Toyota has been putting Gazoo Racing on almost all of its vehicles in the recent past. Locally we have the GR and GR-S variants for almost all cars sold by the brand, with the exception of a few.
Well on the international market, it seems a new nameplate has just received the Gazoo Racing treatment.
Toyota RAV4 Hybrid GR
The popular RAV4 crossover is the latest to get “GR’d” by the brand, and by first looking at the exterior we can see that in true GR fashion certain panels of the vehicle have been blacked out and given small GR badges just to distinguish them from the normal variants.
The foglamp housings have been enlarged and now take the boomerang type shapes, while the lower bumper also gets a darker metallic grey finish as opposed to the normal silver ones. Featured at the back is, a gloss black garnish, while the G-mesh pattern appears again in the rear bumper, which also has air-bleeding openings to improve aerodynamic performance. Further emphasizing the RAV4’s look, the lower bumper has a dark gray metallic molding across the bottom part. Its 19-inch rims were engineered and designed for reduced weight and higher rigidity.
Inside the RAV4 GR, a predominantly sporty black interior color now covers almost all panels including the seats and headliner. Some parts of the seats are covered in grippy body-hugging suede materials as well. While silver-grey stitching adds contrast to the dark interior motif, the rest of the interior features some GR badges just like the outside.
The interior also features a new 12.3-inch fully digital instrument cluster with four themes, while the infotainment screen is a 10.5-inch touchscreen with sharper screen resolution. The buttons on the side have been removed in favor of a new touchscreen-based icon menu. Apple CarPlay is both wired and wireless, while Android Auto unfortunately remains wired.
Under the hood of the RAV4 Hybrid GR is the same electrified power unit that pumps out 222 PS. While the output is the same Toyota opted to fiddle with the car’s underpinnings to make it sportier and more responsive, as a result, the front and rear coil springs have been stiffened. This particular RAV4 comes with AWD-i which is supposed to efficiently generate drive torque using power from the vehicle’s hybrid system and an additional electric motor on the rear axle.
To further enhance the AWD system it also has AWD Integrated Management (AIM), a unique feature for the RAV4’s class. This system automatically adjusts steering assist, brake and throttle control, shift pattern, and drive torque distribution. That is according to the drive mode selected, Normal, Eco, or Sport. In Sport mode, AIM modifies the steering assist, throttle control shift schedule, and drive torque distribution to get the best on-road performance.
Lastly, the Toyota RAV4 Hybrid GR also gets a trail mode that helps the AWD system get the best control and grip when the going gets tough and slippery.
With our local spec Toyota RAV4 Hybrid selling in decent numbers, do you think the GR RAV4 should be sold here? Perhaps it can be the brand’s way of reintroducing AWD for the PH spec Toyota RAV4.