2010-2013 Toyota Tundra CrewMax limited Platinum

Toyota’s contender in the hotly contested US pickup truck market – Tundra – will soon be available in ADR-certified right hand drive through Australian importer/conversion specialist Performax International.

Toyota’s ‘Hilux on steroids’ has recently completed a lengthy re-engineering program by the Queensland-based firm, to ensure that its RHD conversion meets all Australian Design Rules (ADR) requirements and Original Equipment Manufacturer (OEM) benchmarks for design, engineering and finish.

Four prototypes of the RHD ‘Aussie’ Tundra were built during this certification procedure, as the Gympie-based company has a production-line manufacturing process using standardised RHD components designed, developed and manufactured by Performax.

This includes the complex electronic systems in these trucks, which control a myriad of engine, transmission, safety and interior functions.

MY2010-2103 Toyota Tundra CrewMax Limited Platinum

Performax is going where Toyota Australia cannot go with this big US import, even though Australia’s No.1 car brand would like to given this truck’s obvious appeal to a niche market.

Toyota advised Truck Jungle that given the relatively small volume sales this vehicle would attract, the costs associated with local R&D to re-engineer the Tundra for RHD, plus national training of its service personnel, national parts inventory, special workshop tooling, warranty provisions etc, does not present a viable business case.

Toyota’s pragmatic assessment gives you some idea of the huge task Performax has taken on in Toyota’s absence and why these vehicles take a lot of time and money to re-engineer to a high standard. And why those substantial development costs need to be recouped in the hefty six-figure sale prices.

MY2010-2103 Toyota Tundra CrewMax Limited Platinum

Performax backs its RHD vehicles with its own four- year/120,000 km warranty plus a 24/7 Roadside Assistance Package provided by Alliance (formerly Mondial/WorldCare).

The top shelf RHD Tundra which most customers are interested in is the CrewMax Limited Platinum model, with a luxury specification comparable to the Lexus LX570. Depending on exchange rates, it is expected to be around $116,000 plus on-road costs.

Alternative models available will be the Double Cab Limited (similar to VX Land Cruiser specs) for approx. $112,000 plus on-roads and the SR-5 (similar to Hilux SR-5 specs) for around $105-110,000 plus on-roads, available as either CrewMax or Double Cab.

Performax can supply these models ex-stock or provide the same quality conversions for customer-imported vehicles.

Tundra’s high-tech all-aluminium 5.7 litre i-FORCE petrol V8

Crew Cab to the Max

The premium level CrewMax Limited Platinum sets the bar pretty high when it comes to performance, quality and features.

It’s powered by Toyota’s all-aluminium, 5.7 litre i-FORCE V8, with dual overhead cams, 32 valves and (in Toyota speak) “Dual Independent Variable Valve Timing with intelligence” or VVTi.

This simply means that the overlap between the opening and closing of inlet and exhaust valves automatically varies according to driving conditions, for optimum power and fuel economy.

This high-tech petrol V8 produces 284kW @ 5600 rpm with a 543Nm truck-load of torque at 3600rpm, coupled to an electronically controlled six-speed automatic transmission (ECTi) which also doesn’t lack for intelligence with sequential shift mode and uphill/downhill shift logic.

A dedicated TOW/HAUL mode is also available for those vehicles equipped with the factory-option Tow Package (see The Big Tow).

Tundra’s 4WDEMAND part-time 4×4 system features an electronically controlled two-speed transfer case, Active Traction Control (A-TRAC) and an Automatic Limited Slip Differential (Auto LSD).

The Limited Platinum’s 20-inch alloy wheels are steered through a hydraulic rack and pinion. Front suspension uses coil-sprung upper and lower wishbones, with the usual multi-leaf springs and live rear axle with staggered shocks at the rear. Brakes are big, ventilated four wheel discs.

Dynamic safety features including tyre pressure monitors and what Toyota calls its ‘Star Safety System’. This includes Vehicle Stability Control (VSC), Traction Control (TRAC), Anti-Lock Braking System (ABS), Electronic Brake-force Distribution (EBD), Brake Assist (BA), Smart Stop Technology (SST) and Trailer Sway Control, plus front and rear park assist sensors.

Performax RHD prototype aims to meet OEM standards of engineering quality and finish.

The sumptuous luxury of the CrewMax Limited Platinum interior is what the Americans do so well and where Tundra owners feels like they’re flying at the front end of the plane. The Crew Cab is huge in every dimension, with enough head, hip, leg and shoulder room to resemble a flight lounge on wheels.

