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Concept Toyota FT-AC becomes new RAV4


Teased earlier this month, Toyota has officially taken the wraps off the new fifth-generation RAV4 on the first day of the New York Auto Show.

Essentially the production version of the FT-AC shown in Los Angeles last year, the latest version of Toyota’s long-awaited compact SUV features a more aggressive design only slightly watered down from the concept, with a notable absence, compared to previous generations, being the tailgate-mounted spare wheel.

Based on the same TNGA platform as the C-HR, Prius and certain Lexus models, the new RAV4 measures 4 595 mm in overall length with a wheelbase of 2 689 mm, a width of 1 854 mm and height of 1 699 mm.

Translating to a 30 mm gain in wheelbase and 10 mm in width, with overall length and height going down by five millimetres, Toyota claims a 57% improvement in chassis rigidity with a further new addition being Dynamic Torque Vectoring on all-wheel drive models, which can not only send as much as 50% of the available torque to the rear wheels but also disconnect the rear axle when drive to all fours is not required.

Hybrid models meanwhile are outfitted with the similarly new All-Wheel Drive with Intelligence (AWD-i) system, which sends as much as 30% of the torque on offer to the rear wheels.

A radical departure from the current RAV4 is the newcomer’s interior that Toyota claims has been “refined in every way”. Aside from the carryover steering wheel, the interior, depending on the trim level, features a new freestanding seven-inch touchscreen display with Toyota’s Entune 3.0 operating system that incorporates Apple CarPlay, Android Auto and Amazon Alexa, while the bigger eight-inch display adds satellite navigation and Sirius XM digital radio.

Available with up to five USB ports, optional Qi wireless smartphone charging and an 11-speaker, 800-watt JBL sound system, the RAV4’s safety portfolio consists of Pre-Collision with Pedestrian Detection, Lane Departure Warning with Steering Assist, Dynamic Radar Cruise Control, Lane Tracing Assist, High Beam Assist and Road Sign Assist as part of Toyota’s new Safety Sense suite.

Further safety tech is Rear Cross Traffic Alert, Blind Spot Monitor, Intelligent Clearance Sonar and surround view camera with eight airbags being fitted as standard on all models.

In North America, the RAV4 will initially be powered by two petrol engines; the new 2.5-litre Dynamic Force mill mated to an equally new eight-speed Direct Shift automatic gearbox, and a hybrid utilising the same engine but with an added electric motor coupled to a CVT. No further technical details were however revealed.

Sales of the RAV4 will commence in the United States towards the end year, with local availability expected to be kick-off next year.

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