Published on April 28th, 2020 | by Daniel Sherman Fernandez0
Toyota RAV4 Hybrid with 302bhp coming to town
The Toyota RAV4 is coming to Malaysia, finally, after so many years of being out of the UMW Toyota spotlight. It was scheduled to arrive late last year, but for reasons beyond their control the launch was delayed to early this year and then the COVID-19 virus hit and another delay happened. Now it is scheduled to be in showrooms nationwide right after lockdown and ready for Malaysians to purchase.
In the lineup will be a Hybrid version of this new RAV4 in line with the governments call for fuel efficient vehicles to be in the minds of new car buyers.
What is interesting to note is that this fun-to-drive Toyota RAV4 is a performance model with an estimated 302 horsepower, advanced all-wheel drive, sport-tuned suspension and exclusive design features. So, it could be the best selling variant as well.
It is the first-ever RAV4 plug-in hybrid electric vehicle (PHEV) and in addition to an ability to do the 0-100km/h acceleration in a projected 5.8 seconds, which is the second quickest acceleration time in the Toyota lineup, it can drive an estimated 62 kilometers on battery alone on a single charge, which is the highest EV range of any PHEV SUV in the market. Welcome to a new chapter of Toyota SUV performance.
How Does It Do That?
Toyota hybrids have for years demonstrated high performance with low fuel consumption, and now the 2021 RAV4 Primemakes one of the strongest cases yet. The RAV4 Prime uses a differently tuned version of the RAV4 Hybrid’s 2.5-liter four-cylinder Atkinson-cycle petrol engine. It produces the same 176 hp as in the hybrid, but with 227Nm peak torque at 2,800 rpm vs. the RAV4 Hybrid’s 220Nm. 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 petrol engine and a motor generator work together to deliver dynamic performance, while both motor generators charge the 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’s enhanced heat pump HVAC system, based on Prius Prime’s and tailored to fit RAV4 Prime, contributes to an increasing EV range, as energy consumption for cabin temperature control can significantly decrease EV driving range.
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.
As on the RAV4 Hybrid, the innovative Predictive Efficient Drive feature acts like an invisible “hyper-miler” co-driver. Using the available navigation system, Predictive Efficient Drive essentially reads the road and learns driver patterns to optimize hybrid battery charging and discharging operations based on driving conditions. The system accumulates data as the vehicle is driven and “remembers” road features such as hills and stoplights and adjusts the hybrid powertrain operation to maximize efficiency.
Starting with the 2020 model year, every Toyota Hybrid Battery Warranty is being increased from 8 years or 100,000 miles (160,000 kilometers) to 10 years from original date of first use, or 150,000 miles (241,000), whichever comes first.