Do not adjust your eyes. This is not photoshop, this is Suzuki’s re-nosed version of the Toyota RAV4 plug-in hybrid.
It has just gone on sale in Europe and is one of the first shared vehicles under the new partnership between the two Japanese car makers.
Last year Toyota pledged to buy 24 million shares in Suzuki valued at roughly ¥96 billion (AU$1.34 billion), giving Toyota control of 4.94 per cent of Suzuki's common stock. At the same time, Suzuki pledged to acquire ¥48 billion (AU$670 million) worth of shares in Toyota.
Last year, Toyota unveiled a version of the Suzuki Baleno – called the Toyota Glanza – for the Indian market (pictured below).
Now Suzuki has its own plug-in hybrid version of one of the world’s – and Australia’s – most popular SUVs, the Toyota RAV4.
The plug-in hybrid is on sale in Europe and the US and enables the car to be driven on electric power for up to 75km before the petrol engine kicks in.
On a regular Toyota RAV4 hybrid, it charges its onboard battery pack while on the move and when braking, and can travel up to 1km on electricity alone before the petrol engine kicks in. The main purpose of the technology currently is to help move the car from rest up to 40km/h, the thirstiest part of commuter driving.
The plug-in hybrid version of the RAV4 is not likely for Australia anytime soon wearing a Toyota or Suzuki badge.
CarAdvice understands both companies have expressed an interest in these models and have reportedly requested them from their respective head offices.
However, both companies say there are no current plans to introduce this model.
In the meantime, Toyota says it is continuing to request more supply of the RAV4 Hybrid so it can shorten waiting times.