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Advanced AWD Technologies for all-new Toyota Rav4

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.

Body copy All-New Toyota RAV4 (Overseas model shown. Australian specifications may vary).

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.

The 2019 RAV4 line-up will include the first Toyota hybrid SUV available in Australia, featuring the option of a newly developed electric AWD system that provides maximum traction with high-level fuel efficiency.

A mechanical AWD system is also available in the new range, updated with Toyota’s first dynamic torque vectoring system that apportions torque between the left and right rear wheels as well as between the front and rear axles.

Due in local dealerships during the second quarter of 2019, the fifth-generation RAV4 will be offered with three new four-cylinder direct-injection engines – 2.0-litre petrol with front-wheel-drive (FWD), 2.5-litre hybrid (FWD or electric AWD) and 2.5-litre petrol (mechanical AWD).

Highlighting the performance credentials of Toyota’s hybrid technology, the most powerful yet most fuel-efficient RAV4 variants will be equipped with 2.5-litre hybrid technology delivering total system output of 155kW.

Buyers choosing the non-hybrid version of this new 2.5-litre engine will have 152kW and 243Nm on tap – almost 15.2 per cent more power and 4.3 per cent more torque than the current engine of similar capacity.

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 18.7 per cent to 127kW and peak torque by 8.6 per cent to 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.

Toyota Australia’s vice president sales and marketing Sean Hanley said the new drivelines and AWD systems will add to the RAV4’s spirit of adventure and driving pleasure by delivering enhanced performance, capability and control.

“All-new RAV4 will offer even greater appeal for people looking to re-energise in comfort and luxury, whether on the everyday commute or while enjoying weekend trips away,” Mr Hanley said.

“The new drivetrains deliver confidence-inspiring performance and agility and will result in a new perception of hybrid with electric AWD capability that enhances driving pleasure,” he said.

Hybrid RAV4 with advanced electric AWD system

The new RAV4 hybrid’s advanced and capable electric AWD system offers optimum traction, handling and stability in slippery conditions.

It is more compact and lighter than mechanical AWD systems, contributing to excellent vehicle packaging and fuel consumption.

The system efficiently generates drive torque using power from the hybrid vehicle system and an additional motor generator on the rear axle, that features gearing optimised for strong torque.

This design minimises energy losses, saves weight and optimises AWD operation in different driving conditions.

Depending on driving conditions, up to 80 per cent of the available torque can be directed to the rear wheels, delivering sure-footed performance such as when pulling away on loose, slippery surfaces.

Hybrid and petrol variants have the same luggage space with the hybrid battery located under the rear seat.

Petrol 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 hybrid RAV4 with electric AWD is equipped with a new automatic limited-slip differential (auto-LSD), which ensures the best possible grip and control in slippery conditions. It can also provide valuable assistance in challenging off-road conditions.

If a driven wheel loses contact with the ground on very uneven terrain, the auto-LSD – activated by a drive mode selector on the centre console – enables the free rotating wheel to be braked and drive torque directed to the grounded wheel. Throttle control and the transmission shift pattern are also adapted to help the driver keep the vehicle moving.

RAV4 pedigree

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 Australia 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.

In Australia, RAV4 has grown in popularity. It passed the 10,000-mark for the first time in 2001. Sales during the past five years have averaged 18,800 a year and annual sales passed 20,000 for the first time in 2017.

Cumulative RAV4 sales in Australia reached 100,000 vehicles in 2006, passed the 200,000 mark in 2013 and this year exceeded 300,000 deliveries.

High customer demand has seen the local SUV market more than double in the past 10 years. These vehicles now account for 42.9 per cent of the new-vehicle market compared with less than 20 per cent in 2008. Annual SUV sales this year are on track to pass 500,000 vehicles for the first time.