Chicago is a truck show, and so far the biggest truck news is an upgraded Tundra with the full Weber treatment on the grille, crisper lines all around, and more super lux editions for the latté-sipping metrucksexuals who make the truck market so lucrative.
The metrucksexual is, of course, the opposite of the idealized yeoman truck buyer who pays cash for something with adequate power that meets his needs and isn't weighed down by fancy, expensive options he'll never use.
Metrucksexuals are the metrosexuals of the car world. They ask for all the options, because while they may use their truck to occasionally tow a jetski, it's mostly just an extension of their gaudy personality. They don't really need a truck, they want one. They've never been to a ranch, but dammit they're going to buy a truck named after one.
Guess what metrucksexuals, the new Tundra is just for you.
None of this is a critique of Toyota. They make a truck in Texas. They employ a lot of people. It's a fine truck and it looks better with its "chiseled" exterior. The interior was also upgraded with a more user-friendly gauge cluster.
The biggest change, since it's just a refresh and the engines aren't being shuffled around, is that they're catching on to their 'Merican rivals who long ago figured out that you can't offer too many different trim levels so long as you differentiate them with pieces of stamped plastic and metal.
The new Tundra will carry over the base "SR" and slightly-not-as-base "SR5" and the completely unlimited "Limited." Taking a cue from Ford, you'll be able to buy a "Platinum" Tundra, because people who drive trucks can't get enough of the precious metal.
Have you ever been to Texas? It's full of platinum. Platinum fences, platinum driveways, platinum cows. Of course, the "Platinum" Tundra doesn't have any Platinum in it, but it does get double-stitched diamond plate leather, a better JBL audio system, and heated and ventilated seats to keep your metrucksexual ass cozy.
But wait? What do truck buyers like more than platinum? Ranches! I mean, ideally, someone will build a ranch made out of platinum and truck buyers will just explode with joy.
For ranch-loving Toyota buyers there's the "1794 Edition," named for the year the ranch they apparently destroyed to build the Tundra plant in San Antonio was founded. I'm guessing the ranch was gone long before Toyota showed up and had an awesome name like the "Triple X" ranch, thus they call it the "1794 Edition."
This will be "western" themed in the same way the similarly ranch-named King Ranch Edition F-Series trucks and the ridiculous Laramie Longhorn are "western" themed. This somehow equates to saddle brown leather seats with "ultra-suede" accents and matching "soft-touch" materials. If there's one thing we've learned from studying the history of the west, it's that it was settled by hard men and hard women who liked soft things.
Pricing isn't out, but expect that people will absolutely pay whatever Toyota asks and be supremely happy.