Toyota South Africa announced at their recent State of the Motoring Industry event that they will move away from fossil fuels to more sustainable alternatives, including hybrid engines and battery energy. The new Toyota RAV4, which has already been launched in South Africa, will be sold with a hybrid powerplant; an internal combustion engine and a bank of batteries.

The popular sports utility vehicle (SUV) automatically switches between the engine and batteries, depending on the power needed at any given moment. The new RAV4 is also available in two trim levels – a sporty GX-R and a luxury VX model. The revised SUV is sure to be a popular vehicle that delivers the perfect match between practicality, fuel efficiency and performance.

Toyota is an indirect customer of Formex Industries. The automotive components and assemblies that we manufacture are installed on various Toyota vehicles produced in South Africa. Many of our original equipment manufacturer (OEM) customers have begun to shift toward electrification and sustainable energy, so this announcement from Toyota is no surprise but, still, a positive step in the right direction for the brand.

White Toyota RAV4 at launch

Toyota RAV4 Hybrid ©Rutger van der Maar

All-new hybrid powertrain

The new RAV4 models uses Toyota’s 4th-generation E-Four hybrid motor which combines a 2.5-litre four-cylinder petrol engine with an electric motor attached to the front  and rear axles. This powertrain is linked to a CVT transmission for smooth acceleration and gear changes on the all-wheel-drive system.

The electric E-Four motor automatically distributes the torque between the front and rear wheels, with a variable bias between 100% in the front and a 20/80 front-rear split. All-in-all, the new powertrain generates 131 kW and 221 Nm; 88 kW of which is supplied by the electric motor. The RAV4 is purported to have a range of over 1100km on a single 55-litre tank of fuel.

Revised styling for the new RAV4

The incoming RAV4 GX-R has been slightly updated to keep the exterior styling modern yet rugged. The large trapezoidal grille, revised running light graphics and wide-set fog lights give the SUV an aggressive look. The Toyota badge is also backed by a blue ring to distinguish the hybrid model from others.

The interior styling has also been revamped somewhat. Leather trim on the steering wheel and shift lever is complimented by orange stitching, which extends to the seats and centre console. The VX model will have a unique front grille, vertical fog light assembly and a fully-leather interior with blue lighting.

White Toyota RAV4 at launch

Toyota RAV4 Hybrid ©Alexander Migl

Updated features on the hybrid SUV

The GX-R variant can be specced with LED headlamps, roof rails, a rear spoiler and all-new 18 inch smoked alloy wheels. Buyers can also opt for automatic air-conditioning, rain-sensing windscreen wipers, keyless entry, a touchscreen infotainment system, a wireless charger, a reverse camera, cruise control and rear parking assistance.

The RAV4 VX will add power seat adjustment with a memory function, front and rear parking assistance, automatic high-beam functionality and auto-fold exterior mirrors. The VX can also be ordered with a panoramic monitor and digital rearview mirror that can be switched on or off to replace the traditional glass mirror at the driver’s convenience. 

Pricing for the GX-R RAV4 starts at R606 000 while the VX model starts at R617 000. Toyota also offers a six-service or 90 000km service plan with a standard three-year or 100 000km warranty. The batteries also come with an eight-year or 195 000km warranty. For more information about our automotive components and products, please contact us today.

Formex Industries is a metal forming and assembly company that supplies a variety of complex products to the local automotive industry and the export market. The company is based in the Nelson Mandela Bay metropole, South Africa’s foremost region for automotive manufacturing and export.

Formex is a supplier with 69% black ownership, of which 37% are black women. The company is owned by Deneb Investments Limited – a subsidiary of Hosken Consolidated Investments Limited (HCI) – one of South Africa’s biggest true B-BBEE companies listed on the Johannesburg Stock Exchange (JSE).

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