You might be pining for Supra, but this is Toyota's most important reveal of the year.
President of Toyota Motor Corporation, Akio Toyoda, has repeated the same mantra for four years to buyers, the media, and his own employees: no more boring cars. His war against beige has produced the Toyota 86, Lexus LC, and the soon-to-be-resurrected Supra. But later this month will be Toyoda's ultimate test: taking the boredom out of an already boring car. Toyota released a teaser image today for its fifth-generation RAV4, historically one of the most boring—but also most important—models in its lineup.
Toyota didn't release any details with the teaser image, simply stating the new RAV4 would debut on March 28th, the first day of the 2018 New York Auto Show. Not much can be gleaned from the teaser image, either, as Toyota has been clever enough to ask someone in the creative department to scrub away all the usually decipherable detail from the black part of the photo. Car and Driver reported the new RAV4 may take some inspiration from the FT-AC concept the automaker showed at last year's Los Angeles Auto Show. That model split the difference between the RAV4 and the rough-and-tumble 4Runner by giving a smaller utility more rugged exterior features and a big, bold grille.
From a mechanical standpoint, Motor Trend reports the next-generation 2019 RAV4 will likely adopt a more powerful, naturally aspirated 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine. The current RAV4 makes do with 176 hp and 172 lb-ft of torque, though Motor Trend posits it will likely be closer to the Camry's 203 hp and 184 lb-ft of torque for 2019. Expect an eight-speed automatic to replace the current six-speed slushbox.Still, we do know a few things for sure: The 2019 RAV4 will ride upon the same TNGA platform as the Prius, Euro-market Auris (U.S.-market Corolla iM), and the new Lexus UX. The platform has even been used by the Lexus LC coupe in rear-drive form.
Thanks to that hybrid-friendly platform, expect the top-rung RAV4 to be electrified just like the current model, though it will likely get a bigger battery and possibly a more powerful electric motor. We'll find out more later this month in New York. Toyota didn't release an on-sale date, but expect a swift transition from auto show to dealer lot sometime this summer.