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2016 Toyota RAV4 Hybrid Shows New Body, Tech in NYC

Motor Trend logo Motor Trend 4/3/2015 motortrendauthor
2016 Toyota RAV4 Hybrid Shows New Body, Tech in NYC 2016-Toyota-Rav4-side-profile1© Provided by MotorTrend 2016-Toyota-Rav4-side-profile1

Toyota today rolled out a refresh of the RAV4 for 2016, headlined by the new RAV4 Hybrid. The RAV4 Hybrid is especially notable for several reasons. It's not only the first hybrid in the segment, but one of the first through-the-road hybrids for sale in the U.S. Rather than a driveshaft connecting the engine to the rear wheels, the rear wheels are powered by an independent electric motor. The front wheels are powered by a 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine and electric motor driving a continuously variable transmission.The computer decides when to activate the rear motor and how much power should go to each axle. Toyota did not announce power numbers, but said the Hybrid will be more powerful than the gasoline-only RAV4. Toyota also did not announce fuel economy estimates, but said the RAV4 Hybrid will easily dominate its class.The RAV4 Hybrid also ushers in a number of updates that will spread across the RAV4 line. Among them are new exterior styling, a new entertainment and information system, more sound deadening material in the floor, thicker door seals, and soft-touch materials on the dash and door panels. The RAV4 Hybrid also debuts two new important technologies. Toyota Sense, a group of active safety features like collision avoidance, will quickly spread to the rest of Toyota's lineup. So too, we hope, will be the Bird's Eye View 360-degree camera and Perimeter Sensing, a moveable 3D model of the car on the entertainment screen with projections of any obstacles immediately around the car.The RAV4 Hybrid and updated 2016 RAV4 go on-sale this fall.

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