Toyota to Enter Tundra in SCORE Baja 1000

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To test the mettle of the new 2015 Toyota Tundra TRD Pro, Toyota will be entering a "lightly" modified Tundra in the 47th Tecate SCORE Baja 1000 in Ensenada, Mexico, in November. Mike Sweers, chief engineer for Toyota pickups, is looking to test the truck to its limits to gain valuable information for the benefit of future Tundra owners. Manufacturers often use the brutal Baja torture-test race as a kind of proving ground for new technology and parts durability. Last year Ford entered a fully aluminum F-150 (made to look the like current-gen F-150) to see how it would hold up.

Toyota has a long history of desert racing with its Toyota Racing Development division, as well as longtime partnerships with legendary racers like Ivan "Ironman" Stewart and Rod Millen. Add to that the need to create some extra credibility for its new TRD Pro lineup — which now includes the Tacoma, Tundra and 4Runner — and entering this Tundra in the full-size stock class makes sense. Even if it doesn't finish, Sweers said, Toyota will be gathering valuable data for the next-generation Tundra.

The desert race team will consist of Toyota truck engineers and professional racers, with two teams of two alternating as needed until the race ends. Team members include Stewart as coach and Sweers as navigator with TRD engineer Ted Moncure, Toyota-sponsored athlete Andy Bell, X-Games winner Jamie Bestwick and desert racer Millen serving as drivers.

We called the truck "lightly" modified earlier because this will be the 800 Class full-size stock, which means that the essential guts and look of the truck need to remain similar to the factory stock model. However, racing the Baja requires special design and engineering, so this Tundra has a beefier suspension; some body shaping to allow for 37-inch tires; new bed-mounted, long-travel shocks; a custom fuel tank; heavy-duty Hella lighting; full 2-inch interior roll cage; and custom seats able to hold three people in five-point harnesses.

The race festivities begin Nov. 12 and run for several days, but the actual race ends no matter what on Nov. 16. Andrew Franceschini, Toyota’s truck marketing and communications national manager, said in a statement, "Our goal is to finish this grueling race and to showcase just how awesome the new TRD Pro Series trucks are." We'll see.

To read the full press release, click here.

Cars.com images by Mark Williams

 

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Comments

Is that roll cage really supported by the plastic dash cover?

@stevadore

I hope that's not a serious question, right?

Nice, I hope Toyota does well in the race. That truck looks pretty sweet. I would like to point out how the tires on that truck have more tire than rim for proper off roading. Not like today's off road pavement queen trucks that have 22 inch rims and a small amount of tire with a lift so high you really can't do any real off roading besides mud. Posers is all they are.

Hope they gusseted the stock control arms and reinforced the alignment cam tabs...

Interesting to see them leaving all the tubing unpainted. As tough as Baja is, looks like rust won't be an issue there. :D

I like that truck alot. ill take a 5.0 cummins in that!

"Our goal is to finish this grueling race and to showcase just how awesome the new TRD Pro Series trucks are."

With all of this stuff on it....."We called the truck "lightly" modified earlier because this will be the 800 Class full-size stock, which means that the essential guts and look of the truck need to remain similar to the factory stock model. However, racing the Baja requires special design and engineering, so this Tundra has a beefier suspension; some body shaping to allow for 37-inch tires; new bed-mounted, long-travel shocks; a custom fuel tank; heavy-duty Hella lighting; full 2-inch interior roll cage; and custom seats able to hold three people in five-point harnesses.", Deaver springs, two navigators, two drivers and Ivan Stewart as coach they better finish.

Perhaps this is a signal of Toyota taking its full size pickup truck business more seriously. Only two ways to go, up or Titan.

They will change to longer shocks and bigger tires.

But if they really wanted to show how awesome the new TRD is and how it would hold up they used more of a stock suspension. The coil springs on the Baja run Tundra will be changed to Eibach and the rear leafs will switch to Deaver.

On the F-150 Ford entered they used all stock suspension compoenents except for longer shocks and bigger tires.

I'm kinda dissapointed. If Toyota change out the shocks, tires, rear leaves, front coils are they really seeing how how tough the TRD Pro package is? The whole point of the TRD Pro is the shocks and TRD tuned front springs. But they change all of that including the rear leaf springs.

"We want to see how our stock truck does" and then they proceed to add thousands of dollars in aftermarket parts and modifications.

