DETROIT – Toyota Motor Sales U.S.A. Inc., taking the need for a true fullsize pickup truck to the next level, unveils the large CrewMax model Sunday at the 2007 North American International Auto Show here.

Although anticipation was the CrewMax would match the enormity of Chrysler Group’s Dodge Ram Mega Cab, the CrewMax is 19 ins. (48 cm) shorter than the largest Ram offering, with a total length of 228.7 ins. (581 cm) and a 145.7-in. (370-cm) wheelbase.

Like the Mega Cab, Toyota’s D-cab only is available with a short bed, but the CrewMax’s short bed gains 2.7 ins. (6.9 cm) on the Mega Cab’s, totaling 78.7 ins. (200 cm) in length.

Toyota is claiming 0.3 ins. (0.8 cm) more rear legroom in the CrewMax vs. the Mega Cab.

Toyota, which is aiming to nearly double Tundra annual sales to 200,000 units in 2007, expects the CrewMax to be the second best-seller in the Tundra lineup, accounting for 30% of total sales.

The Double Cab should be the No.1 seller, Ernest Bastien, corporate manager-vehicle operations, told attendees at the Tundra’s media preview last September in Kentucky, accounting for 60% of total Tundra sales in 2007.

The Regular Cab will take the remaining 10% of sales, Bastien says.

The upgrade engine for all Tundras is Toyota’s new all-aluminum 5.7L V-8 mill, making 381 hp and 401 lb.-ft. (544 Nm) of torque, surpassing the specs of the Ram’s famed Hemi 5.7L V-8, General Motors Corp.’s heavily revised Vortec 6.0L V-8, Ford Motor Co.’s F-150’s 5.4L Triton V-8 and Nissan North America Inc.’s Titan’s Endurance 5.6L V-8.

However, GM’s new 6.2L V-8 (now standard in the Cadillac Escalade) will achieve 400 hp and 417 lb.-ft. (565 Nm) of torque when it comes out next spring in the new GMC Sierra Denali.

Other engines available in the new Tundra include the 236-hp 4L V-6, standard in the Regular Cab model, and the previous Tundra’s volume mill, a 271-hp 4.7L V-8, optional for the B-cab and standard in the Double Cab and CrewMax.

The new ’07 Tundra goes on sale in mid-February, while the CrewMax hits Toyota U.S. dealerships in March.

cschweinsberg@wardsauto.com