Looking at industry trends, modular platforms seem to have become the way in cars and crossovers. Just take a look at Toyota, for instance.
Back in late 2015, they introduced the TNGA platform, short for Toyota New Global Architecture. To simplify, most Toyota cars share the same backbone, meaning cars like the Prius, C-HR, RAV4, Camry, and upcoming all-new Corolla Altis are based upon each other. Now, Toyota is planning to do the same for their pickups.
It is reportedly called the F1 platform, and it is said that the first vehicle to use it will likely be the next-generation Tundra. Following the principles of the TNGA platform, the F1 architecture will serve as the basis of future Toyota pickups, and perhaps even pickup-based SUVs. Reports also say that the F1 truck chassis will cater to the global markets as well.
So what does this mean for consumers like us? By the looks of things, the future Tundra, Tacoma, and possibly, the Hilux will be based upon each other. It could also mean that all three of these will grow in size. As it stands, Toyota's truck trio ride on unique platforms and putting it all in one basic skeleton will drive down development costs, which could also mean a smaller price increase once all-new versions of these pickups arrive.
Of course, it doesn't necessarily mean that the changes will take immediate effect. However, the Tundra is in need of a full redesign as the current design is already 12 years old. Hence, it is the likeliest to utilize the F1 chassis first. On the flipside, Toyota recently refreshed the Tacoma, therefore suggesting the present model still has a few years left in it. As for the Hilux, it's relatively new for a pickup platform, coming in at 2015. With pickup life cycles usually reaching a decade, it's unlikely we'll see an all-new Hilux in a year or two.
But pickups aren't the only ladder-frame vehicles Toyota makes. There will always be pickup-based SUVs in Toyota's lineup, namely the Sequoia, Land Cruiser Prado, and Fortuner, just to name some of them. The Sequoia is based on the Tundra, while the Land Cruiser Prado shares a lot in common with the Tacoma. As for the Fortuner, that's based on the Hilux. With the F1 platform likely to be used on their pickup counterparts, there is a strong possibility that the mentioned SUVs will use the modular chassis as well.
While the next-generation models of these SUVs aren't on the horizon just yet, the news of the F1 platform will give us an idea what direction these popular 4x4s could eventually take in the 2020s.
Given that the IMV architecture has been a proven success for a Toyota, it is possible that the F1 chassis will be a substantial evolution of the aforementioned IMV platform. Since 2004, Toyota has built well over five million vehicles based on the IMV, and the eventual shift to the F1 chassis could make make them even more profitable than before.
Source: Automotive News