I can understand the need for a safety cage and racing seats with harnesses, but I would want to see how the stock suspension and tires could do. If they can't handle it than obviously your off-road package is more of a faux-road package.

The only thing that is stock are the brake pads and exhaust.

A manufacturer using Baja to show how tough their truck is? How original! Oh, wait, Ford's already done this? Twice? Using more factory parts? Well then.
Of course, looking at the interior of the current Tundra, it's pretty obvious Toyota's chasing Ford.
It would be funny if one of these trucks rolled during the event. Then we could say a TuRD got rolled in the dirt.

Not my best, but there you have it.

I'd say the suspension was heavily modified.

SHOCKS:
TRD pro: TRD Bilstein shocks with remote reservoirs
Score Baja 1000 truck: TRD tuned-Blackhawk Bypass Bilstein front and rear shocks

FRONT COILS:
TRD Pro: TRD-tuned front springs
Score Baja 1000 truck: Eibach

REAR SPRINGS:
TRD Pro: Toyota leaf springs
Score Baja 1000 truck: Deaver

TRD-tuned front springs

I agree with others. This is disappointing. Looks like a cool truck, but we all want to see how the true stock truck would do. This isn't even close to stock. It sounds like they don't just want to finish, they want to finish first in their class. I honestly wasn't overly impressed with the ford putting their truck in the baja race the first time (it wasn't even close to a stock raptor and didn't even have the same engine), but at least they kept it pretty close to stock last year. This is what another article said about last year's ford truck in the race:

"Aside from a set of lift springs, Fox shocks borrowed from the Raptor, a fuel cell in the bed, a cage, and a set of 35/12.50 R17 prototype BFGoodrich All-Terrain T/A tires, the truck is bone stock. It even has the factory transmission cooler."

That was with the 2.7 liter engine and didn't even have the raptor control arms or other improved/strengthened suspension components other than the shocks/springs. I guess seeing what toyota is doing just makes the ford entry last year look more impressive.

I guess "level of modification" is very subjective. I have had many vehicles that I consider lightly modified that folks have thought I had gone full bore. To me, until you start swapping out major components (I don't consider these suspension mods major) it is pretty light. Heck, I think I mode the springs, shocks, bushings, etc. in EVERY vehicle I have ever owned.

It is funny to note that they are running the Rock Warrior 17" wheels while the new TRD Pro uses 18" wheels. Also running the leaves under the axle.

I wouldn't matter if a completely stock Tundra won the race by hours, 90% of the folks on this board would still cut it down.

Dav ?
I have a right to cut down the Toyota cause I owned one in the past.
Not going to say anything about it cause I don't care what truck you own or want to buy.
but I will bet you one thing that the Tundra and Tacoma doesn't have ANY REPEAT BUYERS
Ford-Ram-Chevy have lots of repeat buyers
Toyota trucks have NONE

Pretty neat, but that is not a just a "full roll cage". It is a full tube chassis attached to the "stock" frame. That tells me that Toyota isn't confident about the rigidity of the stock frame.

@Mark49, I couldn't blame them for not trusting their weak, pathetic, flimsy frame. They have been using the 16-yr old Super Duty as a benchmark to justify the flex, but we will no doubt see Ford shifting to a rigid fully-boxed frame, which is long overdue. The Toyota fanbois will continue to be believe whatever Toyota tells them. I'm still waiting to see these rigid frames snap in half like they keep promising.

@ mark49

That is the preferred/best way to build a cage for any serious vehicle

@Tom#3

Go to a Tundra or Tacoma forum their are plenty of guys who have owned multiple Tundra's or Tacoma's.

@Alex

I am still waiting to see what the damage is from the so called "flimsy frame" keep in mind the 2nd and 3rd gen Tundra sit on the same frame that has not been in a rust, bent or broken frame recall. So other than brand bashing do you have a point?

The Baja 1000 is nice, but all I care about is the Heavy Duty Challenge tomorrow!

Ram takes home its HD Challenge trophy tomorrow for gas 2500's.

And is going to make Ford and GM FEEL THE BANG!!!!!!!!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-1ygpO-OrME&feature=youtu.be&t=44s

Speaking of the super duty frame, did anyone happen to notice on that burnt mule whether it had a boxed frame? I have a super duty and don't have the least complaint over frame strength but it would be nice to silence the dummies that always bring it up. I've never heard any super duty ownercomplain about it just some trolls on this site.

