The first generation Tundra had many similarities with the old Toyota T100 and the smaller, more popular Toyota Tacoma. The biggest of those similarities was the use of the 3.4 liter V6 engine which was the top of the line engine in both the Tacoma and T100, while it became the base engine within the Tundra. However, the new Tundra has an optional 32-valve 5.7L V8 engine which ultimately is the most desired choice, as well as a 10,000lb (4,500kg) towing capacity.
Publicly introduced in May 1999 as a 2000 model, the Tundra prototypes and "show trucks" were initially known as T150s. However, Ford and automotive pundits felt that this name was too close to the market-leader Ford F-150, and following a lawsuit by Ford, the production truck was renamed the Tundra (Toyota claimed they never truly intended to use the T150 name in actual production). Toyota then countersued Ford regarding the name of their then-released Lincoln LS sedan, arguing it was too close to that of the Lexus LS.
The Tundra was slightly larger than the T100, but still suffered the perception of being too small and carlike to pose a serious threat to the domestic pickup trucks. With a production capacity of 120,000, sales were double the rate of the T100. The Tundra also had the largest initial vehicle sales for Toyota in its history (up until that time). It garnered impressive honors, including Motor Trend's Truck of the Year award for 2000 and Best Full- Size Truck from Consumer Reports. Built in a new Toyota plant in Princeton, Indiana, with 65 percent domestic content, the Tundra showed that Toyota was serious about closing the gap on the Big Three.
Engine choices available in the Tundra were a 24V 3.4 liter V6 engine that produced 190horsepower (140kW) and 220 lb·ft (298 N·m) of torque and a 32 valve 4.7 liter V8 engine that produced 245horsepower (183kW) and 315 lb·ft (427 N·m) of torque. A Toyota Racing Development (TRD) derived supercharger was already available for the 3.4 liter V6 that bumped horsepower to the 260horsepower (190kW) range and 260 lb·ft (353 N·m) of torque range, but TRD introduced a supercharger for the V8 engine late into its second year of production that pushed the V8 numbers to the mid 300horsepower (220kW) range and torque to the 400 lb·ft (550 N·m) range. Although the V6 supercharger is still widely available, the V8 supercharger is rarer and harder to find because of TRD stopping production of the device because of issues of its compatibility with the engine.