TORONTO, ON – November 20, 2019 - The fifth-generation Toyota RAV4, on the market for barely a year, is going more places than it has ever gone before. The arrival of the first-ever RAV4 TRD Off-Road model was announced earlier this year, and today, at the 2019 Los Angeles Auto Show, Toyota debuts a new premium, fun-to-drive RAV4 performance model with an estimated 302-horsepower, advanced all-wheel drive, sport-tuned suspension and exclusive design features.
It just happens to also be the first-ever RAV4 plug-in hybrid electric vehicle (PHEV). And so, in addition to an ability to do 0-96 km/h in a projected 5.8 seconds, which is the second quickest acceleration time in the Toyota lineup, it can drive an estimated 60 kilometres on battery alone on a single charge, which is the highest EV range of any PHEV SUV on the market. The RAV4 Prime also has a manufacturer-estimated 2.6 Le/100 km fuel consumption. Welcome to a new chapter of Toyota SUV performance.
The Toyota RAV4 Prime, a 2021 model that will begin to arrive in summer 2020, breaks ground as the most powerful and quickest RAV4 ever while also being the most fuel-efficient.
The 2021 RAV4 Prime will be available in SE and XSE grades, both emphasizing athletic on-road performance and premium comfort and style. With its plug-in hybrid technology advancing, Toyota sees such vehicles as critical to an overall electrification strategy that will also include standard hybrids and battery electric vehicles (BEVs), along with fuel cell electric vehicles (FCEVs) like the second-generation Mirai unveiled in October.
The Toyota RAV4 Prime builds on the RAV4 Hybrid, which is currently the most powerful and most fuel-efficient model in the line with sales up 97 per cent over the previous generation in Canada and currently the best-selling hybrid vehicle on the market. The RAV4 Prime amplifies both performance and efficiency, reflecting Toyota’s 20+ years of hybrid vehicle leadership.
With more powerful motor-generators, a newly developed high-capacity Lithium-Ion battery and a booster converter, the 2021 RAV4 Prime yields an 83 horsepower (hp) jump in total system output over the RAV4 Hybrid and has the most horsepower in its segment. The resulting boost in performance is striking: Toyota’s projects 0-96 km/h acceleration in 5.8 seconds quicker than the RAV4 Hybrid (7.8 seconds) and in a league with luxury/performance SUVs that come nowhere near this Toyota’s remarkable fuel economy. And, notably, the RAV4 Prime uses regular-grade gasoline -- just not much of it.
A comparison with an older RAV4 offers a vivid illustration of the march of technology. The 2006-2012 RAV4 offered an optional 269 horsepower, 3.5-litre gas V6 engine that reached 0-96 km/h in 6.3 seconds, which is a half-second slower than the RAV4 Prime. And, that model’s 9.6 L/100 km combined fuel consumption rating simply pales in comparison.
Sporty and Sportier
Toyota engineered the 2021 RAV4 Prime for the performance-oriented driver and is therefore offering it in the sporty SE and XSE grades. The SE grade is new for the RAV4 Prime, and the XSE is currently exclusive to the RAV4 Hybrid. The SE flaunts its sporty attitude with 18-inch painted and machined alloy wheels and an exclusive front grille design and front lower spoiler. Piano black exterior accents and a painted grille/diffuser complete the premium look.
The SE’s equipment is quite comprehensive, with standard heated front seats, 8-way power driver’s seat with lumbar adjustment, 7-inch Multi-Information Display, Blind Spot Monitor, Audio with 8-inch touch-screen and a leather heated steering wheel and shift knob with red stitching.
As on the current RAV4 Hybrid XSE, the Prime version of this grade stands apart with a two-tone exterior paint scheme pairing a black roof with select colours, including the striking new-to-RAV4 Supersonic Red. Exclusive 19-inch alloy wheels, the largest ever offered on a hybrid RAV4, have a unique two-tone design. Vertical LED accent lights give the XSE a distinct look, while the optional Adaptive Front Lighting System (AFS) with headlamp auto-leveling partially aims the beams into turns as the driver steers.
