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LA show: Toyota gives peek at RAV4

Bits and pieces: Toyota’s RAV4 will be fully revealed at the Los Angeles show on November 28.

Teaser video opens curtain on Toyota’s fourth-generation RAV4 due in 2013

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Toyota logo16 Nov 2012

By RON HAMMERTON

TOYOTA has teased its new fourth-generation RAV4 compact SUV ahead of its global debut at the Los Angeles motor show this month.

Glimpses of the new vehicle were provided in a video released in the United States overnight, confirming speculation that the latest generation of Toyota’s soft-roader will get a Camry-like appearance, with a more pointed nose and a chrome strip through the grille.

The new RAV4 is scheduled to arrive in Australia in February, this time powered by a choice of four-cylinder petrol and diesel engines.

The 3.5-litre V6 will be dropped in Australia, although it might continue in North America.

The RAV4 will continue in both all-wheel-drive and front-wheel drive alternatives.

The premium petrol powertrain again will be borrowed from the Camry, but like the Aussie-made Camry sedan, the RAV4 will move up from the old 125kW 2.4-litre four to the new 2.5-litre engine, probably in its 133kW/231Nm state of tune.

And like Camry, the RAV4 is expected to get a six-speed automatic transmission in place of the old five-speeder.

A 2.0-litre petrol four-cylinder engine is also possible on base models, to provide a more affordable price leader.

The RAV4 is one of the oldest cars in the Toyota stable, having been introduced in 2006 in its four-cylinder form (the V6 arrived in 2007).

The new model arrives at a critical time for Toyota, with a rash of fresh rivals arriving in showrooms.

Honda is set to launch its new CR-V next week, with the Mitsubishi Outlander and Subaru Forester in the next few weeks.

Once the king of the compact SUV pile, the RAV4 is running third in the sales race this year behind the Nissan X-Trail and Mazda CX-5.

Sales of RAV4 are up 17.2 per cent in the first 10 months of 2012, to 11,761 units, but the market segment has grown 22.2 per cent – one of the fastest growing categories in Australia.

Newcomers such as the Mazda CX-5 have successfully used the advent of diesel powertrains to grab incremental sales, and the Honda CR-V is expected to join the diesel fray with a UK-made model soon.

The RAV4 is expect to fill this gap with a 2.2-litre diesel developing 110kW of power and 340Nm, mated with the six-speed automatic transmission.

The Los Angeles motor show opens on September 28, with the RAV4 debut streamed globally on the web.

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