Toyota's Tundra Redesign Started at the Top to Make Every Model Premium

Calty Design Study 2022 Toyota Tundra
A half-clay, half-molded body version of the 2022 Toyota Tundra on display for study at Calty Design Research. Toyota Motor Sales U.S.A. Inc.

After months of speculation and a few leaked photos, the highly anticipated next-generation 2022 Toyota Tundra was revealed during halftime of the Kansas City Chiefs vs. Baltimore Ravens NFL game today.

The 2022 Toyota Tundra underwent a full redesign from the ground up improving performance, capability and infotainment.

"We took a fresh, transformational approach to our truck development and had to rethink many things we'd previously done," said Mike Sweers, senior vice president of product development and F1 Platform chief engineer at Toyota. "Not only did we improve performance and enhance the capability of this Tundra, at the same time, we were certain to retain the strong quality, durability and reliability for which the Toyota trucks are known."

This new, third-generation of Tundra is available in six grades: SR, SR5, Limited, Platinum, TRD Pro and the 1794.

The Toyota team designed their models starting with the top grade first and worked their way backward. This allowed for the base models to maintain a premium feel while also allowing the premium models to truly be premium, according to the automaker.

"The trap we fell into previously, designing for the core models first is they didn't have enough of a premium look or enough of a high quality look," said Kevin Hunter, president of Calty Design Research. "So we got up to the high grade, we were simply wrapping and adding stitching to say an architecture construction that really wasn't suitable for a premium grade truck."

2022 Toyota Tundra clay model
A designer shapes the exterior of a clay model version of the 2022 Tundra. Toyota Motor Sales U.S.A. Inc.

On the exterior, Toyota's signature hex-grill comes with Toyota's logo across its face and "Tundra" on the tailgate. The TRD Pro is unique with "Toyota" across the grill and "TRD Pro" at the rear.

Each model features high taillights, blacked out A-pillars and strong horizontal lines across the body, however the interior design of each grade is quite different.

The Tundra 1794 maintains the most traditional design with wood accents throughout the interior and a right aligned 1794 logo on the passenger side. This model comes with a beige interior option where previous generations only came in black.

The Tundra SR and SR5 maintain the classic black interior and host a right aligned Tundra logo on the passenger side. The Tundra Platinum is home to a more sleek and metallic look, the right aligned passenger logo is a metal name plate that reads "Platinum."

2022 Toyota Tundra TRD Pro
The truck's taillights feature a new design. Toyota Motor Sales U.S.A. Inc.

In its highest grade, the Tundra TRD Pro's distinct cosmetic exterior is paired with a bold Toyota label on the passenger side with the option of bright red upholstery.

The 2022 Toyota Tundra also boasts a new audio multimedia system that includes Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, improved bluetooth connectivity and the integrated Toyota app.

The Tundra is available with a 14-inch infotainment screen. When drivers turn on the truck, and the screen, rather than being greeted with a traditional logo, Calty Design opted to show five different national parks in the U.S. This design was to encourage the already outdoorsy Tundra driver to embrace that nature of the truck and experience these locations.

Pairing the tradition with the technology upgrades was a delicate balance.

2022 Toyota Tundra TRD Pro
Tundra TRD Pro models feature branding throughout the cabin. Toyota Motor Sales U.S.A. Inc.

"It's kind of these two worlds, the digital world and this analog world colliding," Hunter said. "That's part of the premium equation as well, this huge display that was really a centerpiece for the instrument panel is front and center. And it does lend a more advanced or modern look to the interior... The full size truck market is still relatively conservative in that approach but a three dimensional analog world is not a bad thing for that customer."

The 2022 Toyota Tundra will go on sale later this year, pricing will be announced closer to the sale date.