Inside, XSE steps up the sport, luxury and tech with unique SofTex synthetic leather seat surfaces, wireless smartphone charging, ambient lighting, auto-dimming rearview mirror with integrated garage door opener and the largest multimedia screen in any RAV4 ever. The XSE lets in the sun, moon and stars while keeping the cold at bay with a heated steering wheel, heated rear outboard seats, and windshield wiper de-icer, while rain-sensing windshield wipers add to convenience.
An available Premium Package pushes the RAV4 Prime XSE further with the RAV4’s first-ever paddle shifters, perforated and ventilated SofTex front seats, RAV4’s first head-up display, heated rear SofTex outboard seats, panoramic moonroof, digital rear-view mirror, memory driver’s seat, 4-way power passenger seat, 5-door SmartKey system, kick-type power rear liftgate, Bird’s Eye View Monitor and yes, more.
How Does It Do That?
Toyota hybrids have for years demonstrated high performance with low fuel consumption, and now the 2021 RAV4 Prime makes one of the strongest cases yet. The RAV4 Prime uses a differently tuned version of the RAV4 Hybrid’s 2.5-litre four-cylinder Atkinson-cycle gas engine. It produces the same 176 horsepower as in the hybrid, but with 168 lb.-ft. of peak torque at 2,800 rpm vs. the RAV4 Hybrid’s 163 lb.-ft. at 3,600-5,200 rpm.
That makes a useful difference in lower-speed performance, while using more powerful electric motor-generators really juice the RAV4 Prime’s responses. As in the RAV4 Hybrid, the gas engine and a motor generator work together to deliver dynamic performance, while both motor generators charge the larger Prime battery.
The RAV4 Prime’s interior space isn’t compromised by the larger Lithium-Ion battery, as it is mounted under the floor. The mounting position also gives the RAV4 Prime a lower center of gravity and enhanced driving stability.
The RAV4 Prime employs the same version of Electronic On-Demand All-Wheel Drive (AWD) as the RAV4 Hybrid. In both models, a separate rear-mounted electric motor powers the rear wheels when needed, including proactively on acceleration startup and also in reduced-traction conditions.
The AWD system also reduces understeer during cornering for enhanced steering stability. Off-pavement, AWD enhances hill-climbing performance. A driver-selectable Trail mode makes it possible to get unstuck by braking a spinning wheel and sending torque to the grounding wheel.
With available paddle shifters, the driver can “downshift” to increase the regenerative braking in steps, which fosters greater control when driving in hilly areas, for example.
All Toyota RAV4 models come equipped with standard Toyota Safety Sense (TSS 2.0), which groups a long roster of active-safety technologies and capabilities:
The XSE Premium Package adds Rear Cross Traffic Braking (RCTB) and Front and Rear Parking Assist with Automated Braking (PA w/AB).
Starting with the 2020 model year, every Toyota Hybrid Battery Warranty is being increased from 8 years or 160,000 kilometres to 10 years from original date of first use, or 240,000 kilometres, whichever comes first.
About Toyota Canada Inc.
Toyota Canada Inc. (TCI) is the exclusive Canadian distributor of Toyota and Lexus vehicles. Toyota has sold over eight million vehicles in Canada through a national network of 287 Toyota and Lexus dealerships. Toyota is dedicated to bringing safety, quality, dependability and reliability to the vehicles Canadians drive and the service they receive. TCI’s head office is located in Toronto, with regional offices in Vancouver, Calgary, Montreal and Halifax, and parts distribution centres in Toronto and Vancouver. Toyota operates two manufacturing facilities in Canada. Having produced more than eight million vehicles, popular Canadian models built at these facilities include Toyota RAV4, Toyota RAV4 Hybrid, Lexus RX 350 and RX 450h hybrid. Recent investments at its facilities in Ontario will allow for increased production of the top-selling Toyota RAV4 and RAV4 Hybrid models.
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