2010 Geneva Preview: 2011 Toyota RAV4 gets upgraded look and quality

2011 Toyota RAV4

The 2011 Toyota RAV4 has made its debut on the eve of the 2010 Geneva Motor Show press days. Completely redesigned for the 2011 model year, the RAV4 gets a more sophisticated, chrome-accented front end design, a wider stance and luxurious appeal.

First time at egmCarTech? Visit our home page for the latest news.

Inside, the 2011 Toyota RAV4 gets the automaker’s Easy Flat seating system and keeps its practicality and flexibility for active lifestyle customers. The interior, which has been totally redesigned as well, gets better quality features with the availability of a┬áleather/Alcantara seat upholstery.

The 2010 Toyota RAV4 will go on sale in Europe later this year with 2WD and 4WD variants and four grades including UP1, UP2, Leather/Alcantara and Premium – available with a wide choice of engines (one gasoline and two diesel units).

We’ll get more information the U.S.-spec 2011 Toyota RAV4 later this year.

Press Release:

Since the first generation of Toyota RAV4 (Recreational Active Vehicle with 4 Wheel-Drive) was launched in Europe in 1994, over one million customers have come to appreciate its compactness, manoeuvrability and versatility, allied to the dependability of the most advanced four-wheel drive system in the segment.

Though the compact SUV share of the European market has remained steady at just below 5% of total vehicle sales, the segment has recently attracted a new group of customers for whom an SUV purchase represents a more emotional than rational proposition.

These customers still value the high driving position, interior roominess, versatility and sense of security a compact SUV provides, but have less requirement for 4WD. Rather, they place more emphasis on distinctive, sophisticated styling, premium quality interior design and fuel efficient, environmentally-friendly performance combined with an engaging driving experience. Making its European debut at this year’s Geneva motor show, the new, expanded Toyota RAV4 model range fulfils each of these demands while sacrificing none of the core values of Toyota’s compact SUV.

Instantly identifying it as the latest addition to the Toyota family, the Toyota RAV4 features a new, more sophisticated, chromeaccented front design, emphasising the vehicle’s wide track and stable stance.

Showcasing Toyota’s unique Easy Flat seating system, the Toyota RAV4 interior retains all the practical, flexible versatility its active lifestyle customers have come to expect from the compact SUV, while perceived quality is further improved by the availability of new leather/Alcantara seat upholstery.

Offering an expanded range of 2WD and 4WD variants, the entire Toyota RAV4 engine line-up benefits from Toyota Optimal Drive technologies, resulting in low emissions and fuel consumption. The 4WD variant returns class-leading emissions and fuel consumption, both for Multidrive S and manual transmission versions of the 2.0 litre Valvematic petrol engine, as well as manual and automatic 2.2 D-4D 150 diesel models.

The Toyota RAV4 range offers customers greater flexibility in selecting their ideal grade and powertrain combination. The four grades -UP1, UP2, Leather/Alcantara and Premium- are now available with a wider choice of engines.

Sophisticated exterior design with refined interior quality

Successive Toyota RAV4 generations have followed the same groundbreaking, ‘Modern Rugged’ design cues that created the compact SUV market with the launch of Toyota’s first RAV4 in 1994. The key attributes of compactness, manoeuvrability and versatility allied to the most advanced four-wheel drive system in its segment have earned the Toyota RAV4 a consistently high share of the European compact SUV market.

Sacrificing none of these core values, the Toyota RAV4 is designed to appeal to a new group of customers who further demand distinctive, sophisticated styling with refined, premium-quality interior design.

Exterior design

The latest generation of Toyota’s dynamic, compact SUV features an all new, more sophisticated front design which combines stylish, urban-chic aesthetics with the image of durability expected from a vehicle with its class-leading four-wheel drive credentials.

A new wider, horizontal bar-type radiator grille design reminiscent of the Verso and Avensis instantly identifies the Toyota RAV4 as the latest addition to the Toyota family. It is framed by new headlights, incorporating projector-type low beam lamps, which are integrated into a new bonnet and front wing design which emphasis the car’s wide track and dynamic posture.

