylinder engine when they floored their $50k-plus Beemers, so BMW gave them they sound of what they used to get for their $50k, pumped through the speakers.

It is called sound augmentation technology. A way for us to remember how things used to sound when things were real – and better. But at least we can pretend there’s something more than a four – or a six – under the hood.

Milli Vanilli style.

. . .

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22 COMMENTS

  1. Guessing this will be the last Tundra. It wasn’t taken very seriously (same with the Nissan Titan) when it had a standard V8 and was more competitive with the big three. It’s too bad, it actually was a pretty good truck. I think it suffered from not having the million options that the big three offered, so it never had a chance to carve out a space with buyers.

    Not even offering a optional V8 will take it off the list of many buyers (well until none of them offer V8’s, which is closer then we would like).

    Sounds like the current Nissan Titan is outright being cancelled. Not even a next generation V6 model at all. Plug pulled.

    I have too noticed that most “working” pickups are now 2500-3500 series. Something that Toyota has never offered and likely never will now. In the case of RAM, you have to go to 2500 to get a eight foot bed or single cab as its not even offered in 1500 anymore. The irony is that the government once again has pushed people towards even bigger vehicles yet again…..

    Maybe the Tundra will carve out a spot as a family vehicle. 1500’s seem to be mostly grocery getters now.

  2. The real reason they are banning all ice vehicles….

    Your government is pushing EV’s and banning all ice vehicles?
    Why? So all the ice vehicles are banned helping the chinese ccp launch/sell millions of their lithium fire bomb EV’s here, putting ice vehicle manufacturing workers out of a job….

    China has infiltrated all levels of governments, taken control, (check out the leftist/communist takeover), your politicians bought off, paid to push the EV agenda.

    ATTENTION: Anybody pushing EV’s is a paid ccp shill.

    Who benefits the most from the EV vehicle conversion? china does.

    All the most important components in the new EV’s are all made in china. Then you are dependent on china for replacement parts, etc., in effect they take over the whole vehicle supply chain. Vehicle production then centralized in China.

    ATTENTION: the chinese are taking over the electric car market, they are starting to export their EV’s worldwide, their EV’s are supposed to be advanced and cheap, they will kill off the other manufacturers……

    the chinese make most of the chips, maybe the shortage was to help their EV launch….lots of their cars coming here soon, soon there will be millions of chinese lithium fire bomb EV’s on your street.

    at this rate everyone will be driving a chinese car soon, a lot of electronics in your car made there already…….

    no wonder tesla moved a lot of production to china…

    china…..it is where most rare earths are processed; and most of the mineral supply-chains for electric vehicles lead there, with existing supply sewn up.

    https://carnewschina.com/2022/04/18/chinese-electric-vehicles-are-on-fire/?fbclid=IwAR0qjRYwe7u0vfefTsZ9MOEDRE3imKU9cXN2qbZwQr-XdU3D04FgvorMWIM

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jclSYJb8oa0

  3. Haha! I love the Rumble video! The slowpoke Corona Clover was wearing a face diaper! And all alone in the vehicle! He/she/it should have been driving an EV with a proudly displayed rainbow flag and Ukraine flag. Too funny!

    At least the new Tundra’s 3.5 twin-turbo had the grunt to get around that moron. One has to wonder in a couple hundred thousand miles if it still will have the passing acceleration.

    • Thanks, Plymouth!

      I wish I had known it was a Diaperer before I began my pass; I would have slowed down to capture the creature’s effaced face… I’m sure t “stands” with Keeeeev! also…

  4. I’m theorizing my mpg will go down if/when my next truck has a turbo vs my current v8.
    If I remember correctly, when Ford went V6 turbo a long time ago, the guys working them said ‘what the hell, my mpg went way down’.
    I think most ‘working’ truck owners are now abandoning the 1500 and going 2500 since recently all the big 3 2500 manuf. have newer larger (non-turbo) V8’s that so far are proving to be pretty good (Ford 6.2, GM 6.6 and Ram 6.4). And while these buyers usually went diesel, they aren’t anymore as the Tier4 diesel regs have basically ruined that market.
    Again, and again these new draconian regs are just re-arranging the deck chairs on the titanic.
    And again, in my rural red state, there are very very few who can afford a new truck, and buying used trucks with 200K on them is normal. Except fairly soon, there will no longer be any trucks with 200K on them. All of this nonsense hurts middle class and below and our youth starting out.

  5. Why can’t they give their customers a few more soundtrack options?

    If I buy a Tundra, I want it to sound like a V-12 Ferrari when I floor it!

  6. BMW has been doing this for at least 16 years. I test drove a used ’06 Z4 several years ago that had this capability. Just in case the BMW was too quiet for you to hear the engine. Which it nearly was. It was the excessive weight of the thing that turned me away.
    So much of the nation’s culture is devolved to the fake. From breast implants to “though I have a penis, I am really a woman”.

