It's back. The 2019 Toyota Tundra TRD Pro returns from a one-year hiatus after quietly sitting out the 2018 model year. It is not an all-new truck or even a significant redesign, but the 2019 Tundra TRD Pro pickup did receive a couple of specific mechanical revisions that stand to make it more desirable than ever.
Chief among them is the fitment of new 2.5-inch Fox off-road shocks that employ an internal-bypass design. Additionally, the rear units have piggyback-style external reservoirs to increase oil volume and heat capacity. The 2019 Tundra TRD Pro is similar to its 2015-2017 predecessors in its higher stance and improved suspension articulation. That means 2 inches of front lift, a little over 1.5 inches of extra front-wheel travel, and a bit more than 2 inches of extra rear travel compared to a regular Tundra 4x4.
The previous 2.5-inch Bilstein shocks worked well enough, but they didn't have anything close to the position-sensitive damping capability of these new Fox shocks. There are 11 bypass zones up front, with seven increasing levels of compression damping as they approach the bump stops and four increasing levels of rebound damping as they expand toward their full length. The rear shocks have 12 bypass zones, with eight in compression and four in rebound. This upgrade should improve both on-road ride and off-road performance because the truck will normally ride in the soft zone that exists between all those compression and rebound bypass circuits. And when the suspension moves after hitting a bump (or landing a jump), the damping will increase in proportion to the size and severity of the hit as the circuits close in succession.
Other changes include new lightweight 18-inch forged aluminum wheels made by BBS. Each one weighs 3.4 pounds less than the wheels they replace. It may not sound like much, but we're fans of anything that reduces a suspension's unsprung weight. As for the tires, they're the same Michelin P275/65R18 all-terrain tires we've seen before. The desired switch to LT-spec tires has failed to materialize.
Most of the other changes are either cosmetic or natural outgrowths of 2018's minor styling tweaks. The 2019 Tundra TRD Pro is fitted with a more open-mesh grille, but it still adheres to TRD Pro tradition by spelling out "TOYOTA" in block letters. The quarter-inch-thick skid plate is similar, but now it has TRD spelled out in red. It also gains the hood scoop that debuted on last year's Tundra TRD Sport, and it's fitted with that truck's dark-background LED headlights. The 2019 Tundra TRD Pro will also come standard with adaptive cruise control and the other active safety systems that make up the Toyota Safety Sense system, a Tundra-wide change the TRD Pro missed out on during its 2018 vacation.
The 2019 Toyota Tundra TRD Pro will be available in three colors: Super White, Midnight Black Metallic and Voodoo Blue, 2019's exclusive TRD Pro color of the year. Pricing won't be released until later in the year as we get closer to the 2019 Toyota Tundra TRD Pro's fall 2018 release date. Before then, we expect to drive one to see how much has been gained by what amounts to a welcome suspension fortification built around Fox 2.5-inch internal bypass shocks.