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Toyota took the occasion of the New York International Auto Show (NYIAS) to reveal its edgy, angular and all-new RAV4 crossover.
The fifth generation of Toyota's popular C-segment SUV, the new RAV4 is the first of its kind to be built on the Toyota New Global Architecture (TNGA) that underpins the current Prius and C-HR, and forthcoming Auris models.
Indeed, the RAV4 obviously takes the daring styling of the C-HR and runs with it, boasting bodywork that's a riot of creases, sharp edges and unusual design. It's bound to be love it or hate it in most eyes, but at least Toyota should be commended for being brave, rather than boring.
Physically, the Japanese company says the new RAV4 is 4,600mm long, making it marginally shorter than the outgoing version. However, while the front and rear overhangs have both been reduced, the wheelbase stretches by 30mm, to the benefit of interior space - the RAV4 is also 10mm wider at 1,855mm in total. Toyota claims the boot capacity is also increased, while it promises to be versatile with folding rear seats, a double-load floor and deck side nets.
As with the current version of the RAV4, the new model will provide a hybrid option. A new 2.0-litre petrol engine, with a choice of manual or automatic transmissions, will be offered for the more traditional customers, but a hybrid-electric 2.5-litre powertrain is Toyota's 'diesel' version of the SUV-crossover.
Encouragingly, the company says the driving dynamics have been 'greatly enhanced with significant improvements' to the all-wheel drive systems. On the hybrid, Toyota has developed a completely new electric motor drive that makes efficient use of power from the car's hybrid system, using a second electric motor to drive the rear wheels and bolster torque. The Japanese firm says this reduces energy losses, contributing to better fuel economy - and, even on the regular 2.0 petrol, the mechanical AWD now features twin coupling and the ability to disconnect the rear wheels (a bit like Audi's quattro ultra set-up) on the automatic versions.