  7. I guess the infantilzation of our society is nearing its peak. We live in an open air playpen and get to pretend all day. We pretend:

    1) we are asymptomatically sick and should wear a mask to keep others safe from us.
    2) Ukraine is kicking Russia’s ass and Putin will surrender any day now.
    3) Chopping off your dick makes you a woman or chopping off your tits makes you a man.
    4) Men can get pregnant and breast feed.
    5) Spending trillions of printed money reduces inflation.
    6) Two consecutive quarters of economic contraction is not a recession.
    7) Spending $70,000 on an electric car saves you money
    8) The “vaccines” are safe and effective and it would have been worse if you weren’t jabbed
    9) Republicans/MAGA/Orange Ass will make it stop
    10) Your underpowered 4 cyl douche canoe goes Vroom! Vroom! like a muscle car.

    God help us.

  8. Turbochargers (and superchargers) really got their start in aviation engines. They made more power with less weight, and increased cruising altitude by increasing the available oxygen into the engine. This came in handy during WW2 and made civilian air travel a viable business after the war. There was no speed limit in the sky, so engineers were free to optimize engines and pass the gains on to the aircraft owners. Most truck buyers aren’t towing gooseneck trailers or fifth wheel campers, although some do. Very few need a Cummins turbodiesel, but some do, and they are willing to pay up for the gains (which they can enjoy). In a speed-limited (and enforced) world there’s no reason for average vehicles to need a turbocharger unless the engines are intentionally underpowered.

    Foisting technology on everyone for doubious reasons smacks of Soviet thinking.

  9. We have a antipope and an antipresident. Our ruling class lies all of the time. Notice how the official story “changes” numerous times? These fake engine noises track with that pattern of deception. I’d never own a vehicle with fake engine noises. Guess they’re getting this ready to put in EVs?

    • Hi dr. –

      Indeed, they are. One of the “sells” EVs tout is they can be made to sound like whatever you want. Just select your sound. Like a videp game. Ersatz reality.

      I’ll stick with the reality of the sound my Trans-Am makes…

  10. I see on the horizon that all light duty trucks will end up [attempted] to be electrified.
    Bye bye engines

    I don’t think this will hit HD trucks by the time they figure out that EV can’t be supported through cost, raw materials, and lack of power generation.

    How long until this realization hits though before they have forced the ruination of entire classes of vehicles?

  11. It seems every product made today is pre-assembled ikea furniture: substandard rubbish fiberboard with a nice looking but ever thinning veneer. These ding dongs add weight and cost with sound deadening and carpet just so their overpriced and integrated sound system can cover the real thing with vroom vroom noises. For what? To kick some dirt over their shitty decisions. If they wanted a good sound out of that six they would have tuned the intake and exhaust rather than basically giving the consumer more chrome colored plastic. This also misses the opportunity to integrate active noise cancelling through the infotainment system, a true benefit on long drives. Engineers, MBA’s… Go back to school and stay there!

    Thanks for the laughs when you passed the kotex face. I really get a kick out of your mock and ridicule persona.

  12. Yes, I remember when Milli Vanilli was exposed as a fraud. They were probably more famous for that than their music.

    As for the wheezy Tundra V6…well, it’s engineering, as so many rides and trucks are these days, to minimize fuel consumption and emissions on that EPA cycle, NOT necessarily for the performance and “feel” the BUYER wants. All this will do is to increase the demand for an “old school” truck, with even a demand for shop rebuilds or “crate engines” for old pickups that came with V8s, as “Gawd” intended they should!

    Well, I say, if you want a basic truck and want a fair amount of economy, the “solution” was there DECADES ago. For example, Ford F-150s had the 300 cube Six as their base engine…and once it hit that sweet zone of fuel injection, and they could bump the compression back up a tad so it’d still run on regular gas, it could put out some ponies! For those of a more conventional era, you could get an Offenhauser 4 barrel manifold, 3/4 cam, and dual exhausts, and get the ‘300″ to put out 200 horsepower on regular, no problem! What it ALSO offered was TORQUE, due to its undersquare dimensions. Ford called this engine the “truck” six and never offered it on their passenger cars, though it’d have easily fit, as they didn’t want it to compete with the 302 V8. Well, if you’re content with that size of engine running regular fuel, you WANT the Six, it’s, to use a non-technical term, BRAWNIER.

    All these “Gubmint” regulations accomplish is to force on the auto makers, and therefore the public, technical “solutions” that aren’t needed, wanted, or even all that USEFUL.

    • My dad’s F150s had the 300 (4.9) truck six. Coupled to a 4 speed, it not only got good mileage, but hauled real loads with aplomb. Sure, it didn’t have the acceleration of the 302 (5.0) or 351 (5.8), but how fast could you really go?

      An I-6 or V-6 in a full size truck can work splendidly if it’s got displacement of at least 4 liters, is undersquare for torque, and has the right gearing in the transmission and differential(s) and, if 4WD, transfer case.

      But will we see the return of the truck six? Not by a long shot.

  13. As you accelerate, you can repeat the onomatopoeia ‘vroom’ a few times and be satisfied.

    Laughter is the best medicine. lol

  14. ‘But at least we can pretend there’s something more than a four – or a six – under the hood.’ — eric

    Intrepid DIYers can clip playing cards to the brake calipers to flap against the wheels, to simulate “no muffler, no cat.” (Is that even LEGAL? Consult an attorney in your state to be sure!)

    New aftermarket accessories include a Tundra-branded codpiece, for owners wanting to personally pack a little more under the hood, so to speak. Good times!

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