Johannesburg - Toyota has confirmed that its all-new RAV4 will be launched in South Africa in Q1 2019.

The new RAV4 boasts two advanced all-wheel-drive (AWD) systems; the mechanical AWD system has been updated with Toyota’s first dynamic torque vectoring system that apportions torque between the left and right rear wheels as well as between the front and rear axles.

The fifth-generation RAV4 will be sold with all new four-cylinder direct-injection engines (2.0-litre petrol with front-wheel-drive and 2.5-litre petrol with mechanical AWD).

A Hybrid model will also be offered in overseas markets in both FWD and newly-developed Electric AWD configurations.

Buyers choosing the non-hybrid version of this new 2.5-litre engine will have 152kW and 243Nm on tap - a substantial 15% improvement in power.

The premium RAV4 models will be mated to a new eight-speed automatic transmission, including a lower first gear for enhanced performance and a much wider gear ratio spread than the six-speed automatic it replaces.

The RAV4 can also be equipped with a new 2.0-litre engine that makes 127kW with a peak torque figure of 203Nm. It will come with the choice of a CVT or a six-speed manual gearbox that provides rev-matching control for smoother and more responsive gear shifts. The CVT features an innovative launch gear for sporty driving with impressive fuel efficiency, too.

The mechanical all-wheel drive system for the new RAV4 2.5-litre petrol engine model with 8-speed auto that features Toyota’s first dynamic torque vectoring system is said to ensure stable performance and accurate response to the driver’s steering inputs when cornering, both in dry and wet conditions.

As well as providing up to 50% of the available torque to the rear wheels, the new system introduces independent couplings on the vehicle’s rear axle output shafts to control torque distribution between the left and right wheels.

When AWD is not required, such as during constant-speed driving, a ‘disconnect’ feature stops rotation of the driveline to contribute to lower fuel consumption.

Performance of the new RAV4’s two AWD systems is further improved with the introduction of AWD Integrated Management (AIM). AIM automatically adjusts vital vehicle systems - steering assist, brake and throttle control, shift pattern and drive torque distribution - according to the drive mode selected.

The driver can switch from Normal to Eco or Sport mode. In Eco mode, AIM decreases drive torque to enhance fuel efficiency. In Sport mode, it modifies the steering assist, throttle control shift schedule and drive torque distribution to gain better on-road performance.

SA-bound RAV4 specifications (and prices) will be confirmed early in 2019.

Drive360