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Third generation Toyota RAV4
Bigger, roomier and more flexible

New RAV4: longer, wide, with more interior space.

14th September 2005.

Eleven years after the launch of its first generation in Europe, Toyota's all-new RAV4 compact SUV is making its world premiere at this year's IAA Frankfurt motor show (public days from 15 to 25 September), Frankfurt Motor Show marks the world premiere of the new generation of one of the most significant models ever launched by Toyota, the RAV4.

When it goes on sale across Europe from February 2006, the 3rd generation RAV4 will come longer than its predecessor, wider and with a longer wheelbase too, offering more interior space. Flexibility improves too with Toyota’s Easy FlatTM seating system which allows the split rear seats (60/40) to be folded flat using one lever, without removing seat cushions or headrests.

The new RAV4 is 14.5 cm longer than the current generation.

Since its first launch in Europe in 1994, the RAV4 (Recreational Active Vehicle with 4-wheel drive) was an instant sales success and continues to be the best selling vehicle in its segment in Europe. Almost 600,000 RAV4s have been sold in Europe since launch and, unlike some other vehicles, RAV4 has seen sales climb throughout its life-cycle. Last year, 2004, was a record with 109,059 units sold across Europe, which represented a market share of 25.6%.

Exterior - The third generation RAV4 has been designed with a ‘modern and rugged’ sporting theme in mind. Its wedged lower-body design suggests agile driving performance on winding roads, while the dynamic fender shape emphasises a squat stance for stability under straight-line acceleration.

Its design clarity comes from the reduction of the number of elements while increasing the size of each individual element. The trapezoidal grille provides a common thread of identity with other models in the Toyota SUV range and differentiates them from the core saloon models.

The new RAV4 is 14.5 cm longer than the current generation, with a significantly increased wheelbase (+7 cm) and rear overhang, improving passenger comfort with the increase of the couple distance (between front and rear seats) by 5.5 cm.

Click on this photo to open a bigger size graph.

New RAV4 main dimensions (click to open a bigger graph).

The width is also increased (+8 cm) and increased shoulder space allows the front seats to be set further apart, again improving comfort. Height remains moderate, emphasising the sleek, squat styling and passenger cars driving performance.

Despite the lengthened wheelbase, a lower turning radius of 5.1 meters has been achieved.

Aerodynamically, the new RAV4 boosts a low drag co-efficient (0.31Cd) for an SUV.

Interior - The increased exterior dimensions and significantly improved overall packaging added 15 cm to the overall cabin length (at 1885 mm), and the increased rear overhang, along with a new rear suspension layout results in dramatically improved luggage space (up by 25% over the current model).

Then comes Toyota's Easy FlatTM seating system . Using the one-touch lever, which is easily accessible from the rear tailgate, the rear seats can be folded down into the rear floor space to leave a ‘easy-flat‘ luggage space without the need to remove any seat cushions or headrests.

Toyota's Easy FlatTM seating system.

The rear seats are also split (60/40) for flexibility and can recline on an individual basis. They can slide backward and forward over 16.5 cm to enhance rear passenger comfort.

Engines - There is a choice of three engines, two diesel and one petrol.

The new RAV4 is the latest model in the Toyota line-up to be offered with the new 2.2-litre D-4D diesel engine, offering a choice of either 136 DIN hp (100kW) / 3600 rpm, or 177 DIN hp (130kW) / 3600 rpm. Both engines come with a six-speed manual gearbox.

With the 177 hp version (D-4D 180), peak torque is 400 Nm at 2000-2600 rpm. Maximum speed is 200 km/h and the 0- 100 km/h is reached in 9.3 seconds. Combined fuel consumption is 7.2 litres/100 km.

The D-4D 135 diesel (136 hp) offers better economy with a combined cycle consumption of 6.7 litres/100 km. Top speed is 180 km/h, with the 0-100 km/h reached in 10.5 seconds.

Both Diesel versions comply with EURO IV emissions standards and the D-4D 180 is equipped with Toyota’s D-CAT emissions reduction technology which reduces diesel particulates and NOx simultaneously.

The top-of-the-range RAV4 X version.

For petrol power, the latest development of the 2.0-litre VVT-i engine offers 152 DIN hp (112kW), with a choice of a five-speed manual or four speed automatic transmission. Top speed is 185 km/h (175 km/h in the automatic version) and 0-100 km/h acceleration is 10.6 seconds (12.0 seconds in 4A/T). Combined fuel consumption (manual) is 8.8 litres/100 km (9.1 litres/100 km in 4A/T).

