Speaking to Automobile Magazine at the Chicago Auto Show, Toyota’s general manager Bill Fay hinted a performance RAV4 inspired by the rally car version could become a reality. He went on to specify we could expect “that TRD racing magic trickle down to a special production RAV4 model” which “would be awesome.”
It’s unclear at this point what sort of upgrades the crossover will receive, but its motorsport sibling has a beefier suspension, all-terrain tires, roll cage, and is 500 pounds (226 kilograms) lighter than the road-going model. However, the 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine and six-speed automatic transmission are carried over from the regular Toyota RAV4. It remains to be seen whether the potential TRD model will also bring some power upgrades over the stock 176 horsepower at 6,000 rpm and 172 pound-feet of torque at 4,100 rpm.
If there will be a TRD version of the RAV4, it will likely be slotted above the newly added SE trim that joined the range for the 2016 model year. As for pricing, the performance compact crossover would cost well above $30,000 taking into account the sporty 2016 RAV4 SE kicks off at $29,265 MSRP.
Note: Ryan Millen’s 2015 Toyota RAV4 LE-based RAV4 rally car pictured.