A Tree Grows in Indiana: Toyota Unveils Full-Size Sequoia SUV at Detroit Auto Show
11 January 2000A Tree Grows in Indiana: Toyota Unveils Full-Size Sequoia SUV at Detroit Auto Show
DETROIT, Jan. 10 -- Toyota Motor Sales (TMS) U.S.A., Inc., today unveiled the Sequoia full-size sport utility vehicle (SUV) at a press conference at the North American International Auto Show. The Sequoia, scheduled to go on sale in late 2000 as a 2001 model, will be built alongside the Toyota Tundra pickup at Toyota Motor Manufacturing, Indiana, and will share the full-size pickup's platform and V8 powertrain. "It is appropriate that here at one of the largest auto shows in North America, we choose to launch the largest, most versatile sport utility vehicle in our lineup," said Don Esmond, group vice president and general manager, Toyota Division. "Sequoia is Toyota's first mainstream full-size sport utility, filling a key product-and-price position between the mid-size 4Runner and the premium-brand Land Cruiser." Significantly larger and roomier than the Cruiser, Sequoia will complement Toyota's SUV lineup with the size, features, performance and pricing that are currently in such high demand with recreationally active American families. Sequoia will feature the same 4.7-liter i-Force V8 engine that powers Tundra. The engine will produce 240 horsepower and 315 pounds of torque, and will be the first Toyota truck engine to be EPA-certified as ULEV, or ultra-low-emission. To put that into perspective, Sequoia's ULEV engine will produce 40 percent fewer non-methane organic gases (NMOG) than the Ford Expedition's 2000 LEV V8 engine. Sequoia's overall length, width, height and wheelbase -- as well as its interior volume dimensions -- will be larger than those of Chevrolet Tahoe and nearly identical to those of Expedition. Its optional third seat and rear cargo area are more spacious than both. Its ground clearance -- at more than 11 inches -- will be significantly higher than both. Sequoia will ride on a slightly-modified version of Tundra's stout platform. The independent double-wishbone-type front suspension will be nearly identical to that of Tundra. The rear suspension, revised for increased ride comfort and excellent control, will feature a five link live axle with coil springs. A four-wheel disc anti-lock brake system will be standard on all models. Sequoia will transport eight passengers in three rows of seating ... in a cabin designed for roominess, comfort and safety. Sequoia will be the first Toyota truck to feature curtain-shield side air bags. And it will feature three-way seat belts at all eight passenger positions. Sequoia will be offered in both two-wheel drive and four-wheel drive models, with Toyota's vehicle stability control -- VSC -- offered as an option. "Sequoia is a significant vehicle for Toyota. It deserved a significant name," concluded Esmond. "Like its namesake, Sequoia stands tall, an icon of strength and longevity. It is a name that reflects Toyota's commitment to meeting customers needs, while continuing its pursuit of cleaner, more fuel-efficient engines."