Toyota Tundra to tow the space shuttle Endeavour to the California Science Center

Article by Christian A., on September 17, 2012

The space shuttle Endeavour will soon be permanently displayed in the California Science Center. Taking on the honor of towing the Endeavour on its last trip ever on Oct. 13 is the Toyota Tundra full-size pickup truck. From Los Angeles International Airport, the Endeavour will travel for 12 miles on city streets to the Science Center, with the Tundra towing it for the last quarter mile.

The 2012 Tundra has been tested and is expected to safely tow the 300,000 pound historic artifact down Bill Robertson Lane in Exposition Park, near downtown Los Angeles. A stock 2012 Tundra CrewMax 1/2–ton pickup (the same as the models that could be found in Toyota dealerships) will tow the Endeavour.

Remarkably, it won’t receive any modification to boost towing capacity or increase its power. Toyota’s 5.7L V8 engine is used on the Tundra CrewMax, delivering a maximum tow capacity of 10,000 pounds. The testing was done with the assistance of The Sarens Group, a heavy lifting and engineered transport company, to make a dolly specifically intended to haul the Endeavour.

TMS and the Science Center have come together to take part in the shuttle’s transportation. This is part of a plan to boost support and to make more people learn about the space program. Toyota presently has a Tundra truck that will be seen in a Science Center exhibit to show off the physics of leverage. The tow Tundra is the replacement for the current Tundra and this will be displayed here until the Oct. 30.

Good news for all commercial truck customers! Toyota is reducing the manufacturer’s suggested retail price for the new Toyota Tundra, with the final pricing set to be disclosed near the actual sales launch of the work truck this spring.

Toyota Tundra features a work truck Package that includes black bumpers and grille surround, instead of the usual chrome. Moreover, the manual outside rearview mirrors have replaced the power mirrors.

Meanwhile, the interior of the new work truck is provided with easily washable vinyl bench seats as well as rubber floors. In addition, quite a number of standard personal-use features in the new Toyota Tundra are now gone or replaced. For instance, standard instrument panel and HVAC controls are now finished in black instead of silver, while gauges have been replaced by voltage, oil pressure and warning lamps. Also gone are map and door courtesy lamps as well as the lighting for the glove box and ignition key ring. Likewise gone as standard features are cruise control and the remote keyless entry, which are now offered in separate Work Truck packages.

For the 2010 model year, all Tundra models are fitted with a refreshed appearance, thanks to the new design of its front grille and tail lamps. While the Tundra and SR5 grades feature similar grille designs, the Limited grade comes with a distinct billet-style grille.

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