Tale of Two Tundras: Toyota Gets Adventurous for 2018 SEMA Show

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The 2018 Specialty Equipment Market Association Show in Las Vegas is typically a celebration of creativity for truck builders, but sometimes the big pickup manufacturers use the show to float futuristic and/or possible special-edition models in the guise of custom one-off project trucks. This year, that's exactly what Toyota seems to be doing with its two full-size truck offerings.

The first of the two custom Tundras was the brainchild of actor Kevin Costner, who called Toyota to see if they could work together on a special outdoors-themed off-road project. Costner, an avid fisherman and outdoorsman, expects to use this vehicle on his ranch in Colorado and even on the set of his current television series, "Yellowstone," which in Montana.

The 2017 Tundra Platinum CrewMax on display at the 2018 SEMA Show has a 4.5-inch BDS Suspension lift to accommodate a set of 35-inch Nitto Ridge Grapplers tires, while project fabricators Complete Customs (of McKinney, Texas) built the unique front and rear bumpers and roof rack. The roof rack extends over the ARE V Series truck cap to provide a ton of storage for camping gear, a pullout awning and a canoe rack. Other details include front and rear Warn winches, an LED light bar, a padded sleeping area in the bed, TV monitors and a set of interior lockable safes. Although all the details on this truck were made to Costner's exact specifications, something similar to this truck could become a special-edition Tundra that shows up at your dealer. We're guessing Toyota will be gauging interest at the show before making a final decision.

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The second Tundra on display is more whimsical, meaning it's not likely to show up on dealer lots, but it could make pizza lovers pretty happy. Called the PIE Pro (as opposed to the TRD Pro, get it?), this is the first full-size pickup powered by a hydrogen fuel cell. Toyota builders modified one of the electric Mirai's hydrogen fuel-cell powertrains for the much heavier and larger modified Tundra platform.

For this alternative-fuel experimental pickup, Toyota also partnered with Pizza Hut (a Toyota neighbor in Plano, Texas, where both are headquartered) and Nachi Robotic Systems. The Tundra SR5 is equipped with robot-controlled pizza makers and ovens that can serve up a fresh pizza in just six or seven minutes. One robot arm opens a refrigerator to select the pizza and place it on the oven conveyor, while the second robot arm removes the pizza after it's passed through the high-temp oven, cuts it into six slices and boxes it. As practical and impressive as this one-of-a-kind Tundra PIE Pro is, we don't expect it to make into production anytime soon.

We'll get a closer look at these two custom trucks when we walk the SEMA Show floor later this week. The industry-only show runs Tuesday through Friday at the Las Vegas Convention Center.

Manufacturer images


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Hydrogen fueled vehicles are hype. Too many logistical issues and it's just flithly to produce. ICE are the future.

Slow news day.

My immediate reaction to any Toyota truck article: YAWN.

I'd rather read up on the history of the ice box.

I'm still waiting for some sort of auto accessory that protects the sides and rear of the vehicle from brush. As someone on the east coast who actually goes offroad in the mountains, you just can't do it without ending up with new scratches and if you need to make a multipoint u-turn you will end up hitting trees and getting dents. Especially in a long wheel base vehicle like a tundra. And unfortunately toyota uses soft metals and crappy paint. I double dare you to find a tundra older than 4 years that doesn't have a severely dented tailgate.

Nick O Teen I've been both hunting in PA and have been a mechanic my entire life and have seen severely dented tailgates on every make and model truck. As for the crappy paint well when i sold my 1990 toyota pickup it had the original paint and everything with 240k on the odometer...freshly waxed and shiny. I kinda prefer my composite tacoma bed as ive loaded firewood, stone and deer in it for the past 5 years without even a deep scratch. What youre saying holds no water because anyone can bash a tailgate up on any truck with a metal tailgate thats an idiot and cant load or is careless. Plus anyone who takes a long wheelbase truck of ANY brand offroad is well...asking for it. My truck is a reg cab 4x4 and i can damn near follow atv trails with it.......... Welcome to school kid.

I saw the truck - it's awesome ! There are videos of Kevin and the truck on his Facebook and Instagram page. Pretty Cool ! @kevincostnermodernwest

The Black lifted Tundra is NOT a 2019. It has the Platinum headlights from the 2014-2017 Tundra's. The 2018-2019 have LED headlights with C shaped LED DRLs.

Tyler , good catch. Most everything on Cosners truck you can do your self, all after market stuff. Several companies make a bumper and roof rack similar to these.

Wow they did a good job photoshopping the surface rust out of that shot of the frame.

Awesome mods and truck, Love them both.
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