Filed under: Crossover , Toyota , First Drives , Tesla , Electric Tesla-Hearted Toyota Offers Real Sport And Utility The 2013 Toyota RAV4 EV is the most advanced Alpha prototype electric vehicle we’ve ever driven. Or maybe it’s a poster child for the 21st Century automotive industry where all sorts of new things are being tried, like when old-school automakers and ambitious start-ups find common purpose in rushing an all-electric crossover to market in two years. Or maybe it’s the end result of a decade-long process of getting the Japanese automaker to bring back its popular – by EV standards, anyway – first-gen RAV4 EV for the new era of electric cars? It is, of course, all of these things, and that’s what makes the RAV4 EV such an interesting vehicle: It not only offers surprisingly good performance on the road, it can also tell you some compelling stories as you jump from 0-60 in seven seconds. In a CUV. With an easy-to-achieve 100-mile range. Most compelling, perhaps, is that the RAV4 EV is a real electric crossover with a real on-sale date. Namely, $49,800 (before any tax credits) and late summer 2012. Of course, the problem, aside from the hefty price, is that this CUV will only be available – initially, anyway – in four major California markets: Sacramento, San Francisco Bay Area, San Diego and Los Angeles/Orange County. Since the RAV4 EV will go on sale in The OC ( don’t call it that ), it made sense that Toyota brought journalists to Newport Beach for some time behind the wheel.
Filed under: Spy Photos , Crossover , Toyota Aside from its shiny new EV counterpart, there hasn’t been much happening in the world of the Toyota RAV4 . That’s set to change, though, as these spy shots indicate that a refreshed model isn’t too far down the pipeline. Just how refreshed will it be? Well, considering the fact that the RAV4′s last major redesign took place six years ago, we hope that there are some significant changes under all of that camouflage. We can already see some new design elements, including a front fascia that reminds us of what we see on the new Camry . Arguably, the current RAV4 is a pretty handsome little thing, but with more and more crossovers adding curvy lines, we wouldn’t be shocked if this new model gained a dose of rakishness. Well, as much as Toyota can muster, anyway. Other details remain slim, but expect the interior to get a much-needed update, likely incorporating features like Toyota’s Entune infotainment system. Under the hood, four-cylinder engines are likely going to be the driving force, including a rumored hybrid variant, but we won’t rule out the inclusion of the automaker’s 3.5-liter V6, as well. The new RAV4 will likely debut later this year in time for the 2013 model year.
Filed under: Hybrid , Sedan , Government/Legal , Recalls , Safety , Crossover , Hatchback , Toyota The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has grown its investigation into certain Toyota models to cover a full 1.4 million cars and trucks. Reuters reports the government safety agency has upgraded the investigation to a full-blown engineering analysis, which may eventually lead to a recall. NHTSA has received a number of complaints concerning fires tied to models built between September 2006 and August 2008 that use the same power window master switch design. All told, customers have reported nine injuries and 161 crashes or fires, though no deaths have been tied to the issue. The analysis covers 2007-2009 Camry , Camry Hybrid , RAV4 and Yaris models as well as 2008 Highlander Hybrid crossover. Back in February, NHTSA opened an investigation into 830,000 Camry and RAV4 units , though today’s announcement grows that number to over 1.4 million models. NHTSA expands Toyota fire probe to 1.4M cars and trucks originally appeared on Autoblog on Mon, 18 Jun 2012 14:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds . Permalink
Filed under: Car Buying , Crossover , Toyota , Electric Announced almost two years ago , Toyota finally gave us some more details about the was the all-electric RAV4 EV will be sold to the general public during the 26th Electric Vehicle Symposium in Los Angeles today. The important number? The MSRP for what Toyota calls a “fully equipped” RAV4 EV is $49,800 and will be available before the end of the year. Toyota says the RAV4 EV’s range is 100 miles and that the car will charge from empty in approximately six hours on a 240V/40A charger. The new RAV4 EV has LED and halogen headlights and it has special “environmental blue” color emblems on the outside. The vehicle will be made at the Toyota Motor Manufacturing Canada, Inc., plant in Woodstock, Ontario. The first generation of the new RAV4 EV was unveiled back at the 2010 Los Angeles Auto Show . Our First Drive report is here . With a battery and powertrain designed by Tesla , the new RAV4 EV certainly appears to be one of the new breed of compliance EVs . We had heard that the RAV4 EV will be lease only, but the official press release says the car “will go on sale in late summer 2012 through select dealers, initially in four major California metropolitan markets.” Those markets are Sacramento, the San Francisco Bay Area, Los Angeles/Orange County and San Diego and the news matches the rumor we heard last year, that sales about be limited to California.
