In its 50-year history in the US, Toyota has never sourced an engine for its vehicles from an outside supplier. There is a possibility that this may change if Toyota decides to put a diesel in its new Tundra full-size pickup truck. While we think it's more likely for Toyota to leverage its Hino commercial truck division, it could decide to pick from many of the U.S. diesel engine manufacturers that are developing smaller displacement diesels for Ford, GM, and Dodge. Nissan is also courting a U.S. manufacturer to supply a V8 diesel for its Titan pickup (although Nissan also has it's own diesel manufacturing capability). No one seems to be mentioning Isuzu as a possible supplier, as it has extensive experience with diesels, both large and small (it is currently suppling the DuraMax diesel used by GM).
Regardless, Toyota sees through its cloud of hybrid hype to realize that truck buyers may actually want an oil-burning engine, perhaps more so than a pack of batteries and an electric motor. The domestics have finally gotten the hint that if they're going to continue to sell full-size trucks, they need to team up their body-on-frame bread-and-butter with a high-tech low displacement diesel to get all the fuel economy they can. Now Toyota is looking to go down that path, and it will be interesting to see whether it chooses to develop an engine in-house or go outside to another supplier.
[The engine pictured is Hino's J05D-TA four cylinder diesel. It will likely not be used in the new Tundra.]
[Source: Automotive News]