Toyota’s hybrid electric technology makes the new RAV4 Plug-in the most powerful version of the world’s best-selling SUV yet. The new model is due for UK launch in 2021. The new plug-in hybrid system sets electric power as the vehicle’s default running mode.
Maximum output for the full powertrain, including the 2.5-litre petrol engine (with higher output), is 302bhp/225kW – 38 per cent more than the standard RAV4 Hybrid – enabling 0-62mph acceleration in six seconds (2.1 seconds faster than the hybrid). Toyota says that more accessible power makes for better drivability, with 50 per cent more power available at 37mph (60km/h).
Homologated WLTP data indicates 282.5mpg and 22g/km respectively.
EV running is the RAV4 Plug-in’s default mode, even with hard use of the accelerator pedal. In this mode it can cover 46.6 miles (75km, WLTP cycle), with no fuel consumption and no tailpipe emissions. That distance increases to up to around 60 miles (98km) in urban driving (City WLTP cycle) on a full battery charge – comfortably more than the average European daily commuting distance.
When battery charge level permits, it can also reach 84mph (135km/h, where speed limits allow), with no intervention from the petrol engine, giving EV performance suitable for the motorway.
When the limit of EV driving range is reached, RAV4 Plug-in automatically switches to its hybrid vehicle (HV) mode. The choice of driving modes means the driver can use HV mode to start their journey, then switch to EV mode to maximise efficiency, for example when reaching an urban area.
In Auto EV/HV mode, the hybrid system will automatically come into play when extra power is needed, for example under sharp, sudden acceleration, then returning to EV mode immediately afterwards.
The RAV4 Plug-in uses a new lithium-ion battery, with energy capacity increased to 18kW/h and voltage rated at 355.2V, giving significantly higher output. The power control unit has also been adjusted with the addition of a boost converter to that more power can be drawn from the battery. The front electric motor’s output is also increased, by 46kW to 134kW.
Battery charging is simple and safe and can be accomplished in 2.5 hours using a 230V/32A connection.
More UK technical information, specifications and pricing for the new RAV4 Plug-in will be published later and the new model will arrive in showrooms in spring 2021.