2021 Toyota Tundra
With Toyota's focus seemingly on the rumoured start of the next-generation Tundra, the 2021 Tundra is essentially identical to the previous years' model. A Nightshade Edition appearance package and Trail Special Edition are the only two new elements in the 2021 Tundra lineup. The former adds black wheels, black interior and black body accents to the truck and the latter Trail Special Edition includes blacked out badging, all-weather floor mats and a lockable storage box integrated into the bed. The 5.7L i-Force V8 is the only engine available and it is paired with a conventional 6-speed automatic transmission. Rear-wheel drive is standard with 4WD offered as an upgrade. TRD Pro is perhaps the most exciting model in the Tundra lineup, as it features a factory 1" lift, factory tuned off-road suspension, all-terrain tires additional undercarriage skid plates.
In its current iteration, the 5.7L i-Force V8 that comes with all 2021 Tundra pickups features aluminum block and cylinder head construction. Four valves per cylinder and VVT-i (variable valve technology with intelligence) coupled with direct fuel injection have this engine producing 381 horsepower and 401 lb-ft of torque. Upping these power levels isn't difficult and a good place to start is with a cold air intake. Working on the principle of depth load filtering, a cold air intake has the following advantages over the stock box and paper element:
- Greater filter surface area
- Multiple filter levels
- Improved breath-ability
- Reduction in heat and turbulent air flow through the tubing
- Washable and re-usable
The result is a slight increase in horsepower and torque (in the neighborhood of 10-15,respectively) and improved throttle response. Owners can also expect to hear a bit more noise from the engine bay, as aftermarket cold air intakes rarely incorporate a silencer (which would hamper performance).
Unleash Digital Power
Another fast and easy way to increase horsepower and torque and improve throttle response on a 2021 Tundra pickup truck is with an aftermarket engine tune. Re-programming the factory power control module (PCM) with more aggressive parameters can free up another 15-20 horsepower. Overwriting the factory engine parameters is accomplished through a handheld tuning device, which, with the tune stored in its memory, communicates with the PCM through the OBDII diagnostic port (located under the driver side steering wheel). Tundra programmers can also read stored diagnostic codes and access and change other vehicle functions such as shift schedule, speedometer calibration and live sensor data.
Proper V8 Sound
Another must-have on the list of modifications is a new exhaust system. The factory exhaust on 2021 Tundra trucks has the mid-section merging into a single, massive baffled muffler that then has one tail pipe outlet. For those that want true V8 sound, replacing this muted system is the only way to do it. Connecting to the factory catalytic converters, owners can easily convert to a dual outlet setup, not only benefiting from the more aggressive sound, but the more appealing look as well. Side exit at the back of the rear wheels, side exit under the cab (true hot rod experience), rear exit straight out the bumper - all of these are available in a dual configuration. The aftermarket systems engineered for the 2021 Tundra are mainly composed of T409 stainless steel, saving the more expensive and showy T304 stuff for the exhaust tips. Systems using straight-through mufflers will be the loudest and least restrictive, but even systems that are using baffled or perforated core mufflers, while a bit quieter than a straight muffler, still offer better flow performance than the factory muffler. All in all, a new high flow exhaust system will allow you to properly enjoy the V8 under the hood and give a slight increase in horsepower and torque.