3UR-FE: How Toyota's "All-American" 5.7L V8 Engine Changed the Game
With the release of the all-new 2022 Toyota Tundra pickup imminent, it looks like Toyota's next generation full size pickup will be packing some much needed new powertrain options, including potentially both twin turbocharged V6 and hybrid power.
What's not so clear is the fate of the 5.7L V8 that powers the current Tundra, along with the its cousin the Toyota Sequoia, and the outgoing US market Land Cruiser.
While it's possible that the naturally aspirated 5.7 V8 could stick around as an engine option for a bit longer, the push toward better EPA fuel economy (and eventually electrification) means its days are numbered.
So with that in mind, we thought we'd look back at this important V8 engine that helped Toyota's full-size pickups and SUVs reach new levels of performance and capability.
The Toyota 5.7L i-Force V8
The 5.7 "i-Force" V8, better known as the 3UR-FE comes from the same global family of Toyota and Lexus V8 engines that also includes the 4.6L and 5.0L V8s used in various Lexus sedans as well as the GX460 SUV.
The 5.7 liter though, was designed specifically for the US market and also assembled in America. It made its debut in the all-new second generation Tundra pickup for the 2007 model year.
The second gen Tundra was a larger truck than its predecessor, and to take the fight to its domestic half-ton rivals as well as Nissan's Titan, Toyota developed a new V8 engine that happened to have the same displacement and the legendary Chevy 350ci small block.
Vintage Inspiration, Modern Design
Toyota's 5.7 though, was a completely modern engine. It used double overhead cams, dual VVT-i and it made a stout 381 horsepower and 400 pound feet of torque—serious numbers for a half-ton pickup back in 2007.
When equipped with the 5.7, the Tundra now had the horsepower and torque to go along with its reputation for reliability and it helped Toyota's full-size pickup greatly grow its market share.
Along with the Tundra, the 3UR-FE also found a home in the Tundra's SUV twin the Toyota Sequoia where it proved the power to compete with full size domestic SUVs.
It also found its way under the hood of the US market Toyota Land Cruiser SUV and its Lexus-badged counterpart the Lexus LX570.
Few Changes for Well Over a Decade
The 3UR-FE largely delivered on its promise of delivering American V8 performance with Toyota quality, but if there's one area where the engine fell behind was its lack of updates over the years.
In fact, the 5.7 V8 that's in the 2021 Tundra, Sequoia and Land Cruiser is basically identical to the one from 2007, with Toyota doing virtually no changes to improve power or fuel economy, even as its competitors have evolved. Then again, aside from exterior and interior tweaks, the trucks themselves haven't changed much either.
Still, the engine more than accomplished its mission of delivering legit V8 performance in full size trucks and SUVs, and it’s surely one of the reason why the Tundra, Sequoia and Land Cruiser have all stayed in high demand even with their “old” technology.
So while some might call the 2JZ in-line six or the even the Prius hybrid setup one of the most influential powertrains Toyota has ever made, the 3UR-FE is more than deserving of a spot on that list, and when the time comes we’ll be sad to see it go.
Whether it’s from America, Japan—or in this case a bit of both—enjoy the classic naturally aspirated V8 while you still can.
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