2019 Toyota Tundra TRD Pro Shows Gold Mine Hill Who’s Boss
Even without a locking differential, the Tundra TRD Pro is able to climb its way to victory.
The last time the Toyota Tundra TRD Pro took on TFL Truck‘s Gold Mine Hill challenge, a three-stage off-road challenge, deep snow kept it from getting through.
That was a few years ago. Now the Tundra TRD Pro has updated looks and some new hardware. According to TFL Truck co-host Andre Smirnov, “I think the biggest deal for 2019 on the TRD Pro Tundra have to be the shocks. These are 2.5-inch diameter Fox shocks and … Toyota Racing Development and Fox worked together on these shocks and I’m really curious about how they’re going to perform here on an icy stretch of road.”
Smirnov trundles along a long, uneven path and discovers just smoothly the Tundra rides. The new shocks do an excellent job of soaking up bumps in the terrain.
Then co-host Nathlan Adlen jumps into the passenger seat. Smirnov puts the Tundra into 4L and points the pair of fake hood scoops over the carryover 5.7-liter V8 toward Stage 1 and gets moving. The 2019 Tundra TRD Pro still doesn’t have a locking rear differential, but there’s also much less snow on the trail than the last time the Tundra attempted to get through the Gold Mine Challenge. Smirnov and Adlen come out on the other end.
Despite its hardware limitations, the Tundra TRD Pro has some useful exterior design elements. Smirnov says, “Here’s the thing with the Tundra: It has a really good approach angle. … Not a big overhang. However, this is a gigantic truck. Long wheelbase. Breakover angle? Not so great.” Exhausts positioned close to the rear tires help add to the departure angle.
The guys put the Tundra’s design and Michelin LTX A/Ts to the test in Stage 2, a tight uphill turn covered in dirt and light snow. The Tundra powers through. Smirnov says, “A bit of slippage, but it kind of modulated my throttle and did it.”
Things don’t go quite as smoothly at Stage 3. The Tundra grunts and bumps its way up the hill. Smirnov and Adlen use up all of the truck’s breakover angle – and then some. As they make their way to the top, they hear a sound. Smirnov investigates and determines that one of the skid plates bore the brunt of the impact.
The Tundra may not take the most graceful path through the Gold Mine Hill challenge, but it does complete it and make up for its predecessor’s performance. Not bad for a pickup with a dated engine and transmission that Adlen calls “the most ancient truck out there … except for the [Nissan] Frontier.”