Active safety - The VSC+ is a world first in this segment. In many vehicles, anti-lock brakes (ABS), traction control (TRC), vehicle stability control (VSC) and Electric Power Steering (EPS) operate independently of each other.

Toyota’s VSC+ integrates these functions via the high-speed CAN communications and adds the Active Torque Control 4WD system. This interaction of all systems allows for real-time control depending on both driver operation and vehicle behaviour, resulting in enhanced running, turning and stopping performance.

The VSC+ works with the electric power steering (EPS) to add steering torque assistance to the conventional stability control system. It anticipates the occurrence of understeer or oversteer and assists the driver by making the correct steering action easier and an incorrect action more difficult.

It also allows a better control when braking or accelerating on road surfaces with different traction characteristics under the left & right wheels, by providing additional steering torque to compensate for differences in left-right drive force.

In addition, the interconnection with the Active Torque Control 4WD system allows the cooperation of VSC with the drive torque distribution. This results in minimizing any over-steering or under-steering reaction when acceleration on a slippery road surface, enabling excellent stability and acceleration performance.

Click on this photo to open a bigger size graph.

Active Torque Control 4WD system.

The Active Torque Control 4WD system continuously monitors and controls the torque transfer between front and rear wheels. The system allows the vehicle to switch continuously between front wheel drive and four-wheel drive mode, optimising stability under all driving conditions and maximising fuel consumption. It helps to improve driving performance in terms of stability, acceleration and cornering. The conventional centre differential is removed and the electronic sensors monitor information from throttle angle, engine torque and speed, gear ratio, vehicle speed and steering angle.

Using values calculated from the sensors, the Active Torque Control 4WD system selects one of the three control modes by switching torque from front to rear:

Attractive and clear design.

• ‘Start-off control’ ensures sufficient traction and acceleration when required. Torque distribution is 55:45.

• ‘Normal control’ allows the system to switch from 4-wheel drive to front wheel drive (100:0) to ensure sufficient acceleration and improve fuel consumption. Torque distribution can then vary between 55:45 and 100:00.

• ‘Cornering control’ increases cornering stability by monitoring the appropriate yaw rate that should be applied to the car.

The result is greatly enhanced performance and stability under all driving conditions; allowing more precise control in corners and under heavy braking and acceleration, and also improved fuel economy.

The driver can lock torque distribution to a 55:45 ratio by the 4WD LOCK mode switch.

A new interpretation with clear attention to detail.

Other standard control systems (standard and optional equipment may vary depending on markets) are hill-start assist control (HAC) which prevents the vehicle from rolling back on steep inclines and down hill assist control (DAC) which assists the driver by controlling wheel speed during steep descents (available with A/T only).

Suspension - The front suspension gets McPherson struts that have been completely re-designed from the lower arm to the coil springs and shock absorbers. The lower ball joints have been moved forward to increase the caster trail to achieve under-steering against the lateral force that occurs during cornering. And the roll centre height has been lowered to improve straight ahead driving stability.

The rear suspension adopts a newly developed trailing-type double-wishbone suspension which improves vehicle stability with a lateral under-steering during cornering.

Luggage space width has been increased by 23 cm because the shock absorber of the rear suspension has been positioned diagonally, while the ride comfort has been improved by increasing the front and rear suspension compliance when the vehicle goes over bumps.

On-road precision is enhanced by the electric power steering (tilt and telescope steering column) while the agility of the new RAV4 is emphasised by its tight turning circle. Despite its increased overall length, the new RAV4 turning radius is now 5.1 metres.

Passive safety - The new Toyota RAV4 will be available with seven airbags: dual stage SRS driver and passenger airbags, SRS side airbags, SRS curtain shield airbags across front and rear and, for the first time in this segment, a driver’s knee airbag.

The top-of-the-range RAV4 X version will be only available with the 2.2 D-4D 177 DIN hp diesel engine (D-4D 180), equipped with the latest technology run flat tyres, with exclusive exterior and interior features such as darkened headlamps, unique front grille, privacy glass, over fenders, and exclusive 18-inch alloy rims. Premium features such as powered & heated leather seats, Smart Entry & Start System, rain & dusk sensors and electro-chromatic mirrors will be standard on RAV4 X, limiting the option list to a full map navigation system with Bluetooth technology, a Parking Assist Monitor and a powered sun roof.

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