By Amos Kwon
on 2.8.13
Photo by Toyota

The toughest steel-cage death matches in the automotive world are in the family sedan and pick-up truck segments. Okay, so the battles aren’t as sexy as, say, Resident Evil‘s Milla Jovovich vs. Underworld‘s Kate Beckinsale, but bloodthirsty battles they are, nevertheless. In the pick-up wars, a new contender has stepped up. The 2014 Toyota Tundra just showed up at the Chicago Auto Show, and it looks pretty serious about going tire-to-tire with the other big boys from Ram Trucks, GMC and Chevy.

This Tundra looks noticeably beefier. That’s not a new trend, mind you, and here it appears to be done well. Gone is the more subtle Tundra of yore, as Toyota has injected the boxy aggressiveness American truck buyers have always loved. The grille is taller and more prominent; plus the hood, bumper and wheel arches display a more angular look. It’s a much more noticeable style that hopefully will pay off in sales against the big boys.

Sadly, if you’re looking for more power in the Tundra, your quest will end in tears. The same three engines from the previous generation carry over in the form of a 4.0-liter V6 with 270 hp and 278 lb-ft of torque, a 4.6-liter V8 with 310 hp and 327 lb-ft and the top dog 5.7-liter V8 with 381 hp and 401 lb-ft. Luckily, the redesigned interior may distract you from the unchanged motors. It’s far more luxurious and ergonomic inside, following the trend of more upscale digs for trucks. There’s a revised center stack, smaller knobs and cleaner gauges. Finally, two premium trims have been added to the Tundra line, including Platinum and the 1794 Edition, intending to compete with Ford’s King Ranch and Ram’s Longhorn versions of their pickups and bringing an even higher level of urban cowboy oneupsmanship. The new Tundra goes on sale this spring, but there’s no pricing just yet.

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