Filed under: Spy Photos , Crossover , Toyota The Toyota RAV4 is due for a major update, having last been redesigned for the 2006 model year. Yes, it’s gotten some tweaks since that time, but the compact crossover market is an ever-evolving place filled with tough competition from around the globe, and Toyota needs the RAV4 to maintain its hard-fought market share. According to our spy photographers, the RAV4′s next redesign is right around the corner. Judging from these photos, it would appear that Toyota is keeping its little ‘ute to the confines of pavement – a wise decision, as vehicles of this ilk never venture very far off the beaten path. That said, the sharply angular lines of this new model’s head and taillamps bring its styling more in line with the latest Camry and Avalon sedans while still putting its occupants over the heads of shorter machinery. Rumors suggest that the 2013 RAV4 will enter production in the fall of ’12, powered by a range of four-cylinder engines and possibly a hybrid. We’d be a bit surprised if the automaker’s 3.5-liter V6 weren’t available, as well. See the spy shots for yourself in our high-res image gallery above. Are you the next Toyota RAV4? originally appeared on Autoblog on Tue, 10 Apr 2012 19:29:00 EST.
Filed under: Plants/Manufacturing , Crossover , Toyota Sales of the RAV4 are down five percent so far in 2012, but that won’t stop Toyota from increasing North American production. Automotive News reports that Toyota will spend $80 million to retool its Woodstock, Ontario plant to increase production from 150,000 crossovers per year to 200,000. The increased production will also lead to the hiring of an additional 400 workers at the plant. Some speculate that Toyota is ramping up North American production to combat the high Japanese yen. Only 13 percent of the RAV4s sold in North America in 2012 have been Japanese imports. Toyota has steadily decreased its reliance on Japanese plants in general; it’s only building 35 percent of its vehicles in Japan this year, compared to 53 percent in 2006. Toyota spokeswoman Carly Schaffner tells AN that there are currently no plans to build the RAV4 exclusively in North America. Schaffner says that the reason for the production increase is that Toyota is finally able to get enough supplies to the plants after the catastrophic earthquake and tsunami that hit Japan a year ago. That said, Toyota has already moved all Highlander production to North America and could do likewise for the RAV4 if localized demand for it warrants a similar move. It’s also important to remember that the RAV4, basically unchanged for several years, is due for a makeover, so the plant upgrade might coincide with a model refresh.
Filed under: Crossover , Toyota , Electric , Quick Spin A Solid Electric CUV, For A Prototype Toyota RAV4 EV – Click above for high-res image gallery Ahh, the joys of driving a prototype vehicle. During the annual Toyota Sustainable Mobility Seminar in San Diego, California this week, Toyota brought in a handful of all-electric RAV4 EVs for us to tool around in, but there were some caveats: The route was decidedly highway-free; when it rained one afternoon, we were told it would be better to wait to drive the cars; and one journalist had a problem with his vehicle that made it sluggish. The biggest asterisk in the whole program, though, was that the RAV4 EVs we were testing are only a pale shadow of what the real RAV4 EVs will be like when Toyota releases them in the first quarter of 2012. Why’s that? Because the current fleet of new RAV4 EVs was an intentional rush job by Toyota’s partner Tesla Motors to get vehicles into auto shows and on the road. A completely separate batch is being built to really get this model ready for production, and it will operate differently than the ones we got to drive this week. Still, we learned a lot about what’s coming by checking out what’s here today. Continue reading Quick Spin: Toyota RAV4 EV … Gallery: Toyota RAV4 EV: Quick Spin Photos copyright (C)2011 Sebastian Blanco / AOL Quick Spin: Toyota RAV4 EV originally appeared on Autoblog on Mon, 11 Apr 2011 14:58:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds .