Toyota is planning to offer a hybrid version of every car in its lineup by the year 2020, and today it took a step towards that goal by unveiling the 2016 RAV4 Hybrid at the New York International Auto Show. Toyota's compact crossover utility vehicle is one of the world's top-selling small SUVs, and this marks the first time that it will be offered with a fuel-efficient hybrid powertrain. The RAV4 Hybrid has a 2.5 liter, 4-cylinder engine mated to three electric motors, and although Toyota is keeping many technical specs under wraps until its official fall release, they're certain to be impressive.
The RAV4 competes in one of the most crowded segments in the auto industry. Other compact SUVs on the market include the Ford Escape, Hyundai Tucson, Honda CR-V, Chevrolet Equinox, and Nissan Rogue, however none of these models offer a hybrid powertrain. Toyota’s 2016 RAV4 Hybrid will be the 8th hybrid vehicle in the automaker’s lineup and the first hybrid in its class, with “more power with more fuel efficiency than the standard gas model”.
This no-compromise SUV hybrid is the centerpiece of a model upgrade that gives all models more premium styling, more innovative technology, and a premium ride. It boasts a new front end, 50 percent more noise-reducing material to the floor, enhanced seals for a quieter interior atmosphere, a new bumper, and new headlights complete with LED high and low beams and daytime running lights. Even its new LED taillights are sexy. A birds-eye view camera gives the driver a panoramic view of their surroundings, which is incredibly handy while parallel parking and pulling out of parking spaces.
The perimeter scan offers a live, rotating 360-degree view of what’s around the vehicle, and the RAV4 Hybrid will also offer the new Toyota Safety Sense package: a set of high-tech safety systems that enable the vehicle to detect lane changes, turn off high beams when another vehicle approaches, and automatically brake if there’s an object or vehicle ahead.
Photos by Mike Chino for Inhabitat