We had to wait a little more than we expected…
The manufacturer released a teaser photo, showing the back of a 2016 Toyota RAV4 with badges saying “Hybrid” and “Limited” on the tailgate.
It was followed by a press release where was stated: “The 2016 Toyota RAV4 Hybrid. See it April 2, 12:30 p.m. EDT at the New York International Auto Show.”
Toyota has long said that it plans to offer a hybrid variation of each volume car in its lineup by 2020.
Although it is offered a hybrid model of its Highlander mid-size SUV, the RAV4 compact crossover hasn’t had one until now.
This latest RAV4 was released for the 2012 model year, and is still one of the top small SUVs in sales, although it is outsold by the more popular Honda CR-V.
RAV4 finds his competitors in the name of Chevrolet Equinox, Hyundai Tucson, Ford Escape, Subaru Forester and Nissan Rogue, among others…
…no one of which offering a hybrid version.
The 2016 Toyota RAV4 Hybrid model will probably use the same powertrain that’s previously sold in the Lexus NX 300h, the luxury compact crossover from Toyota’s high-end mark which is based on some of the same underpinnings as the RAV4.
A 2.5-liter four-cylinder motor providing 154 horsepower is combined with the current generation of Toyota’s two-motor Hybrid Synergy Drive system to generate a combined peak power of 194 horsepower.
The system offers the mechanical all-wheel drive as on the conventional gasoline model.
As an alternative, the hybrid NX adds a 50-kW (67-hp) 3rd electric motor on the rear axle to provide the rear wheels with torque when the AWD control system senses power is required.
The RAV4 is most likely to utilize a close system, though Toyota has thus far provided neither details nor EPA fuel-economy ratings.
The 2015 Lexus NX 200h is rated by the EPA at 33 mpg combined (35 mpg city, 31 mpg highway) as a front-wheel-drive vehicle, and 32 mpg combined (33 city, 30 highway) when fitted with optional all-wheel drive.
And the 2016 Toyota RAV4 Hybrid upcoming model is likely to return roughly similar ratings probably 1 or 2 mpg higher because of its lighter weight.