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Today Toyota unveiled long bed versions of its 2007 Tundra pickup. Think of these as the stripper trucks you see hauling bags of cement on construction sites. They're the backbone of many hard labor industries, and represent a huge piece of the half-ton pickup sales pie in the US. Toyota has scheduled this announcement to coincide with its participation in the National Truck Equipment Association product conference that's going on right now. The NTEA is a trade association made up of the aftermarket companies that develop and manufacture parts for work trucks like lift gates, ladder racks and tool boxes. This week these companies will get their first crack at measuring the Tundra, giving them about five months to develop their products before the truck goes on sale. .

The Tundra Long Bed work truck will be available in both Regular- and Double-Cab versions, the latter sporting a 165-inch wheelbase and what Toyota claims to be class leading interior volume for a crew of six workers. The bed is 97.6 inches long (8' 1"), 66.4 inches wide at the gate (5' 6"), 50 inches wide between the wheel wells (4' 2") and 22.2 inches deep (1' 10").

Designed with the tradesman in mind, Toyota will offer the Tundra Long Bed work truck in basic non-metallic White, Red and Black, in addition to the showroom shiny colors. Standard grade Regular Cab models will also have heavy-duty vinyl flooring.. Toyota is also planning an upgraded SR5 model for the foreman with additional options to pamper the boss and increase his or her productivity.

One could easily argue that the Tundra work truck has the toughest task of competing with Ford, GM and Dodge on the construction sites of America. Whereas the Tundra half-ton we saw debuted at the Chicago show may win over the average Joe shopping for a stylish truck, heavy laborers already know what works well for them and will be hesitant to try out Toyota's new construction tool. Still, it would be a major coup if Toyota succeeds even slightly in this segment.

(Check out more pics and Toyota's full press release after the jump)

[Source: Toyota]




(Check out Winding Road for live shots of the Tundra work truck's unveiling)

PRESS RELEASE:

Toyota Unveils Long Bed Versions Of All-New 2007 Tundra Full-Size Pickup Truck

September 18, 2006 - Ann Arbor, Michigan - Toyota Motor Sales, U.S.A., Inc., today unveiled long bed versions of the all-new 2007 Tundra full-size pickup truck at a press conference here at the Toyota Technical Center-Calty Design Studio. The unveiling took place as part of Toyota's participation in the annual National Truck Equipment Association (NTEA) product conference being held in Dearborn, Michigan. The NTEA is a trade association for companies that develop, manufacture and market parts, accessories and systems dedicated to the work truck market.

"The NTEA Product Conference is an ideal forum to debut the long bed Tundra work truck," said Brian Smith, Toyota corporate manager for truck operations. "Toyota recognizes the importance of commercial business customers to Tundra's long term success. Working with NTEA will allow their members time to develop a wide variety of Tundra compatible work equipment and have those products to market by the time the new Tundra launches in February."

The NTEA supports the manufacturers and installers of equipment like lift gates, ladder racks and tool boxes, all products that bring additional utility to pickups like the new Tundra. A primary function of the NTEA in general and this week's Product Conference in particular is to bring its members together with OEM truck-makers like Toyota.

For the first time ever, aftermarket equipment manufacturers will have the opportunity to obtain technical data and examine the Tundra Long Bed work truck in detail five months prior to the vehicle's launch.

In private sessions closed to the public, and closed to other truck manufacturers, NTEA members will be afforded an early first-look at new, yet-to-be-launched pickup trucks. On Wednesday, September 20, Toyota will participate in an NTEA measuring session, where it will show, for the first time, two truck configurations developed specifically for work truck customers who consider their full-size pickup truck the most important tool in their bag.

The new Tundra long bed will be available in Regular- and Double Cab versions. With a 165-inch wheelbase, the Tundra Double Cab Long Bed will be the longest pickup in the Toyota truck lineup. It will be suitable for carrying a crew of six plus maximum cargo. The Tundra Regular Cab Long Bed will provide extra storage capacity behind the driver's seat and the largest interior volume in its class.

Both long bed configurations will come with a choice of three engines, including a 5.7 liter V8 that offers maximum towing of well over 10,000 pounds, and a payload capacity to compete with the best in the half ton class.

With an eight-foot one-inch bed and a substantial bed depth, the Tundra Long Bed will have the deepest box in its class below the rails. To maximize flexibility, the bed will be equipped with the expected six standard size stake pockets, four corner tie-down hooks, as well as an optional deck rail system.

Even the tailgate has commercial customers in mind, because it's both lockable and easily removable in the event that a utility cap is installed by a tradesperson. Tundra's extensive color palette will include three popular non-metallic work truck colors: White, Red and Black.

All Tundras will be equipped with oversized door handles and controls, designed so that work crews can jump in and out of the truck to move around a job site without taking off their work gloves. The cab is designed to function as a mobile office with a center console capable of holding a laptop or hanging file folders. On bench seat models the center seat section folds down to create a flat surface for use as a mobile desk. The glove box is big enough to hold a standard Thermos, and to aid safe hands-free communication, Bluetooth capability is available.

The SR5 grade Tundra Long Beds will be a popular configuration for foremen, supervisors or owner-operator tradespeople. The SR5 will offer a wide variety of functional options, appearance accessories, and upgraded fabrics and trim.

Regular Cab models will also feature a standard grade featuring heavy-duty vinyl flooring and basic equipment targeted specifically for work applications and commercial use.

The new Tundra will be, by far, the most-American new product in Toyota's history.

The entire engineering development program was led by TTC engineering, in Ann Arbor, Michigan.
Tundra styling was initiated at Calty Design Center in Newport Beach, Calif. and finalized at the new Calty studio in Ann Arbor, Mich.
Tundra's engines will be built at Toyota Motor Manufacturing, Alabama in Huntsville, Ala.,
and its transmissions at a Toyota supplier production facility in North Carolina.
Finally, the all-new Tundra will be manufactured at two U.S.-based full-size truck production facilities, Toyota Motor Manufacturing, Indiana in Princeton, Ind., and the new Toyota Motor Manufacturing, Texas, located in San Antonio.
"The new Tundra is ready for work like no Toyota before it," said Smith. "When the new Tundra rolls into dealer showrooms this February, we are confident that full-size truck buyers will see Tundra as the most capable, best built, and best value half-ton pickup in America."

2007 TUNDRA PRELIMINARY SPECIFICATIONS

DIMENSIONS (inches) Regular Cab Double Cab

Overall length: 209.8/228.7 228.7/247.6 (Std bed/Long bed)

Overall width: 79.9/79.9 79.9/79.9 (Std bed/Long bed)

Overall height: 76.0/76.4 76.0/76.4 (4x2/4x4)

Wheelbase: 126.8/145.7 145.7/164.6 (Std bed/Long bed)

TRUCK BED DIMENSIONS (inches)

Bed length 78.7/97.6 787.7/97.6 (Std bed/Long bed)

Bed width 66.4 66.4 (at tailgate)

Bed width 50.0 50.0 (between wheel wells):

Bed depth: 22.2 22.2