Chicago - Toyota has given some rugged style and touch more bush cred to its new Rav4 with the TRD Off-Road model, revealed at the Chicago Auto Show.

Sure, it’s not a ‘proper’ off-roader in same sense as a Prado or even a Hilux, as there’s still no low-range gearing or diff locks, but Toyota has thrown in a TRD Off-Road suspension inspired by the Rally Rav4 Race Team, as well as Falken Wildpeak All-Terrain tyres.

“Inspired by TRD’s successful learnings with Ryan Millen’s Rally Rav4, TRD Off-Road suspension is engineered to enhance body control and small-bump isolation to help smooth out trails and rough city streets,” Toyota says.

As per the Rav4 Adventure grade it’s based on, the new model gets bold wheel arch mouldings and a more aggressive bumper and grille design, with some extra TRD design flavour thrown in. This includes a set of TRD 18-inch ‘Flow-Formed’ matte black alloy wheels.

Also, in keeping with the Rav4 Adventure grade, it has Dynamic Torque Vectoring all-wheel-drive, which can apportion more torque to the left or right rear wheel as needed, and Toyota’s Multi-Terrain Select system with Mud & Sand and Rock & Dirt modes.

The TRD Off-Road model is powered by Toyota’s normally aspirated 2.5-litre petrol engine, rated at 151kW, and mated to an eight-speed automatic gearbox.

Cabin changes are limited to red trim and stitching as well as TRD embroidery and TRD all-weather floor and rear cargo mats.

At this stage it's not known whether the Rav4 TRD Off-Road model will be offered in markets outside of the US.

What we do know is that the all-new Rav4 that it's based on will reach South African shores shortly.

IOL Motoring