It’s the second quickest Toyota model after the Supra.
The all-new fifth-generation Toyota RAV4 has only been on sale for around a year, but Toyota has wasted no time expanding the lineup. Last month saw the debut of the first-ever Toyota RAV4 TRD Off-Road, and now another new RAV4 variant has debuted at the 2019 LA Auto Show. Say hello to the 2021 Toyota RAV4 Prime: the fastest and most powerful Toyota RAV4 ever made. Despite this, it's also the most fuel-efficient model because the Prime also happens to be the first-ever plug-in hybrid RAV4.
Based on the Toyota RAV4 Hybrid, the RAV4 Prime packs a 2.5-liter four-cylinder gas engine with a high-capacity lithium-Ion battery, a booster converter, and two electric motors producing a combined output of 302 horsepower – that's 83 more horsepower than the current RAV4 Hybrid. Unsurprisingly, this has resulted in a significant performance boost. 0-62 mph in the RAV4 Prime takes 5.8 seconds, compared to 7.8 seconds in the RAV4 Hybrid. Impressively, that makes the RAV4 Prime the second quickest Toyota model after the 2020 Toyota GR Supra.
Despite its brisk performance, the RAV4 Prime boasts impressive fuel economy and range. Toyota estimates it will achieve 90 MPGe and deliver 39 miles of electric range, which is the highest EV range of any PHEV SUV on the market. Since the larger lithium-ion battery is mounted under the floor, the RAV4 Prime's passenger space hasn't been compromised with 37.6 cu.ft of cargo space. The battery's position also gives the RAV4 Prime a low center of gravity and enhanced driving stability.
Like the RAV4 Hybrid, the RAV4 Prime has an electronic on-demand all-wheel-drive system that uses a separate rear-mounted electric motor to power the rear wheels when needed while also reducing understeer during cornering. Off-road, a selectable 'Trail' mode makes it possible to get unstuck by braking a spinning wheel and sending torque to the grounding wheel. Using the available paddle shifters, the driver can also downshift to increase the regenerative braking, resulting in greater control over hilly areas.
Toyota will offer the performance-focused 2021 RAV4 Prime in sporty SE and XSE guises. The SE trim is new for the RAV4 Prime, while the XSE is currently exclusive to the RAV4 Hybrid. The SE trim includes 18-inch painted and machined alloy wheels, an exclusive front grille design, and front lower spoiler. Piano black exterior accents and a painted grille and diffuser give the SUV a premium look.
Standard equipment includes heated front seats, an eight-way power driver's seat with lumbar adjustment, seven-inch display, blind spot monitor, a leather steering wheel and shift knob with red stitching, power liftgate, and an eight-inch touch-screen Amazon Alexa, Android Auto and Apple CarPlay support. The range-topping XSE trim, on the other hand, features a two-tone exterior paint scheme pairing a black roof with select colors, including the striking Supersonic Red.
It also rides on exclusive 19-inch alloy wheels, the largest ever offered on a hybrid RAV4, with a unique two-tone design. Vertical LED accent lights give the XSE a unique look, while the optional Adaptive Front Lighting System with headlamp auto-leveling partially aims the beams into turns as the driver steers.
Inside, the XSE comes with the RAV4's first-ever paddle shifters, along with a moonroof, unique synthetic leather seat surfaces, wireless smartphone charging, ambient lighting, auto-dimming rearview mirror with integrated garage door opener, and a nine-inch touch-screen. An optional premium package adds dynamic navigation, JBL speakers, ventilated seats, a head-up display, heated steering wheel, panoramic moonroof, digital rear-view mirror, memory driver's seat, four-way power passenger seat, kick-type power rear liftgate, and more.
The 2021 Toyota RAV4 Prime will arrive in dealers in summer 2020, with pricing to be announced at a later date.