Toyota has designed the ultimate mountain rescue vehicle.
One of the stars of the 2021 Tokyo Auto Salon was going to be the Toyota RAV4 Mountain Rescue concept, which, as the name suggests, transforms the off-roader into a rugged rescue vehicle. After the cancellation of this year's show, Toyota decided to show it off at an SUV exhibition in Toyama Prefecture, Japan.
Based on the Toyota RAV4 Adventure Gear that debuted at the 2020 Tokyo Auto Salon, the new concept is fitted with flashing emergency lights and LED spotlights providing extra visibility for night-time rescues.
The location of the reveal to show what a hypothetical Toyota RAV4 rescue vehicle can do was ideal, as the area recorded record-breaking snowfall in January, resulting in many people getting stranded after their vehicles became stuck in the snow.
To help tackle treacherous conditions in mountain areas, the concept is equipped with chunky off-road tires and has a raised ride height compared to the regular RAV4. On-board equipment includes lidar, a camera, flashlights, speakers, and a drone that can be detached when required. Additional rescue gear such as helmets and climbing ropes is also stored inside the concept SUV. There's even an augmented reality function that Toyota says can make driving in bad weather conditions easier.
The Toyota RAV4 Mountain Rescue concept will be showcased at the Aeon Mall in Takaoka on March 13 and 14, but we'll have to wait and see if it enters production. No powertrain details were announced, but the standard Toyota RAV4 is powered by a 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine producing 203 horsepower and 184 lb-ft of torque. A hybrid variant is also available with a pair of electric motors that increase the output to 219 hp. Topping the range is the more powerful RAV4 Prime plug-in hybrid, which has 302 hp.