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Toyota testing trailer-ready RAV4 diesel?

Don’t look at me: An avid GoAuto reader caught this RAV4 test vehicle cruising Melbourne’s roads.

Camo-clad Toyota RAV4 hints that tow-rating tests are nearing completion

20 Mar 2013

AN EAGLE-eyed GoAuto reader has caught what appears to be a secretive RAV4 test mule – wearing dust-stained camouflage – on Melbourne’s roads.

However, the question is why does Toyota, which has already launched the all-new soft-roader in Australia, need to be a little bit hush-hush about this particular car? We think we have the answer.

When the new RAV4 was launched in January, Toyota Australia did not yet have a tow rating for the car as durability testing was incomplete by the time it launched.

As a result, while 2.5-litre petrol versions of the RAV4 wear a 1500kg tow rating for a braked trailer and 750kg for an unbraked one, the diesel version sold in Australia has only a 550kg maximum rating, braked or unbraked.

This RAV4, snapped on busy Punt Road in Melbourne by GoAuto reader David Buttigieg, has what appears to be a heavy-duty towbar, suggesting work is progressing on getting the diesel version’s tow rating up the same 2000kg limit as its British cousin.

Toyota Australia spokesman Mike Breen said the heavily disguised vehicle was likely to be tied in with the car-maker’s local engineering division, Toyota Technical Centre Australia.

“I'm intrigued as to why they (TTCAu) would still have camouflage on the car it's not a secret anymore,” Mr Breen said.

“As for the tow bar, your guess would be as good as mine – it may have a been a vehicle they used for tow bar testing, as opposed to tow capacity testing,” he said.

“The car could be a petrol too. If it was, then it definitely wouldn't have been for tow capacity testing (as the) petrol RAV4 has a 1500kg capacity.” Mr Breen said Toyota still could not say when the RAV4’s towing capacity review would be completed.

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