Toyota applies to trademark 'i-Force Max' in the U.S.

Jonathon Ramsey



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On February 18 this year, as picked up by The Truth About Cars, Toyota submitted an application to the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office to secure the term "i-Force Max." The paperwork requests the mark for "automobiles and structural parts thereof." It's thought the moniker will be applied to the rumored new engine headed for the next-generation Tundra pickup, expected next year, perhaps for the 2022 model year. The i-Force name is as old as the Tundra, appearing in 2000 on the first-gen model powered by the 4.7-liter V8 that produced 245 horsepower and 315 pound-feet of torque. When Toyota overhauled the truck in 2007, the i-Force name migrated to the new 5.7-liter DOHC V8 that made 381 hp and 401 lb-ft. At the time, that was more than could be had with any V8 from the Big Three competition, the Chevrolet Silverado's 6.0-liter Vortec Max V8 topping the challengers with 367 hp and 375 lb-ft. The Tundra hasn't moved on since then, its i-Force V8 making the same 381 hp and 401 lb-ft. in 2020.     

Years of rumors have pointed to the third-generation Tundra getting a top-trim 3.5-liter twin-turbo V6 hybrid built off the same motor used in various Lexus models. Predicted output is 450 hp and 500 lb-ft., worthy numbers for the i-Force Max name if that's what ends up happening. That would put the Toyota right behind the high-output version of Ford's 3.5-liter EcoBoost V6 that makes 450 hp and 510 lb-ft., if the Tundra came out right now. We'll need to see what Ford reveals with the 14th-generation F-150 later this year, and how the domestic competition responds before the Tundra hits the market. Full-size truck buyers don't generally concern themselves with gas mileage, but the Tundra should destroy all comers if rumors of 30 miles per gallon on the highway prove true. And with a purported new chassis under the 2020 Tundra dubbed "F1," it's likely the payload and tow ratings will receive a generous increase from the current 1,660 and 10,100 pounds, respectively, in SR5 trim.

Other new Tundra novelties we're waiting to confirm are a six-speed manual transmission, a 10-speed automatic, and a rear coil spring or air suspension option.

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