Toyota Australia has definitively ruled out the current-generation Tundra for local sale, with the unavailability of a diesel powertrain and slim chances of RHD production cited as insurmountable barriers.
While Australian Tundra fanatics can get their hands on Toyota's full-sized 'Yank Tank' via local importer Performax, those cars start life as LHD models and are converted to RHD locally.
At retail, the Performax-converted Tundras also cost AU$118,990 for the dual-cab models - nearly double the AU$60,612 retail price of those same models in the USA.
The Tundra is also only available with two thirsty petrol engines, a 231kW 443Nm 4.6 litre DOHC V8, and a 284kW 543Nm 5.7 litre DOHC V8.
While many of its full-size pickup rivals in the States have diesel options, the Tundra remains a petrol-only product.
Speaking to TMR at the local unveilling of the new Hilux, Toyota Sales and Marketing boss Tony Cramb lamented the unavailability of RHD and diesel Tundra production, and thus the capacity for official imports.
"We have enormous demand for a Tundra here in Australia. No doubt about it," he said.
"If we could get a diesel Tundra, then I think we could sell a hundred a month.
But regrettably because it’s manufactured over in the States it’s not likely to happen that way."
It's not from a lack of trying either.
Demand from dealers and customers alike has been strong since the Tundra debuted around the turn of the century, and Toyota Australia has actively lobbied the global head office for a diesel RHD Tundra to be considered.
"We’ve had strong requests at dealer meetings to get the Tundra here and we have made representation [to Japan]," Cramb said.
"But when it comes down to it, because it’s not left-hand-drive here and because it’s petrol, in the end it’s very hard to make the case.
"We’ve definitely tried [lobbying for RHD production] in the past, but if it was diesel we might have been more successful."
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