Earlier this year, Toyota teased what they say would be the most powerful RAV4 yet. At the time, there was only one photo of the RAV4 shown. Furthermore, the only powertrain information Toyota disclosed was that it would be a plug-in hybrid.
Now with the 2019 Los Angeles Auto Show in full swing, the Japanese automaker has finally revealed the most powerful (and possibly most fuel-efficient) RAV4 yet – the RAV4 Prime.
Similar to Prius Prime, the RAV4 Prime adds a plug-in hybrid option to Toyota’s ever-popular crossover. Because of this, the plug-in hybrid RAV4 gets even better numbers thanks to the extra battery power. How much? Toyota claims that the new variant produces around 302 horsepower. For reference, the RAV4 hybrid only had 219 horsepower.
No changes were made to the engine as it continues to use the 2.5-liter inline-four mill found on the RAV4 Hybrid. However, the Prime uses a new lithium-ion battery pack and boost converter. This results in an 83 horsepower increase over the Hybrid model, earning it the title of most powerful RAV4 yet.
Thanks to the increase in power, the RAV4 Prime is capable of accelerating from 0 to 97 km/h in just 5.8-seconds. This makes it the second quickest accelerating model in Toyota’s lineup, only behind the Supra. It even out accelerates the 86 sports coupe, and the older V6-powered RAV4.
Despite the increase in power, the RAV4 Prime is still a very fuel-efficient vehicle. According to Toyota, the plug-in hybrid crossover can still do 38 kilometers per liter and can travel up to 63 kilometers on electric power alone. For now, Toyota has not provided any estimate regarding charging time. Despite the larger battery pack, Toyota claims it is mounted beneath the floor which means cargo space remains the same.
The RAV4 Prime is available in two trim levels in the US: SE and XSE. For the SE variant, the Prime looks nearly identical to that of other RAV4 variants. Only in the XSE trim does it get a two-tone paint job, 19-inch wheels and vertical LED daytime running lights seen in the photos above. Inside, the XSE also gets a 9-inch touchscreen infotainment system and paddle shifters.
The RAV4 Prime goes on sale in the summer of 2020. Pricing has yet to be announced. Do expect it to be a step up above the RAV4 Hybrid offered in the US.