Look But Don’t Touch Toyota’s 2021 RAV4 Prime PHEV In Chi-Town

The upcoming Toyota RAV4 Prime boasts a plug-in hybrid powertrain with a total output of 302 HP.

After its unveiling at the 2019 Los Angeles Auto Show, Toyota saw fit to bring a 2021 RAV4 Prime prototype to this year’s Chicago Auto Show, which makes sense seen as how the weather in the American Midwest tends to favor all-wheel driven vehicles.

Unlike in LA though, the Japanese carmaker now chose to put the RAV4 Prime in an enclosed area by itself, so visitors won’t be able to access the crossover, which is a bit unfortunate.

Then again, the LA car didn’t have any prototype stickers on, so Toyota might just be doing the sensible thing here by keeping your hands away from an unfinished product.

Speaking of unfinished things, the RAV4 Prime won’t be going on sale until sometime this summer, which means interested parties have no choice but to wait for what can be described as the most powerful, most fuel-efficient and quickest RAV4 ever created.

In case you still don’t know what’s going on underneath this crossover’s hood, we can tell you that while its plug-in hybrid unit might be based on the engine in the RAV4 Hybrid, in the Prime it features more powerful electric motors and a high-capacity lithium-ion battery pack.

The 2.5-liter four-pot has been modified to produce 176 HP (178 PS) and 168 lb-ft (228 Nm) of torque, while the total system output stands at 302 HP (306 PS) – that’s 83 HP more than you get in the RAV4 Hybrid.

As for performance, the Prime can get you from zero to 60 mph (96 km/h) in just 5.8 seconds, whereas the all-electric range is rated at 39 miles (63 km), with an estimated combined fuel economy figure of 90 MPGe. According to Toyota, the RAV4 Prime features the longest range of any plug-in hybrid crossover.

Ultimately, buyers can choose between SE and XSE trim levels for the RAV4 Prime, with the latter even boasting synthetic leather seats, ambient lighting, wireless smartphone charging, and a large 9-inch infotainment system.

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