For years, the Ford F-150 Raptor roamed supreme as the apex predator of the full-size off-road pickup truck market. Of course, as in nature, no niche goes unchallenged forever; FCA eventually came calling with the Ram 1500 TRX, and rumors have long swirled that Chevrolet will mount its own attack on the Raptor with a supercharged Silverado ZRX. (Not one to be caught lying down, of course, Ford is now planning a V8-powered Raptor R of its own for 2022.)
So far, however, the Japanese automakers who also compete in America's full-size truck market haven't yet manifested a true contender for that fast-moving, desert-blasting pickup crown. Emphasis on so far, however — as a new report claims that Toyota is planning to come for the king with a badass high-speed off-road version of the all-new 2022 Tundra.
The report from The Drive, citing what they describe as "a tipster with inside knowledge," claims Toyota is developing a new off-road focused version of the 2022 Tundra to sit above the TRD Pro variant in the lineup. The new Raptor-fighter will reportedly draw inspiration from the Desert Chase show truck Toyota brought to SEMA last year.
That truck features 37-inch all-terrain tires for maximum grip, a long-travel suspension and burly rock-busting bumpers, as well as enough off-road lights to illuminate Wrigley Field. The production version, presumably, won't be quite as extreme, but if slaying the Raptor is the goal, the giant tires and trick suspension at the very least seem like requisites. As for power, the TRD Pro's standard twin-turbo hybrid 3.5 liter V6 with its 437 horsepower and 583 lb-ft seems like a solid assumption...although we wouldn't mind one packing Lexus's rumored upcoming twin-turbo V8, either.
The Drive's source also claims that, in order to prove the new truck's bona fides, Toyota intends to debut it at a desert race, entering it into a stock class in hopes of glory — or at least proof that "win on Sunday, sell on Monday" remains a truism for trucks even if it isn't for stock cars. No word on when we'll see such a truck — if it even exists; Toyota PR gave The Drive the standard company line of "[we] cannot comment or speculate on new product" — but seeing as how the new truck just arrived, we'd bet it'll be at least a year.
But hey, Toyota: if you do go through with this, why not go all-in and do a Raptor version of the 2023 Sequoia, too?