The wonders of instantaneous torque never ceases to amaze

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In the 20-plus years that it’s been around, the Toyota RAV4 has evolved from a humble crossover that was looking to break into a small but fledgling segment to one of the most popular models in what is the most popular segment in the industry today.

When was the last time you heard a RAV4 beat a full-blown sports car like the Supra in a sprint-to-60-mph time? What’s that? Never? Well, consider this the first of what looks to be repeat performances from the suddenly performance-oriented Toyota RAV4.

How does the newest Toyota RAV4 variant compare with the RAV4 Hybrid?

The Toyota RAV4 Prime Is Somehow Quicker Than the 2021 Toyota Supra 2.0
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Before we answer that question, we need to establish a few important points within the RAV4 family. First, the RAV4 in question is the RAV4 Prime, the newest member of the SUV family. It shares some characteristics with the plugless RAV4 hybrid, including a fuel-burning 2.5-liter inline-four cylinder engine that produces 177 horsepower.

But where the RAV4 hybrid’s four-cylinder unit is paired with an electric motor that contributes 118 horsepower and 149 pound-feet of torque, the Prime’s two permanent-magnet synchronous AC motor-generators combine to produce a more impressive 179 horsepower and 199 pound-feet of torque. Altogether, the Prime’s powertrain setup produces a combined 302 horsepower. That’s 83 horsepower more than the RAV4 hybrid, which produces a combined output of 219 ponies. In other words, the RAV4 Prime is potent.

Is the RAV4 Prime’s output enough to upend the Supra 2.0 in performance times?

The Toyota RAV4 Prime Is Somehow Quicker Than the 2021 Toyota Supra 2.0
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Yes, and, well, no. If you’re wondering whether the Prime can beat out the Supra 2.0 in a traditional 0-to-60-mph acceleration test, the answer is no.

Despite lacking 50 horsepower to the blitzing SUV, the 255-horsepower Supra 2.0 weighs 1,300 pounds less than the hulking 4,400-pound RAV4 Prime


The 2021 Toyota Supra is Impressively Better Than the 2020 – More Power, Better Engineering Exterior
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The significant weight disparity helps the Supra 2.0 post a quicker sprint time, and it’s not even close. The sports car does it in 5 seconds while the SUV takes 5.4 seconds to cross that time.

The RAV4 Prime’s advantage over the Supra can be seen in the time splits to 60 mph. It’s faster than the Supra from five mph to 60 mph, 30 mph to 50 mph, and from 50 mph to 70 mph.

These are impressive times, especially for an SUV that’s packing a lot of weight.

The Toyota RAV4 Prime Is Somehow Quicker Than the 2021 Toyota Supra 2.0 Exterior
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Extend the test to a quarter-mile run, and while the Supra does post the quicker time at 13.3 seconds at 104 mph, the RAV4 Prime isn’t that far behind with a quarter-mile time of 14.0 seconds at 100 mph. Again, we’re talking about an SUV that’s heavier by three-quarters of a ton than the svelte sports car.

What does this all say about the Toyota RAV4 Prime?

The Toyota RAV4 Prime Is Somehow Quicker Than the 2021 Toyota Supra 2.0
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The Toyota RAV4 Prime is Toyota’s latest addition to the RAV4 family. It’s supposed to blend a lot of strengths into one package, establishing a new option for SUV-goers out there. From a power and performance perspective, the RAV4 Prime lives up to the hype.

It also comes with a surprisingly efficient electric range that allows the SUV to run for up to 42 miles of electric-only driving, as per the standards of the EPA. EV mode can also be sustained for up to 84 mph and, at 75 mph, you can go for more than 30 miles before the powertrain ditches pure electric driving in favor of the hybrid setup.

There’s a lot to like with the RAV4 Prime, and the fact that it beats out the Toyota Supra 2.0 in specific acceleration times tells you that there’s more to Toyota’s new hybrid SUV than meets the eye.

Source: Car & Driver

Kirby Garlitos
Kirby Garlitos
Automotive Aftermarket Expert -
Kirby’s first exposure into the world of automobiles happened when he caught Knight Rider on television as a five-year old boy. David Hasselhoff didn’t leave much of an impression on him (that happened later on in Baywatch), but KITT certainly did. To this day, Kirby remains convinced that he will one day own a car with the same ‘spirit’ as the original KITT (not the 2008 monstrosity). He doesn't know when that will be, but until then, he’s committed to expressing his love for KITT, and all cars for that matter, here at TopSpeed.  Read full bio
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