The Toyota RAV4 Hybrid has been unveiled at the 2015 New York auto show.
Under the skin, the RAV4 Hybrid features a 2.5-litre Atkinson-cycle four-cylinder petrol engine and an electric motor to drive the front wheels. All-wheel drive is provided by a separate electric motor, which powers the rear wheels as traction and conditions demand.
Toyota has yet to provide power, torque or fuel economy figures for the RAV4 Hybrid, but Jim Lentz, Toyota USA’s CEO, expects those numbers to be “close” to the numbers produced by the same drivetrain in the Lexus NX Hybrid.
The RAV4 Hybrid will go on sale later this year in both North America and Europe. In the US, the company is predicting that between 10 to 15 percent of RAV4 buyers will end up choosing the hybrid version.
Stephen Coughlan, product public relations manager for Toyota Australia, has told Car Advice that the local arm has “no plans to expand the current RAV4 engine offering which includes two petrol and one turbo diesel engine”.
For North America, the Hybrid is the first model to be blessed with the RAV4’s facelifted looks. Up front, to go along with the redesigned bumper, there’s a new grille and headlight design that’s similar to the one used on the facelifted Corolla hatchback. At the rear, the tail-light graphics have been reworked to incorporate horizontal light tubes.
Lentz believes that “the RAV4 [facelift] will be a little bit different around the world”, although it’s not clear how far Australia-bound models will stray from the looks of the North American model.
In the US, the updated RAV4 will be available with lane departure monitoring, automatic high beams, radar-guided cruise control and automated pre-collision braking.