"Hybrid: a term introduced to the automotive world by Toyota to identify a dual-source powertrain combining a traditional internal combustion gasoline engine with a high-current electric motor."
This revolutionary powertrain technology debuted in 1997 in the Toyota Prius. While the Prius has undoubtedly been the poster child for Hybrid, Toyota has recognised the need to expand this new energy technology to other mainstream model ranges - in pursuit of greater Hybrid adoption and wider market appeal.
Recent developments in the global motoring arena has placed a far greater emphasis on New Energy Vehicles (NEV) and alternative propulsion technologies. With the continued development of new energy alternatives and further advancements of battery technology, customers are seeking more advanced drivetrain options and greater levels of efficiency without compromising on their core vehicle requirements.
This Is where Toyota's NEV roadmap kicks In. Branded "Towards Carbon Neutral", this all-encompassing environmental strategy has as its ultimate goal, to get to zero emissions by 2050, but with a number of intermediate milestones in-between. And here we're not just talking emissions produced by a vehicle, Toyota plans to be emission-free throughout the production process (not just for Toyota but our suppliers as well). To this end Toyota South Africa has an initial plan to roll out Hybrid variants on most of Its mainstream model ranges. The big news will be the introduction of the locally-produced Corolla Cross (in petrol and Hybrid) as from November this year. This, however, is just the start of the electrification programme - the full spectrum of NEVs will be launched when there Is sufficient demand and when the infrastructure can support their Introduction (watch this space).
Making Hybrid Mainstream
With this change in customer behaviour, we are excited to introduce Hybrid variants of two of our most popular passenger cars - Corolla and RAV4. Both Corolla and RAV4 Hybrid are a first for South Africa, and combine all the virtues of their conventional namesakes with the added performance and fuel efficiency of Toyota's proven Hybrid system.
The RAV4 Hybrid
Based on Toyota's angular 5th-generation sport utility, the RAV4 Hybrid combines a punchy 2.5-litre Hybrid powertrain with the popular TNGA-based 5-seater SUV. The A25A-FXS engine is shared with other global Toyota and Lexus stablemates, such as the Lexus ES and NX300h and the acclaimed Camry Hybrid.
It boasts many of the same technologies shared by the Corolla Hybrid, in a larger displacement fourcylinder offering. Featuring an 'undersquare' design with Toyota D-4S port and direct-injection, the Atkinson cycle engine generates 131 kW and 221 Nm in 'ICE' state.
The electric motor punches out 88kW and 202 Nm (at maximum state of charge) to deliver a total system output of 160kW. Power is transmitted to the front wheels via a CVT transmission, which seamlessly integrates the two drive sources - and delivers an ultra-refined drive. Smooth punchy acceleration, low NVH levels and superb refinement, are some of the standout features of the RAV4 Hybrid.
The Hybrid pays dividends at the fuel pump too, as the model's fuel consumption index is listed at mere 4.7 l/100 km with CO2 emissions registering 107 g/km. A remarkable consumption figure for a 5-seater SUV.
One Grade, One Spec
The RAV4 Hybrid is offered in tweaked GX trim - which strikes a balance between core convenience spec, value for money and luxury convenience.
The RAV4 Hybrid boasts LED head and taillamps complete with DRL's up front, rain-sensing wipers, heated and power-operated side mirrors and keyless entry. Occupants are well catered for with dual-zone climate control, three 12-volt power outlets and multiple cupholders. Driver convenience is boosted by the fitment of Cruise Control, an auto-dimming rear-view mirror, multi-information display and a tilt & telescopic steering wheel finished in leather and incorporating steering switches.
The infotainment system centres around Toyota's touchscreen interface, delivering sound output through six speakers while interfacing via 3 x USB inputs, Bluetooth and Apple CarPlay/Android Auto mediums.
Driver support systems include Park Distance Control (PDC), ABS, EBD, VSC, Trailer Sway Control (TSC), Hill Assist Control (HAC) and Drive Mode Select (Eco/Normal/Power). A full complement of airbags is present, including side and curtain variants, as well as an anti-theft system. The RAV4 Hybrid rides on 17-inch alloy wheels with 225-65-R17 rubber joined by a full-size spare wheel. Roof rails, a rear spoiler, blue Toyota insignia, Hybrid badging and mud guards also form part of the standard repertoire.
Colours & Trims
A total of eight exterior hues are available; Glacier White, Pearl White, Chromium Silver, Graphite Grey, Caribbean Blue, Cinnabar Red, Urban Khaki and Moonlight Ocean metallic. The Interior is finished off in a textured-black textile trim.
Model Line-up & Pricing
RAV4 GX Hybrid CVT - R 555 300
The pricing has been set at a very competitive level in anticipation of future government support on New Energy Vehicles (NEV). Toyota South Africa Motors' strategy is to make Hybrid models attainable and offer customers an attractive product package - leveraging the benefits of Hybrid technology - without paying significant premiums in order to experience it.
Peace of Mind
A six-services or 90 000 km service plan is standard with service Intervals pegged at 15 000 km / 12- months. Toyota's standard 3-year/100 000 km warranty is included and customers have the additional peace of mind of an 8-year / 195 000 km Hybrid battery warranty. Service and warranty plan extensions can also be purchased from any Toyota dealer (220 outlets).