What is this?

In the exciting world of automotive spy photography, the big mystery is often trying to figure out what’s behind all the camouflage. Every now and then, however, we come across something like this curious Toyota Tundra. It’s obviously not wearing a stitch of cover, and as far as we can tell, it doesn’t need to be. Everything matches up with the current model, which incidentally just received some updates for the 2018 model year. That is, everything matches except that grille.

 

Toyota Tundra with Camry grille

 

There’s no denying the sloping center bar resembles the new nose for the 2018 Camry. Fill in the empty space around it with a crossmesh pattern and this could well be a very early preview of the next Tundra. It certainly makes sense if Toyota wants to tie its current design cues with other models.

There are a few other things that have us confused, however. If we look real close, the headlights seem to be aftermarket items in place of the stock units. The license plates on this Tundra appear to be regular civilian-issue tags, not the manufacturer or distributor (DST) plates usually found on prototypes. Also, this truck was caught at Toyota’s Calty design center in Ann Arbor, Michigan, and it didn’t hang out long. The driver made a quick lap around the center, then immediately jumped back inside. And he didn’t look too happy about being photographed.

 

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Given the current Tundra refresh, something new likely won’t be on the agenda for at least a couple years. And while we usually jump for joy at catching a prototype without cover, this time around we can’t even be sure this is officially a manufacturer vehicle. What we do know is this grille is completely different from anything we’ve seen on the Tundra, and it was caught at Toyota’s design center.

If this is the future for the Tundra, do you think the Camry-esque grille is a hit or miss?

 

Source: Brian Williams Photography

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