Toyota Curiously Publishes Diesel Video: Could A New Diesel Tacoma Or Tundra Diesel Be On The Way After All?

On its face it's just an educational video, but it's on the Toyota USA YouTube page...

Images: Toyota

It this video a hint that Toyota’s diesel engines may finally find their way into U.S. Toyota trucks?

Just the mere mention of Toyota’s diesel engines makes many fans in the U.S. shake their heads at what could have been. After many years of rumors and speculation, the lauded power plants never found their way into any light-duty trucks on our shores. At one point, it seemed like a certainty. The new (at the time) Toyota Tundra dually concept, shown below, burned up SEMA in 2007 — and things looked promising.

Toyota’s diesel engine hopes began to fade after issues like VW’s “Dieselgate” and FCA’s diesel issues eroded public trust and interest. There was also this quote from Toyota’s Chief Mike Sweers:

“The difficulty with the diesel is LEV III [emissions standards]. The difficulty is the cost-to-benefit relationship. Everybody loves diesel in trucks. The downside is the after-treatment systems can add $3,000 or more. It starts becoming cost prohibitive, especially in this segment, to pay a premium for both the engine and after-treatment system. That’s the struggle we have. We build a lot of diesel trucks, just not in this country. If I develop a diesel system for our country and I spend a huge amount of money to do that, I won’t see a return on the investment. That’s what we’ve struggled with.”

That seemed to be the end of Toyota’s diesel engine for the U.S.

But maybe not so fast. Rumors began to reemerge about a super high compression diesel being developed by Toyota. Filed on December 2019, a U.S. patent (US20200208601) was made public on July 2nd, 2020. While we weren’t sure at the time whether or not it’s gas or diesel, but it uses high compression for enhanced performance and reduced emissions.

Other rumblings have persisted about hybrid power – and the possibility of a diesel/hybrid powertrain too. While nothing has been substantiated, we now have this curious video. Please take a minute and tell us what you think of the production. To some of us, it kind of looks like they are trying to get consumers comfortable with the idea of diesels.

Easily amused by anything with four wheels, Nathan Adlen reviews vehicles from the cheapest to the most prestigious. Wrecking yards, dealer lots, garages, racetracks, professional automotive testing and automotive journalism - Nathan has experienced a wide range of the automotive spectrum. Brought up in the California car culture and educated in theater, childhood education, film, journalism and history, Nathan now lives with his family in Denver, CO. His words, good humor and video are enjoyed worldwide.