Toyota's all-new RAV4 will introduce two advanced all-wheel-drive (AWD) systems that will distinguish the range with sure-footed cornering performance and grip in all driving conditions.
Due in local dealerships during the first quarter of 2019, the fifth-generation RAV4 will be offered with all new four-cylinder direct-injection engines - 2.0-litre petrol with front-wheel-drive (FWD) and 2.5-litre petrol (mechanical AWD). A Hybrid model will also be offered in overseas markets in both FWD and newly-developed Electric AWD configurations.
Buyers choosing the non-hybrid version of this new 2.5-litre engine will have 152kW and 243Nm on tap – a substantial 15% improvement in power.
It will be mated exclusively to a new eight-speed automatic transmission, including a lower first gear for enhanced start-off performance and a much wider ratio spread than the six-speed automatic it replaces.
RAV4 can also be equipped with a new 2.0-litre engine that delivers thermal efficiency of up to 40 per cent. Maximum power has been increased by 18 per cent to 127kW with a generous peak torque figure of 203Nm.
It will come with the choice of a CVT or an intelligent six-speed manual gearbox that provides rev-matching control for smoother and more responsive gear shifts. This new CVT features an innovative launch gear for sporty driving with impressive fuel efficiency.
RAV4 gains new dynamic torque vectoring system
The mechanical all-wheel drive system for the new RAV4 2.5-litre petrol engine with 8-speed auto features Toyota's first dynamic torque vectoring system. It ensures stable performance and accurate response to the driver's steering inputs when cornering, both in dry and slippery conditions.
As well as providing up to 50 per cent of the available torque to the rear wheels, the new system introduces independent couplings on the rear-axle output shafts to control torque distribution between the left and right wheels.
When AWD is not required, such as during constant-speed driving, a new disconnect feature stops rotation of the driveline to contribute to lower fuel consumption.
AWD Integrated Management
Performance of the new RAV4's two AWD systems is further improved with the introduction of AWD Integrated Management (AIM). AIM automatically adjusts vital vehicle systems - steering assist, brake and throttle control, shift pattern and drive torque distribution - according to the drive mode selected.
The driver can switch from Normal to Eco or Sport mode. In Eco mode, AIM decreases drive torque to enhance fuel efficiency. In Sport mode, it modifies the steering assist, throttle control shift schedule and drive torque distribution to gain better on-road performance.
For the mechanical AWD system, a multi-terrain switch enables the driver to select the appropriate settings for mud & sand or rock & dirt.
The name RAV-FOUR (for Recreational Active Vehicle Four-wheel drive) first appeared on a small 4WD concept shown at the 1989 Tokyo Motor Show.
The production version, named RAV4, made its debut at the Tokyo show in 1993 and was released in South Africa the following year. The arrival of the fifth-generation RAV4 will coincide with the model's 25th anniversary.
The Toyota RAV4 - widely credited with creating and popularising the SUV market segment - has become one of the world's best-selling vehicles and sits at the heart of Toyota's global business.
Cumulative global sales across four generations since 1994 have reached more than 8.1 million vehicles. In 2017, RAV4 was the world's best-selling SUV and fourth best-selling model overall, with 810,953 sales.
Local specification and model line-up detail will follow at launch timing (Q1 2019)