@Hemi V8

THIS.........

"The Baja 1000 is nice, but all I care about is the Heavy Duty Challenge tomorrow!
Ram takes home its HD Challenge trophy tomorrow for gas 2500's.
And is going to make Ford and GM FEEL THE BANG!!!!!!!!

Posted by: HEMI V | Aug 10, 2014 9:50:20 PM


JUST PROVED THIS STATEMENT YOU MADE.........

"@All1, Let me STATE THIS AGAIN. Check the record. Go back and see who starts with the bashing first. Clue the Ford Flame club. So again put your dog on a leash and you will see great improvements on the blogs.

Posted by: HEMI V8 | Aug 2, 2014 12:31:38 PM"


WRONG!!!!!

No one stated one negative thing about Ram in this article yet you still do your suicide bombing of these blogs.

@All1, I've got two words for you: HEMI V8.


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Be here in the morning. Because RAM and their fans will be here to collect our 2014 Ultimate Heavy-Duty Challenge trophy!

@Hemi V8


Then don't ever state this.......

"@All1, Let me STATE THIS AGAIN. Check the record. Go back and see who starts with the bashing first. Clue the Ford Flame club. So again put your dog on a leash and you will see great improvements on the blogs"


AGAIN because it is very apparent from what we just seen that it isn't true.


Then don't ever state this.......

"@All1, Let me STATE THIS AGAIN. Check the record. Go back and see who starts with the bashing first. Clue the Ford Flame club. So again put your dog on a leash and you will see great improvements on the blogs"


AGAIN because it is very apparent from what we just seen that it isn't true.

Posted by: ALL1 | Aug 10, 2014 11:22:07 PM

@ALL1, That was NOT my post. Go to bed! See you in the morning when the first 2014 Heavy Duty Challenge winner is announced!

@Hemi V8

Are you sure it wasn't you? It has your name "Hemi V8"on it and you told me that twice in an argument we were having.

Don't try to change your name to Hemi now and say your are not Hemi V8 because the post above just called you out with the "Hemi V" name. I guess you decided at the last minute not to post as Hemi V8 and just Hemi instead, but forgot to delete"V" before you hit submit. Also, "THE BANG" is a common Hemi V8 saying so don't think you are fooling anyone saying you are a different person along with a lot of your other names you use.

AFTER owning a 2011 Toyota Pickup I KNOW the domestic pickup I own now is BETTER.
I also get treated better by the dealer service department.

maybe you guys that only owned one Toyota don't know how inferior it really is cause you never owned any other pickup.

It brings back unpleasant memories thinking about my former Toyota Pickup and it makes me angry all the problems I had and Toyota and the dealer told me to get lost when I wanted warranty.
I wouldn't care if Toyota was giving them away I wouldn't want one!

@CT

The Front springs of the TRD Pro Tundra are Eibach, they are just TRD Tuned...... shows how much you really know.


The Raptor that Ford entered in the Baja Had different springs in it as well as longer shocks just like this truck for all you haters that think you know so much......... Let the Race begin.

I can understand the roll cage inside the truck, but all the extra build and bracing in the bed? Could that have anything to do with the frame not being boxed?

I like the Toyotas, but I'm with the guys saying they should've left the truck closer to stock. I can see changing the tires, fuel cell and cage...but the springs, shocks and suspension should've been left alone. I realize that a stock truck would never finish even close to first, but running the truck with modified suspension proves nothing.

Going to agree with most everybody else. Trying to prove how awesome your vehicle's "off-road" package by swapping out the parts that make the "off-road package" isn't the best way to prove that point.

I understand the bigger tires, the gas tank, the lights, and the roll cage. Those are all necessary for the race. Except for the tires, which everyone changes out anyway, the rest of those are all safety related and shouldn't change the way the truck performs. The suspension modifications aren't anywhere near stock. There's nothing wrong with that, however I'd be more impressed if it were and the Tundra did well or finished the race and would consider buying one more than I am already.

The Ram brand's trophy case continues to fill up, as the 2014 Ram 1500 has been named Pickup Truck of the Year by Autobytel.com. With Best-in-Class 25 highway mpg, proven performance and innovative technology, the Ram 1500 hauled this award away for the second year in a row.



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