Big front seats are leather trimmed and power adjustable with memory function, lumbar support and internal heating and cooling. The rear seat is also covered in cowhide and adjustable in recline and fore/aft, plus it can fold down into a large flat floor to provide extra carry space when no rear seating is required.

CrewMax Limited Platinum rear seat can be folded flat to create a large additional floor area. Check out the huge amount of leg room, even with those big headrests blocking part of it.

There’s also a SAT NAV computer, Bluetooth compatibility and JBL 12-speaker sound system with multi-stack CD player, MP3/WMA and USB with iPod connectivity.

Plus there’s dual zone climate control, cruise control, power windows, remote keyless entry, auto-dimming rear view mirror with reversing camera display, plus powered door mirrors with power fold function, slide and tilt moon roof and a power rear window that slides down vertically for full open air access to the load area.

Passive safety features include driver and front passenger airbags, seat-mounted side airbags and knee airbags, plus front and rear roll-sensing side curtain airbags.

The Big Tow: An American tradition

This is one big mother of a 4×4 pickup truck with a kerb weight of 2.55 tonnes, generous 3700mm wheelbase and the ability to tow more than 4.0 tonnes.

By comparison, typical one-tonne pickups sold in Australia these days weigh about 2.0 tonnes, with wheelbase lengths around 3000mm and 3.0-3.5 tonne braked towing capacity.

With an overall height of 1930mm, width of 2029mm and length of 5808mm, the CrewMax’s physical dimensions dwarf its non-USA rivals.

However, for all that physical bulk the CrewMax’s load floor dimensions are comparatively modest at 1694mm long and 1686mm wide, with 1270mm between the wheel housings.

Payload is 623 kgs with the Tow Package installed and 714 kgs without it, which is obviously about 400 kgs less than the 1100 kgs+ payload rating of those same Asian and European pickups compared earlier.

But that is due primarily to the extra 500 kgs found in the massive 2.5 tonne architecture and drivetrain of this 4×4 truck, which is designed to provide a rock solid road anchor when towing really heavy things over long distances like caravans, fifth-wheel trailers, horse floats and power boats.

This is where these big US pickups are really in their element, as their combination of high kerb weights, long wheelbases, huge cabins and big tow hitches – tucked in nice and close to the rear wheels – provide unmatched stability, safety and comfort.

We mentioned the Tow Package earlier. This factory-installed option is a comprehensive bit of kit and popular in the US, comprising tow hitch, pre-wiring for a trailer brake controller, lower 4.3:1 rear axle ratio, TOW/HAUL  mode interior switch, transmission fluid temperature gauge, supplementary engine and transmission coolers, heavy duty battery, 170-amp alternator and 7-pin connector.

In any case, even without the Tow Package, the Tundra CrewMax can comfortably pull 3492 kgs or just under 3.5 tonnes (braked). With the Tow Package installed, that increases to more than 4.0 tonnes (4082 kgs).

No details yet if this factory option will be available on the RHD Powermax versions, but if people are buying these things specifically for long haul towing jobs, it would probably make sense.

In any case, we look forward to seeing these Performax Tundras hitting Australian roads soon and hearing some feedback from owners about their performance. TJ

15 Responses to RHD ‘Aussie’ Toyota Tundra Ute set for local production

  • malcolm kelly says:

    Hi, I like the Tundra. I would like a price for a 2011 model please. Thank you.

    • Mark Oastler says:

      There are many price variations for these vehicles depending on what you want. Best you contact Performax International direct on 07 5482-7833 – and tell them Truck Jungle sent you!

  • george lim says:

    Hi, I am a used car dealer in Brunei. I am thinking of importing right hand drive Toyota Tundras into Brunei. I would like to know if there’s already production for right hand drive 2013 Toyota Tundra and would like to know the price if available. Please advise.
    George Lim

    • Mark Oastler says:

      Hi George. Great to see Truck Jungle is read by truck enthusiasts around the world. Our latest information is that the RHD 2013 Tundras are ready to roll but it would be best to contact Performax International direct with your enquiry at: [email protected]

  • Bill James says:

    I can’t understand why Toyota is not building a true rival to the big 3 in the US. I mean one with a diesel and engineered to tow and work hard. Toyota have a good name in Australia and there are plenty of people who would buy one for towing in lieu of the 200 Series (Land Cruiser) due to the versatility of a twin cab ute over a wagon but they will not bother without a diesel on offer. Shame really.

