Toyota has launched its completely redesigned RAV4 SUV in Japan and announced the start of sales in the country. The carmaker is targeting monthly sales of 3,000 units in Japan.
The first-generation RAV44 debuted in 1994, when body-on-frame four-wheel drive vehicles were positioned as off-road vehicles. The RAV4 would go on to play a pivotal role in the development of a new market for the passenger-friendly sport utility vehicle (SUV/crossover SUV).
Based on creating a ‘Robust Accurate Vehicle with 4 Wheel Drive’, the new RAV4 development concept blends the power and sophistication of an SUV, achieving generous rear cargo space and outstanding driving performance realised by a new 4WD system. The elevated cabin design emphasises passenger convenience, featuring easy-to-use open trays and cup holders. The latest Toyota aSafety Sense preventive safety package comes standard in all models, and the available Connected Services offer a safe, secure, comfortable, and convenient drive experience.
The world's first Dynamic Torque Vectoring AWD system enables precise and stable steering by adopting a torque vectoring mechanism, which independently distributes torque to the left and right rear wheels according to driving conditions in addition to the front and rear wheels. It also incorporates a disconnect mechanism that transmits driving force to the rear wheels when 4WD driving is deemed unnecessary, significantly reducing energy loss and improving fuel efficiency.
According to Yoshikazu Saeki, chief engineer in charge of development, "We aimed to develop a car that stimulates the curiosity of customers, inspiring their desire to try something new and to experience the joy of driving anywhere, anytime, and as far as they want."
There are 5 variants on offer. The X and G, which are powered by the M20A-FKS 2.0-litre Dynamic Force Engine) and mated to a CVT), priced at 2,608,200 yen (Rs 16.23 lakh) and 2,835,000 yen (Rs 17.65 lakh) respectively. Then there are the Z Package and Adventure variants with Dynamic Torque Vectoring AWD, priced at 3,348,000 yen (Rs 20.08 lakh) and 3,137,400 yen (Rs 19.53 lakh). Finally, the Hybrid X model which is priced at 3,202,200 yen (Rs 19.93 lakh)
Robust design and enhanced visibility
On the styling front, the latest RAV4 blends the classic robust design with elegant sophistication suitable for an urban setting. Large-diameter tyres lend a powerful stance for off-road performance, producing the SUV's signature ‘lifted-up’ look and accentuating a tough, stable presence.
'Adventure' grade vehicles sport a dedicated front grill and front skid plate, lending a powerful carriage and forward-leaning body. The front bumper and front fog lamp bezel further enhance the ‘lifted-up look’ of the body. The exclusively designed 19-inch aluminium wheels and large wheel arch moulding help enhance the new RAV4's off-road image.
Clear forward visibility is secured by the positioning of the lower instrument panel and windshield wipers that are hidden from view within the cabin, imparting a feeling of spaciousness. Optimally placed side-view mirrors and quarter windows enable excellent forward visibility. Side-rear visibility is also improved with the enlarged rear-quarter glass and smaller pillars at the back of the rear doors.
Class-leading 580-litre cargo capacity is attained even when the rear seats are in use. A reclining rear seat with a 60/40 split and cargo-area deck offering two height levels create a space that can flexibly accommodate a variety of shapes and sizes. Flipping the resin two-height level deck over reveals a plastic surface, ideal for carrying wet or dirty objects. Foot-activated power liftgate allows opening and closing of the rear hatch when the smart key is detected.
The cabin features open trays for ease of use on both the driver seat side and passenger seat side of the instrument panel as well as on the center console to hold small items. Four additional USB charging points (two inside the console box and two in the rear) come standard in all models for added convenience.
Dynamic Torque Vectoring AWD system
The new RAV4 deploys a world-first newly developed four-wheel drive system called Dynamic Torque Vectoring AWD. A torque vectoring mechanism independently distributes torque to the left and right rear wheels according to driving conditions in addition to the front and rear wheels. A disconnect mechanism transmits driving force to rear wheels when 4WD driving is deemed unnecessary, significantly reducing energy loss and improving fuel efficiency.
A TNGA concept-based 2.0-littr Dynamic Force Inline 4-cylinder direct-injection engine mated to a Direct Shift-CVT continuously variable transmission delivers powerful, smooth driving, as well as excellent fuel efficiency, says Toyota.
Hybrid models are equipped with an all-new 2.5-litre hybrid system featuring a 2.5-liter Dynamic Force Engine based on the TNGA concept, offering both excellent fuel efficiency and smooth acceleration. As hybrid vehicles that employ a 4WD system, RAV4 hybrid models leverage a new E-Four that inherits cutting-edge hybrid technology. In concert with increased maximum torque of the rear wheels, a new control system allows torque distribution to the front and rear wheels to be changed from between 100:0 to 20:80.
High on safety
- A pre-collision safety system to detect preceding vehicles or pedestrians (day and night) and bikes (day) to support collision prevention and mitigate damage.
- Dynamic Radar Cruise Control with full-speed range that supports driving behind the car in front.
- Advanced driving assistance technology Lane Tracing Assist (LTA) that supports steering so cars remain centered in the same lane during use of Radar Cruise Control.
- Automatic High Beam (AHB) that changes between high beam and low beam headlights automatically.
- Road Sign Assist (RSA) that displays road signs recognized by the camera on the display so that drivers do not miss road signs, contributing to safe driving.
- Preceding vehicle departure notification as a supplementary function that alerts the driver if the driver is not detected to have responded to the preceding vehicle starting to move.