A new, full-width, aerodynamically styled front bumper accentuates the compact SUV’s stable stance. The addition of chrome accents to the radiator grille, bonnet moulding and fog lamp surrounds reinforce the premium quality of the new design.

In profile, the Toyota RAV4 inherits the combination of spaceefficient packaging, rising belt-line and distinctive silhouette that has hallmarked successive generations of Toyota’s compact SUV. To the rear, flanked by prominent, high-visibility Light Emitting Diodes (LED) lamp clusters, the side hung back door is deeply indented into the rear bumper, providing a practical, flat and level access step to the interior loadspace. The back door features an integral roof spoiler which houses the high-mounted, LED stop light.

The Toyota RAV4 will be available in a choice of ten body colours, including three new to the model range: Pearl White, Dark Steel and Regency Red.

Interior design

The crisp precision of the Toyota RAV4’s interior reinforces the premium quality of Toyota’s compact SUV. The elimination of any break lines, the tight panel gaps and the matching of surface levels highlight its engineering excellence and contribute to the perceived quality of the design.

And the perceived quality of the Toyota RAV4’s interior is further improved by the availability of new leather/Alcantara seat upholstery.

Thanks to Toyota’s unique, Easy Flat seating system, the Toyota RAV4 retains all the practical, flexible versatility its active lifestyle customers have come to expect from the compact SUV. Using one of two one-touch levers, easily accessible from the back door, the rear seats can be folded down flush with the loadspace floor without the need to remove any seat cushions or headrests.

Toyota Optimal Drive Applied to the entire engine line-up

Sports Utility Vehicles are under increasing pressure to improve their environmental performance. Reinforcing Toyota’s lead in environmentally-friendly, sustainable mobility, the entire Toyota RAV4 engine line-up benefits from Toyota Optimal Drive, a range of technologies introduced at the 2008 Paris motor show.

Toyota Optimal Drive showcases a combination of wide-ranging advanced technologies and internal improvement programmes designed to optimise the balance of performance and driving enjoyment with fuel economy and low emissions.

These diverse core technologies focus on three key aspects of powertrain development: firstly, the reduction of powertrain weight through the use of super-lightweight and highly compact engine components and transmissions; secondly, the minimisation of friction and mechanical losses; and thirdly, the maximisation of combustion efficiency.

Equipped with Toyota Optimal Drive, the Toyota RAV4 engine range offers an unmatched balance between outstanding, front- and fourwheel drive performance and class-leading CO2 emissions in both petrol and diesel variants.

2.0 litre Valvematic petrol engine

Available in 2WD with a six-speed manual gearbox, and with Toyota’s 4WD Integrated Active Drive System mated to six-speed manual or Multidrive S transmissions, the 1987cc, 4-cylinder Valvematic engine develops 158 DIN hp/116 kW at 6200 rpm and 198 Nm of torque at 4400 rpm.

When equipped with 2WD and manual transmission, the unit delivers a 0-100 km/h acceleration time of 10.2 seconds and a maximum speed of 185 km/h.

Mated to 4WD and manual transmission, the engine offers 0-100 km/h acceleration in 10.5 seconds and a maximum speed of 185 km/h. Multidrive S transmission delivers 0-100 km/h acceleration in 11.0 seconds.

Both when mated through manual transmission and Multidrive S, the 4WD version returns class-leading fuel consumption and CO2 emissions.

Multidrive S transmission

The 2.0 litre Valvematic engine can be equipped with the Multidrive S, Toyota’s highly-advanced Continuously Variable Transmission (CVT) system. Delivering an infinite number of ratios through two cone-shaped pulleys and a high-strength steel belt, Multidrive S offers an incredibly smooth, seamless driving experience.

