Report: Toyota Considering RAV4 Hybrid Crossover
The 2013 Toyota RAV4 may have just debuted at the L.A. Auto Show, but rumors are already swirling over new variants. The 2013 RAV4 is currently powered by a 2.5-liter I-4, and rumor has it a hybrid variant could join the lineup in the future.
RAV4 deputy chief engineer Yoshikazu Saeki told Auto Express that a hybrid variant is definitely a possibility, especially if the market demands such a powertrain. The 2013 Toyota RAV4's 2.5-liter four-cylinder is the same engine used in other hybrid 2013 Toyota RAV 4 cockpit2 300x187 imageapplications including the Camry, where the hybrid system's net power (including the electric motor) produces 200 hp. Toyota could also pull a powertrain from any of the Prius family members like the Prius v, which combines a 1.8-liter 98-hp Atkinson cycle four-cylinder with an 80-hp electric motor.
The outgoing third-generation RAV4 is available with an optional 268-hp V-6, but Toyota has decided not to offer the bigger mill in the new model. Customers wanting more oomph will have to opt for a Highlander or an FJ Cruiser. A hybrid RAV4, however, could prove to be a more popular option compared to the V-6 since consumers are increasingly mindful of increasing gas prices. Toyota says the normal front-drive 2013 RAV4 should receive an EPA rating of 24/31 mpg city/highway, and we expect a hybrid version would reach or at least get close to 40 mpg on the highway. Ford's now-discontinued Escape Hybrid received an EPA-rated 34/31 mpg for the front-drive model.
The RAV4 is also offered with an all-electric powertrain, which went on sale just last month on a low-volume level. The 2012 RAV4 EV was a joint venture between Toyota and Tesla Motors, with the latter providing much of the powertrain, which produces 154 hp and propels the crossover from 0-60 mph in just 7 seconds. It has a range of 103 miles and its 41.8 kW-hour battery reaches full charge in six hours using a level 2 charger. Earlier this year Toyota told us it has no plans yet to electrify the new fourth-gen RAV4, but said it would consider it depending on market demand.
Do you think a Toyota RAV4 Hybrid should be developed for the U.S. market?
Source: tAuto Express