The Toyota RAV4 Could Go All-Electric or PHEV, and a Seven-Seater Model Isn’t Ruled Out Either
It’s possible but we don’t suggest holding your breathby Robert Moore, on
Since the world has gone all crazy like over SUV’s, Toyota couldn’t even get the sheet off of the new RAV4 before folks started asking about if it will eventually offer seating for seven, if it will be offered as a plug-in hybrid, and if it will be offered in all-electric form. The truth is that Toyota doesn’t even know that answer. But, Vice President and General Manager of the Toyota Division, Jack Hollis, has essentially said that nothing is off the table, by saying that he will “keep us waiting for answers” and confirming that the TNGA platform of which the RAV4 is built on does give Toyota the ability for “just about anything.”
Will the new RAV4 Be Offered as a Plug-in or All-Electric Model?
The potential to see a plug-in hybrid or an all-electric RAV4 from the new-gen model is certainly there
The potential to see a plug-in hybrid or an all-electric RAV4 from the new-gen model is certainly there. And, it wouldn’t even be the first time the RAV4 was offered as an all-electric model. It didn’t sell well, though, so we’ll kindly excuse you if you didn’t know about it. It was built in collaboration with Tesla and was made just for California. That said, the new RAV4 will be offered as a gasoline-electric model, but Hollis left things in the air as to whether it’ll get a plug-in port or be offered as a full-on EV:
“Of all electrification vehicles, Toyota owns 70 percent of that market. We are going to continue to show and have more and more offerings, whether it is plug-in or pure EV.” He continued, “We are going to have that in our line-up. Whether that comes to RAV4 and how soon, that is a ‘stay tuned’ moment.”
Given the electrification of things, at least a plug-in hybrid seems fairly feasible
On that note, however, he did say that both versions are viable thanks to the TNGA platform:
“The TNGA platform has given us abilities for just about anything. Added features, more styling, bending sheet metal differently, there is a lot of different opportunities that TNGA gives us. EV, plug-in, all of those are still very viable.”
So, for now, it’s hard to say, but given the electrification of things, at least a plug-in hybrid seems fairly feasible, and it wouldn’t be that hard to convert the basic gasoline-electric model to use a bigger battery and more powerful motor. We’re willing to bet that will happen but then again, we’ve been wrong in the past.
Will the New RAV4 Be Offered as a Seven-Seater?
The RAV4 is a compact crossover, so space is already at a premium.
This is another weird area where Toyota isn’t exactly sure of what to do. The RAV4 is a compact crossover, so space is already at a premium. The third-gen RAV4 did offer three rows, with the third being suitable for anyone below the age of 12, really, and the option was discontinued when the fourth-gen debuted. This time around, Honda has a three-row CR-V in the Australian market, but that’s where things die down for the three-row compact niche. With that in mind, Hollis didn’t exactly put that possibility to bed either:
“I think RAV4 in its compactness holds a certain space. But I will say there is always room for growing SUV entries,” said Hollis. “So whether we decide to bring one in a seven-seater or something different, that is something that I will keep you waiting for those answers.”
So, is it possible? Sure, but I wouldn’t hold my breath. And, even if it does happen, it’s highly unlikely that it will make it to the U.S. After all, Toyota has several models that offer plenty of seating, including the Highlander and Land Cruiser.
What do you think? Should the new RAV4 be offered as a plug-in or EV model? Should Toyota offer it as a seven-seater again despite a real lack of necessity? Let us know what you think in the comments section below!
Read our full speculation review on the 2019 Toyota RAV4.
Read our full driven review on the 2015 Toyota RAV4.
Read our full review on the 2018 Toyota RAV4 Adventure.
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Source: Go Auto