The largest Japanese company and the biggest automaker in the world has recently announced its intention to please RAV4 fans by delivering a more hardcore version that will bear the Toyota Racing Development (TRD) logo.
Toyota’s general manager Bill Fay was on point during the 2016 Chicago Auto Show and we all know automotive managers like to “leak” sensible information to the media during such profile events. This was the case here as well, with the executive hinting a performance-enhanced RAV4 that would take cues from the rally version might be turned from fan dream into business reality. He was even a bit more specific than other managers would, telling the journalists we might see “that TRD racing magic trickle down to a special production RAV4 model” which “would be awesome.”
Since we’re pretty early during the development process we’re not being treated to many spoilers regarding the specifications or updates, though we do know its motorsport version comes beefed up with a stiffer suspension, all-terrain tires, roll cage, and is 500 pounds (226 kilograms) lighter than the street-legal version. But here the rally car still uses the 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine and six-speed automatic transmission taken directly from the standard RAV4. So we’re hoping the TRD version would also come with better numbers than the stock 176 horsepower and 172 pound-feet of torque. By the way, if today you want to snatch a RAV4 you might look into the recently introduced 2016 RAV4 SE starting at $29,265 MSRP.