    • Mark Oastler says:

      That’s a really good question Bill. Like you, we’ve often wondered why Toyota does not offer a big diesel engine option in the Tundra, which is only available with a choice of three petrol engines. We have requested a formal reply from Toyota Australia through its US division and will publish it here as soon as we receive it.

      • Mark Oastler says:

        Hi Bill. Just received this very thorough explanation as to why the Tundra is not available with a diesel engine option. Our thanks to Toyota Australia’s Product Public Relations Manager, Stephen Coughlan, for putting together this response for Bill and all Truck Jungle readers:

        “Thanks for your patience whilst we received clarification from our counterparts in the US. Let me firstly provide a little background regarding the pickup truck market in North America.

        “The market is split into two segments; the “Light Duty” segment which accounts for approximately 1.5 million sales per year and is characterised by vehicles with a payload of about 500 kgs or more and the “Heavy Duty” segment, which accounts for approximately 600,000 sales per year and includes only vehicles with a payload of 750 kgs or more.

        “In the US, the Tundra competes in the large volume “Light Duty” segment. This may sound surprising to Aussie readers based on the overall size of the vehicle. However, most 4×4 Double Cab Tundra variants offer a payload of 640 kgs or less and compete against petrol-only offerings from Ford, GM and Dodge (there is currently no direct competitor in this segment offering a diesel drive-train).

        “Under the current American tax structure, there is little benefit for consumers in this segment switching to diesel. The diesel fuel cost is higher than that of petrol, as is the initial (vehicle) purchase cost. The benefit of the diesel fuel economy therefore doesn’t outweigh the acquisition cost for light duty trucks.

        “For these reasons, there is little demand for a Tundra diesel in the USA. In a country where petrol prices are still considerably lower than Australia, many Americans are happy with the fuel consumption of the petrol-only range. And Consumer Reports magazine in the USA wrote that the Tundra 5.7-litre petrol V8 achieves real world fuel economy that is about as good as some competitor V6 trucks in the same segment.

        “In the larger “Heavy Duty” pickup segment in which the Tundra does not compete, diesel options from competitors are plentiful. However, large capacity petrol engines (5.7L-6.2L) still account for approximately 40 per cent of the Heavy Duty segment’s sales.

        “In regards to why the vehicle isn’t available for Australia, the Tundra has never been developed in either right hand drive form or diesel, both of which are key parameters to satisfy our market. In summary, Toyota Australia has no plan to add this model to our line-up at any time in the foreseeable future.” TJ

    • Legendts says:

      It would really hurt their 200 Series sales figures and just maybe their Hilux to some extent. But would love to see a Tundra diesel happen.

  • andrew says:

    Sadly this is typical of Toyota. They only just managed to release a twin cab 79 Series, a vehicle the market has wanted for about 20 years. And even though it has Toyota’s great 4.5L V8 diesel as standard, you cannot get an auto option. Auto being a feature that at least 50% of all the owners I speak to tell me is the number one option they wish for. I worked for Toyota for several years and there is some very backwards thinking in regards to the Australian market. IMO a real like it or lump it attitude.

  • michael says:

    Hi Truck Jungle. The attitude of Toyota Australia is similar to Toyota here in Zambia (Africa). I cannot get a Hilux in auto transmission because they only supply it in a V6 petrol. Also just Googled your site because the Tundra has been on my mind. I was hoping to get a Diesel RHD but unfortunately if they only make them in petrol then that is not going to work for me. Your site made my search easier and has answered a question on my mind for almost 6 months, thanks.

    • Mark Oastler says:

      Hi Michael. Like you and many others, we’re hoping that some day Toyota will build a heavy duty Tundra with a large capacity diesel to take on the big boys (Ford/Chev/Dodge) in the full-size pickup market. Can you imagine a Tundra dual-cab with dual rear wheels and a monster diesel under the bonnet? Are you listening Toyota?

  • James Paine says:

    I live in Maine (USA) and would like to purchase a right hand drive Toyota Tundra 4×4. where would I buy one?

    • Mark Oastler says:

      Hi James. Wow, a pickup truck that leaves the US as LHD and returns as RHD. That’s an unusual request! Best you contact Performax International which is located in the sunny state of Queensland, Australia. Performax is the company featured in this article, which converts and sells these vehicles in RHD. Check out their website, or their local number is 07 5482-7833.

  • Ambrose says:

    Hi, I am interested in buying a RHD Toyota Tundra but don’t know where to buy it. Can you please advise me where I can buy that? Thanks.

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