Because the CVT system maintains the most efficient engine rpm at any given vehicle speed, it combines low cruising-speed noise with high CO2 and fuel efficiency, yet can also maintain the ideal ratio to deliver peak engine power for maximum performance.

A ‘Sport’ button selects a more responsive, power-maximising ratio, delivering a more engaging driving experience. Multidrive S also features a sequential, manual seven-speed mode, with gear selection performed either by the gear shift lever or steering wheel-mounted paddle shifts.

2.2 litre D-4D 150 diesel engine

Mated to the six-speed manual transmission, the 2.2 D-4D 150 is available with 2WD or the 4WD Integrated Active Drive System. The 2231cc unit develops 150 DIN hp/110 kW at 3600 rpm and 340 Nm of torque at 2000-2800 rpm. With a maximum speed of 190 km/h, the engine delivers a 2WD 0-100km/h acceleration time of 10.0 seconds, and 10.2 seconds with 4WD.

When mated to the six-speed automatic transmission and 4WD, the 2.2 D-4D 150 unit further benefits from Toyota’s Diesel-Clean Advanced Technology (Toyota D-CAT), which incorporates a Diesel Particulate and NOx Reduction filter (DPNR). Thus equipped, the 2.2 D-4D 150 offers performance of 0-100 km/h in 10.8 seconds and a maximum speed of 185 km/h.

When mated to 4WD, the unit returns class-leading CO2 emissions, for both the manual and the automatic transmission.

Six-speed automatic transmission

The 2.2 D-4D 150’s six-speed automatic transmission provides a fast, smooth response while maintaining an impressive level of comfort by eliminating harsh shift shocks. A ‘Sport’ mode offers a more aggressive shift pattern using AI-SHIFT Control (Artificial Intelligence Shift Control).

The new transmission also features a newly developed, 6-speed Sports Direct Shift manual override control, with gear selection in M-mode performed either by the gear shift lever or steering wheelmounted paddle shifts. M-mode offers a more sporting driving experience, with a lock-up function used from 2nd to 6th gears for as wide a range of gear ratios as possible.

6-speed Sports Direct Shift also incorporates an automatic, throttle ‘blipping’ function to optimise the speed and smoothness of downchanges. As with the Multidrive S transmission, drivers can also use the paddle shifts to temporarily override the automatic mode.

2.2 litre D-4D 180 diesel engine

Also equipped with Toyota’s D-CAT technology and mated to a six-speed manual transmission with the 4WD Integrated Active Drive System, the powerful 2.2 D-4D 180 unit develops 177 DIN hp/130 kW at 3600 rpm and 400Nm of torque at 2000-2800 rpm. The engine delivers a performance of 0-100 km/h in 9.3 seconds and a maximum speed of 200 km/h.

Integrated Active Drive System

The Toyota RAV4 is available with either 2WD front-wheel drive or Toyota’s advanced 4WD Integrated Active Drive System (IADS). IADS is a sophisticated, high-speed interactive management system which -via sensors located throughout the vehicleintegrates the Toyota RAV4’s Active Torque Control 4WD, Vehicle Stability Control (VSC) and Electric Power Steering (EPS) systems to enhance the Toyota RAV4’s performance, handling and safety.

The key element of IADS, the Active Torque Control 4WD system continuously monitors and controls the torque transfer between the front and rear wheels via an electromagnetically controlled coupling positioned in front of the rear differential, optimising traction and vehicle stability under all driving conditions.

Front to rear torque distribution can vary from 100:0 to 55:45, with front-wheel drive (100:0) automatically engaged under normal driving conditions to improve fuel consumption. The system incorporates a 4WD Lock button, allowing the driver to lock torque distribution in a 55:45 ratio for maximum off-road traction.

IADS coordinates the operation of the Active Torque Control 4WD system with the Toyota RAV4’s VSC and EPS to not only control individual wheel speeds (as in a conventional VSC system), but also to adjust torque transfer between the front and rear wheels and add steering torque assistance to help the driver control a skid.

– By: Stephen Calogera