(Toyota)

L.A. Auto Show: The 2021 Toyota Rav4 Prime is a powerful plug-in hybrid

The Toyota Rav4 is plugging-in and powering up.

(Toyota)

The country’s best-selling vehicle that’s not a pickup is getting a plug-in hybrid model called the Prime that provides 302 hp and an all-electric range of 39 miles between charges.

(Toyota)

The Rav4 Prime uses an all-wheel-drive system similar to the one in the existing Rav4 Hybrid that features a 2.5-liter four-cylinder gas engine and electric motor combination driving the front wheels and a separate electric motor at the rear. The Rav4 Prime swaps in more powerful motors and adds a larger battery pack with plug-in capability.

(Toyota)

Toyota estimates the combined fuel economy to be 90 mpge (miles per gallon equivalent), which assumes the battery is recharged every day. Its efficiency after the battery is depleted hasn’t been announced, but the conventional Rav4 Hybrid is rated at 40 mpg.

(Toyota)

Toyota says the Rav4 Prime isn’t just the most-powerful Rav4 ever, but that it will be the second-quickest model in the lineup behind the Toyota Supra sports car, and can accelerate to 60 mph in 5.8 seconds.

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Pricing for the 2021 Rav4 Prime will be announced closer to its on sale date next summer, and it will initially be offered only in SE and XSE trims. The Rav4 Hybrid XSE currently starts at $35,170, so expect the Rav4 Prime to come in a couple of thousand dollars more than that and to qualify for some federal and state electric car tax credits.

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